FAQs

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    What does Radical Hope mean?

    Radical Hope is one of NoVo’s core values. It means we are deeply optimistic that, in partnership with others, we can contribute to systemic progress that addresses the root causes of injustice, even in times of darkness and division. Grounded in that optimism, we remain focused on long-term solutions and join our voices with those who proudly advocate for fundamental social change. The Radical Hope Fund reflects our belief that a time of great challenge can also spur a moment of unprecedented collaboration and imagination, deepening our collective ability to build a more just and balanced world.

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    What is the scope of the Radical Hope Fund?

    The NoVo Foundation has made a commitment of $20 million over four years. Projects may produce immediate results on a 1- or 2-year timespan, but most grants will support reaching project goals over the next four years. Proposed projects may extend beyond four years, with the understanding that funding commitment from the Radical Hope Fund would be limited to four years.

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    How does this fund relate to NoVo’s other initiatives and priorities?

    This Fund complements NoVo’s current work, either by supporting organizations and efforts that do not thematically align with the foundation’s existing initiatives, or by encouraging partner organizations to go deeper and farther with connection, collaboration, and courage. If your proposed project is aligned with the Radical Hope Fund guidelines but also overlaps with one of NoVo’s core initiatives, we recommend you describe in your Letter of Inquiry what that alignment is and how your project is an effort to be more bold, creative, and transformative.

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    Does the applicant have to be a non-profit organization?

    Applicants must be a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(3) equivalent organization outside of the U.S., or an initiative, group, campaign, or collaboration that has a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. The Fund is unable to provide direct support to individuals. Federally recognized tribes in the United States are eligible to apply.

    Applicants outside of the United States must be a registered nonprofit, non-governmental organization that is the equivalent of 501c3 in your country. You do not need to identify a US-based organization as a collaborator or sponsor to submit a Letter of Inquiry. For projects based outside of the United States, funding support will be provided through a U.S.-based intermediary with which NoVo Foundation has an existing relationship.

    Other types of institutions (such as for-profit entities) may be included as one of the collaborating partners; however, we recommend you describe the role of that partner in the Letter of Inquiry.

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    How do I submit a Letter of Inquiry?

    All Letters of Inquiry should be submitted through the online submission form. Submissions will not be accepted by mail or email.

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    Can one organization submit more than one Letter of Inquiry?

    Yes. Organizations can submit more than one LOI. We encourage you to make sure that all proposed projects strongly align with the Radical Hope Fund guidelines.

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    What is the deadline?

    All Letters of Inquiry must be submitted using the online submission form by 12:00 pm Eastern time (UTC – 4) on October 4, 2017.

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    Will there be another opportunity to submit a Letter of Inquiry after this submission period?

    At this time we do not expect there to be another open call for Letters of Inquiry.

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    Are current NoVo grantees eligible to apply?

    Yes. Current NoVo grantees are eligible to apply, but are encouraged to consider how this project support will enable them to engage in creative collaborations, bold new campaigns, or strategic experiments.

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    Is there a geographic focus?

    No. The Radical Hope Fund is not limited to any single geographic area. Unfortunately, however, we can only accept submissions in English at this time. (We sincerely wish that we could review submissions in all languages, and we apologize for this limitation, which is designed to help us to ensure prompt review and reply.) Within the United States, efforts based in under-resourced parts of the country are especially encouraged to apply.

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    What will be the grant size?

    Total project budgets should be at least US$250,000 per year. At this juncture, the Radical Hope Fund is designed to give fewer, larger grants that align with the purpose and structure of the Fund. We know that powerful, transformative work happens from the neighborhood-level to the transnational, and at a variety of scales, and we strive to take this into account in the work of our core initiatives. Potential applicants are encouraged to consider collaborations where appropriate in order to reach the budget threshold.

    Annual grant request amount can be any portion of the total annual project budget (including 100 percent), depending on the circumstances of the project. The Letter of Inquiry does not require you to include a full project budget. The specific amount that your project would be invited to apply for in each year will be determined at the stage of submitting a full proposal, and will be subject to the needs and availability of funds shaped by the overall submission pool. We will aim to balance supporting as many great proposals as we can with giving grants of meaningful size for the ambitious visions and goals proposed.

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    Can indirect costs be included in the project budget?

    Yes, indirect costs may be included in the project budget. The percentage that can be allocated to indirect costs would be discussed and determined in the process of your project being invited to submit a full proposal.

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    What is the process and timeline for applying after the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) stage?

    We are a small staff, and we expect to review a high volume of LOI submissions, so we ask for your patience. If we’d like you to submit a full proposal, we will contact you using the contact information provided in your LOI submission form. From the time of invitation, the submission period for full proposals will be 6-8 weeks. We expect Radical Hope Fund grantees to be announced in early spring 2018.

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    If funded, will my project be eligible for renewed funding after 4 years?

    Given that Radical Hope grants will be primarily be issued as project support, the commitment will be to support projects for up to four years. If your project is designed to continue beyond that timeframe, NoVo will strive to work with your organization to plan for the project’s sustainability.

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    Do all proposed projects have to be new, or can the Radical Hope Fund support my organization’s core work?

    Proposed projects are not required to be entirely new projects that are unrelated to your existing work. However, the Radical Hope Fund is not designed to provide general operating support for ongoing work. Rather, this Fund is designed to provide project support that creates the space for you to dream about what else might be possible. Please describe in your LOI submission how the proposed project is an effort to be bolder and more transformative.

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    Do all projects need to be gender focused? Do all the leaders of the project have to be women?

    NoVo has a strong commitment to girls’ and women’s rights across all our work. Please describe in your Letter of Inquiry what your interpretation and approach is to feminist leadership, and how your project incorporates feminist leadership.

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    What do you mean by “reexamining how we show up to do the work of social justice” and “building the movements we need”?

    The work of transforming our broken systems is more urgent than ever. In the face of extreme greed, violence, and inequality, we are experiencing barriers and divisions that threaten the strength of our movements and achievement of our deeply held visions.

    The urgency of this work requires that we question our assumptions and habits, both in philanthropy and in broader social justice movements, and work in ways that reaffirm each other’s humanity and build collective power much more broadly. Examples of such practices include working across issue siloes; transnational relationship building and solidarity work; long-term partnerships predicated on mutual trust, rather than transactional relationships; shared leadership practices and leader-ful movements; and prioritizing healing and sustainable activism.

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    What does it mean to “aim for transformation rather than solely incremental change”?

    Transformation is aimed at disrupting the underlying root causes of injustice. It seeks to challenge and change the systems and structures that perpetuate marginalization and injustice generation after generation, and requires a deep sense of vision and purpose. Incremental change is often aimed at reform of our current systems. While we believe that both are essential to social change, NoVo’s mission is to foster transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership, and thus we are especially interested in supporting transformative work through the Radical Hope Fund.

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    By what criteria will the submissions be assessed?

    Please read the guidelines for a full description of the Radical Hope Fund’s purpose and focus. We will be reviewing Letters of Inquiry based on several key elements. First, we will look for how the vision of the project invokes radical hope, courage, creativity, and alignment with our mission. Second, we will look for your project to demonstrate a strategic approach, including alignment with one or more of the essential strategies outlined in the Fund guidelines. We will also consider how the project plays a vital role in advancing social change by focusing on impacted community/communities and issue(s) that are particularly relevant in this global political moment. We will also look for the project to have strong potential for long-range impact and transformative change. Finally, we will consider how the project is guided by feminist leadership and approach.

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    How can I get in touch with NoVo to ask additional questions?

    To ensure that we provide a timely response, we prefer that you email us at radicalhope@novofoundation.org with any additional questions you may have about submitting a Letter of Inquiry to the Radical Hope Fund. We will aim to respond within three business days.

    At this time, we are unable to schedule any dedicated meetings or phone calls about potential or existing submissions to the Radical Hope Fund.