How We Make Grants

Who do we fund?

The Foundation supports organisations that:

  • Share our values and are aligned with our objectives.
  • Have strong track records in implementation.
  • Demonstrate clear purpose and strategy linked to a specific constituency/target group.
  • Actively seek to become more effective, accountable and sustainable.
  • Actively seek to transform and grow their organisation, and the ecosystem in which they operate, including the professional development of their staff.
  • Adopt innovative approaches to programming.
  • Address systemic weaknesses in our thematic areas.
  • Are committed to transparency, active partnership, and sharing learning and insight.

Programmatic Areas:

The Foundation offers funding through two grant-making programmes:

The Civil Society Programme (CSP)

Themes for 2020 applications:

  • Strengthening governance; e.g.
    • Strengthening the governance of CSOs. 
    • Nurturing young leaders.
    • Sharing good governance practices. 
    • Working to hold authorities and those in power accountable.
    • Safeguarding local or international civil society space.
  • Promoting active citizenship; e.g.
    • Enabling individuals in the Foundation’s target countries to access their social, political and economic rights. 
    • Ensuring freedom of association.
    • Supporting the participation of young people and marginalized groups.
    • Providing platforms for marginalized voices in home or hosting countries.
  • Development of independent, high-quality media; e.g.
    • Informing the public with credible, reliable and objective news and analysis of the situation in the Foundation’s target countries.  
    • Contributing, and inviting the public, to debate solutions to tackle chronic problems facing the region.  
    • Investing in building the capacity and skills of media staff, other media channels and workers.

The Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (YLEAP)

Themes for 2020 applications:

  • Ecosystem building in Lebanon; e.g.
    • Innovating to strengthen collaboration between existing ecosystem stakeholders to help achieve impact at scale.
    • Improving the pipeline supporting young entrepreneurs and innovators, from ideation to impact investment.
    • Democratising access to knowledge and information for young entrepreneurs.
  • Solutions to challenges; e.g.
    • Innovating solutions to challenges shared by young entrepreneurs and their supporting ecosystem in Lebanon and the Levant.
    • Contextualising and applying global innovations and solutions to fit ecosystems in Lebanon and the Levant.
    • Innovating to solve issues restricting young entrepreneurs in Lebanon from growing their enterprises and achieving impact at scale.
    • De-risking youth to become investment-ready, increasing their access to finance and markets.
  • Building on the Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation (ACSI)
    • Pitchworthy, in partnership with the Asfari Foundation, are running a pilot accelerator/challenge prize in Lebanon for young entrepreneurs. The structure of this pilot will follow accelerator programming and will be done primarily online.
    • Pitchworthy is an innovative organisation working to overcome the barriers of geographies and limited mobility that excludes many from entrepreneurship and innovation programming. Their online platform is packed with innovations that is based on praxis – learning by doing, maximising one’s strengths, growth mindset and more.
    • Applications to YLEAP are welcome to build on the Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation pilot, offering opportunities and pathways to graduates of the programme.
    • For more information please visit this link.

Applying for funding:

  • The Foundation invites applications for funding once a year through an Open Call, usually in January. 
  • Eligibility and application criteria vary from year to year, and the exact amount and duration of funding is specific to each programme. Please keep an eye on our website or subscribe to our mailing list for updated information closer to the announcement date.
  • The Open Call launch announcement is made on our website (and mailing list). It specifies the details of the call, including eligibility and application criteria, and outlines the application and selection processes.
  • From 2020 onwards, the Foundation is implementing online applications, accessible through our website. All the details for applying in our 2020 call can be found here.

PLEASE NOTE: we do not accept applications for funding outside of our annual funding call!

The application and partnership process timeline:

The timeline below is a rough guide; exact dates will be announced when the funding cycle is launched.


If you have any questions, please contact our Programmes Team at: