Information for Grant applicants

What we fund

We seek to support organisations working in the thematic areas below, which have excellent track records and are working towards becoming more sustainable, effective and accountable. We believe that strong organisations will be critical to positive change in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and we are keen to invest in their development.

When considering applications, we assess whether the applicant organization:

  • is, or has the potential to be, an important player in its field
  • has, or is developing, a clear sense of purpose, direction and strategy that links clearly and legitimately to a constituency or target group
  • is well-managed and accountable
  • shows commitment to development and learning, including that of its staff
  • aligns with the Asfari Foundation’s values and approach
  • seeks a transparent and active partnership with the Foundation, including sharing learning and insights

We take an interest in new and innovative approaches to programming; and to system-wide approaches to tackling challenges in the area of focus, although these are not required of applicants.

Strategic themes

We invest in organisations which work in one or more of the following thematic areas:

Civil Society (Lebanon and Syria only, but including initiatives for Syrians and Palestinians in Lebanon):

  • Organisations and initiatives which contribute to the overall vibrancy, professionalism, effectiveness and governance of the civil society sector as a whole and which work in at least one of the following:
    • citizenship
    • governance
    • the development of independent quality media

Youth Empowerment (Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, including initiatives for Syrians and Palestinians in Lebanon, and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people in the UK):

  • Organisations and initiatives that contribute to the overall vibrancy, professionalism, effectiveness and accountability of the education systems in Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.

and which work in:

  • entrepreneurship (whether business or social)
  • education for young people aged 16 – 25 years (including scholarships).

For more information, please view our 2018-2022 strategy document here (Arabic).

Applying for funding

The Foundation invites applications for funding once a year, usually in January. Under our strategy for 2018-2022 (here), we now offer three-year grants.

We announce the annual call for concept notes on our website (and email it to our subscribers). The call announcement specifies the details of the call, including eligibility and application criteria, and outlines the Foundation’s application and selection processes.

Eligibility and application criteria vary from year to year, so please keep an eye on our website or subscribe to our mailing list for updated information closer to the announcement date.

To review eligibility and application documents for the 2019 call for concept notes (now closed), click here.

PLEASE NOTE: we are no longer able to 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.


  • Annual Call for Concept Notes announced on news section of Asfari Foundation website


  • Deadline for submission of concept notes


  • All applicants notified via email to confirm whether their concept note has been shortlisted or not
  • Shortlisted applicants are invited to send a full project proposal


  • Deadline for submission of project proposals
  • Shortlisted proposals thoroughly vetted and assessed, including field visits by the Programmes Team


  • Recommendations made to Board of Trustees; funding decisions made
  • Applicants notified of application outcome via email
  • Final reporting requirements agreed with successful applicants; funding agreements drafted and signed by both parties

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