About the NED Grants Program
Each year the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) makes direct grants to hundreds of nongovernmental organizations worldwide working to advance democratic goals and strengthen democratic institutions.
In 2012, NED funded about 1236 projects in 92 countries around the world. Grant amounts vary depending on the size and scope of the projects, but the average grant lasts 12 months and is around $50,000.
Who NED Funds
NED funds only nongovernmental organizations, which may include civic organizations, associations, independent media, and other similar organizations.
NED encourages applications from organizations working in diverse environments including newly established democracies, semi-authoritarian countries, highly repressive societies and countries undergoing democratic transitions.
NED does not make grants to individuals, governmental bodies, or state-supported institutions such as public universities.
What Type of Programs NED Supports
NED is interested in proposals from local, independent organizations for nonpartisan programs that seek to:
- Promote and defend human rights and the rule of law
- Support freedom of information and independent media
- Strengthen democratic ideas and values
- Promote accountability and transparency
- Strengthen civil society organizations
- Strengthen democratic political processes and institutions
- Promote civic education
- Support democratic conflict resolution
- Promote freedom of association
- Strengthen a broad-based market economy
All proposed projects must be consistent with NED’s general purposes as outlined in the NED Statement of Principles and Objectives.
For more information on the types of programs NED supports in each region, please see Where We Work.
How Funding Decisions Are Made
Decisions are made on a quarterly basis by the NED Board of Directors. The Board considers the following factors:
- how a program fits within the Endowment’s overall priorities,
- its relevance to specific needs and conditions in a particular country,
- the democratic commitment and experience of the applicant.
Dates and Deadlines
Upcoming Board of Directors meeting dates and proposal submission deadlines are as follows:
Proposal Submission Deadline
Board of Directors Meeting
September 30, 2016
January 13, 2017
January 23, 2017
March 31, 2017
April 7, 2017
June 9, 2017
June 16, 2017
September 8, 2017
*Proposals submitted after the deadline will be considered at the following Board Meeting.
*Applicants will be notified of the Board of Directors’ decision by email within one business week of the board meeting date.
All applications must include the following items:
- Proposal Narrative
This is the written description of the project you would like to conduct with NED funds. Please follow the Proposal Guidelines. You may prepare the Proposal Narrative in English or your local language. Proposals should be approximately 10 pages in length.
- Interim Assessment (for renewal proposals only)
This is an assessment of your organization’s previous NED grant, if any. It should be included as part of the proposal narrative.
- Proposal Budget
This is the financial description of the project you would like to conduct with NED funds and should correspond to the activities in the Proposal Narrative. Please follow the Additional Guidance and use the Budget Template whenever possible.
Registration Documents (if applicable)
Please include your Certificate of Registration or other documentation showing the legal status of your organization.
If your organization is not registered, this documentation is not required. Instead, please include an explanation (in the Proposal Cover Sheet) as to why your organization is not registered and the status of any pending applications for registration.
How to Apply
Prepare all of the materials listed above in Application Requirements.
When ready, click below to begin the online application process. You will be asked to create a user account for your organization. If you have previously applied online, you may log in using your organization’s existing account.
To apply by email:
Send all of the application materials by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply by post:
Send all of the application materials to
National Endowment for Democracy:
Attn: Grant Proposals
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004 USA
To apply by fax:
+1 (202) 378-9407
If you need help with the proposal requirements or the online application system, contact email@example.com.
If you have questions about your project and NED’s grant program, contact NED regional staff at the following addresses:
Latin America & Caribbean: firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle East & North Africa: email@example.com
If you want to speak with someone, you may call NED at +1 (202) 378-9700.
Proposal Guidelines :: PDF
Budget Template :: XLS
Budget Sample :: PDF
Please right-click on the PDF/DOC link to ‘Save link as…’
Additional Guidance :: PDF
(Information on objectives, evaluation plans, and budget preparation)
Step-by-Step Online Application Instructions :: PDF
1025 F Street NW. Suite 800, Washington DC 20004