Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation 


Application Guidelines:   

Attributes of Organizations that we Typically Fund

Organizations funded typically work at the grassroots level providing direct services to children.  We fund effective programs that, at a minimum:

1.  have proven and measurable impact: program outcomes need to be clearly identified, measured and reported.

2.  have sustainable impact: programs funded produce lasting change in the lives of a large number of children.

3.  provide cost-effective impact: recognizing that cost-effectiveness varies between program types, we expect applicants to operate efficiently and demonstrate cost-effectiveness.

4.  provide community-based solutions: programs need to recognize and leverage local traditions and partner with other local organizations when possible. 


Organizations funded are well run. They have a proven and sustainable operating track record or, if they are new organizations, are led by individuals with meaningful experience; many are poised to leverage existing conditions to grow.  We look to fund organizations that:

1. have a sustainable funding model: organizations that have developed multiple funding sources, including program revenues when possible.

2.  are positioned to expand the numbers of children their program serves: successful programs,  with a sustainable funding model and infrastructure in place, that have a clear plan to increase the breadth of their services.

3. are positioned to expand the number of programs they provide to children: experienced and successful organization with conviction that adding an additional program will deepen their success serving children.

4.  are poised to take their programs to new settings: proven, cost-effective programs that are adaptable to the local conditions of different locations or settings.


Our Current Grants Program

Grant Types: The Ross Foundation primarily makes Program Grants to support those programs and projects of organizations that benefit a large number of children in our target populations.  We fund both organizations with a sole focus of working with children and also broader organizations that have substantial programs benefiting children.

We usually do not fund General Operating Support, Capital Grants and Capacity Building grants. These types of grants are made only after considerable discussion with organizations that are well known to the Ross Foundation, and usually follow an earlier program grant.  

In addition, we do not fund orphanages or other types of homes that benefit only the children that live within them, nor do we fund schools that only benefit the children that attend them.   Only on rare occasions – and after much discussion - do we fund such institutions when they are developing a program model intended to replicated at other institutions and have benefit to children beyond their specific institution.

Multi-year funding is occasionally made, but is structured on the completion of set milestones and measured outcomes.

Beginning in 2015, the Foundation shifted from funding small capital projects and equipment purchases to providing program funding, as described above.  Grant range is typically between $25,000 to $50,000, but the Foundation does occasionally make larger and smaller grants.


Eligibility and Additional Information

Eligibility: The Ross Foundation provides financial assistance to organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.  We do not fund:

Grants to non-US organizations or any organization that does not have proof of current IRS tax-exempt status.
Grants, scholarships or loans to individuals.
Grants to private foundations.
Grants that are inconsistent with an organization’s charitable purposes.
Grants that seek to support political activities or attempt to influence specific legislation through direct lobbying.
Grants for doctoral study or research.
Grants for sponsorship of, or travel to, conferences or events.
Grants for films, videos or publications.
Donations to annual campaigns or fundraising events.


Additional Information:

We do not accept unsolicited applications and receive proposals by invitation only.  If, after thoroughly reading our program guidelines, reviewing the list of grants made in 2015 and 2016, and confirming that your organization is a US Government recognized 501(c)(3) organization and that your program work is in the developing world, you may send a brief description of your organization, the program that you feel best fits our guidelines and a link to your website.  If, after reviewing the material, we feel that there is a close fit between our program and yours, we will forward a detailed on-line Letter of Inquiry that you may compete and which will be considered for funding.


The Foundation’s grantmaking is extremely limited in relation to the tremendous needs in the field.  The following are among the most common reasons why organizations are not funded:

do not fall within the Foundation’s funding priorities;
do not follow our general grantmaking guidelines;
do not meet our eligibility guidelines;
are more appropriately funded by another organization, either public or private;
are not sustainable without reliance on Ross Foundation funding;
are not likely to generate significant long-term impact;
are for individual orphanages or schools;
are for medical missions that do not have a significant component of local training and local capacity building;
concerns about organizational stability and funding;
concerns about cost-effectiveness;
concerns about sustainability or feasibility of projected growth;
are similar to projects we are already funding.