Grantmaking Approach

Grantee selection process

In our grantmaking, we seek:

Strategic fit
We seek to make grants to organizations whose work is strongly aligned with our mission, values, and Strategic Priorities under our current Strategic Plan.

Innovation/calculated risk
We welcome, and seek out, innovation and creativity, and we have a relatively high risk tolerance compared to some funders. We are comfortable being an early or first funder of an organization or effort when there is a clear sense of promise or a unique opportunity to explore and support new ideas

Research and evidence
Our approach is built on facts and evidence. We seek to affect change based on knowing what is definitive and true.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit a proposal?
Due to our limited staff capacity to review proposals, grant proposals are by invitation only.

How do we identify our grantee partners?
We work in close consultation with our grantee and funding partners and other experts to learn about new organizations filling critical gaps. Staff work in multiple networks and collaborate with a range of funders. We are a highly collaborative funder and we see hundreds of grant applications made to other funders each year and undertake regular field research. We are frequently in conversation with organizations working across our fields, at conferences and other meetings, and we look forward to learning about your work. 

If we have not previously met, and you are interested in sharing your work with us, please send a brief description to

Unfortunately due to our limited resources, we are unable to fund many incredible organizations who advance our strategic priorities.

Where does Unbound fund?
Unbound Philanthropy makes grants in two geographic regions, the United States and the United Kingdom.

What does Unbound not fund?
Unbound does not generally fund the following:

  • Organizations based in regions other than the US or UK;
  • Production of films;
  • Endowments, buildings, or fundraising drives;
  • Educational scholarships.

Does Unbound fund direct services?
We are not primarily a funder of direct services. However, many of our grantees do provide direct services that work in tandem with their advocacy, impact litigation, and strategic communications. During this time of COVID, in particular, many of our grantees are responding to the immediate needs of their constituencies through direct services and mutual aid activities.