General Grant Program

An Overview of the Decision-Making Process

All grants are made at the sole discretion of the FINRA Foundation, based on its evaluation of individual proposals, its determination of relative priorities, and the availability of funds. The Foundation reserves the right not to award any specific grant for any reason, or for no apparent reason, no matter now clearly the proposed grant may seem to relate to Foundation grant criteria, and no matter how closely the requester has followed the guidelines and procedures. The Foundation does not critique unsuccessful proposals.


The entire decision-making process, from the submission of a Project Concept Form to a notification of funding, can take several months. In general, the decision-making process follows these steps:


  1. Applicants read the Foundation’s Grant Guidelines and submit a completed three-page Project Concept Form (DOC 172 KB).


  2. Project concepts are reviewed by the Foundation staff for eligibility and assessed relative to the Foundation’s funding priorities.


  3. Applicants are notified of the status of the project concept, generally within one month of receipt.


  4. Applicants invited to submit a full proposal will receive instructions for preparing and submitting the proposal.


  5. The Foundation staff acknowledges the receipt of full proposals by email.


  6. Full grant proposals are reviewed by the Foundation staff (and other content specialists as necessary and appropriate), prior to consideration by the Foundation Board.


  7. If needed, applicants will be contacted for further clarification or detail prior to the Foundation Board meeting.


  8. One of three actions is possible when the Board considers a request:
    • Approve the project as submitted
    • Request modification of the project
    • Decline the project


  9. Generally, within ten business days following the Board’s decision, the applicant is notified of the disposition by email or letter.


  10. The Board’s decision to approve a project initiates the grant agreement negotiation phase. It may take two to three months after a project is approved to execute a grant agreement. If the applicant and the Foundation cannot successfully negotiate a grant agreement within a reasonable time as determined by the Foundation, the funding will not be released.


  11. After a grant agreement is fully executed, funds will be awarded in installments contingent upon performance and actual expenses, not to exceed the grant amount.