Where to get funded in 2024

Navigating the fundraising landscape

We’ve previously shared some key considerations for launching an entity. 

But what if you haven’t received funding for your project yet?

There are a number of options for high-impact projects looking to fundraise. We’ll cover some of our top contenders for seed funding, as well as funding sources for more established projects. 

Funding categories

Funders can typically be split into four categories: governments, corporations, foundations, and individual donors. 

Funders may offer different types of support depending on which category they fall under:

  • Governments can support your fundraising efforts in the form of grants, made by specific governmental agencies (e.g. the US Department of Education).
  • Corporations are fairly picky about the causes they support, and PR can play a significant role in their grantmaking decisions. However, they’re able to offer the widest range of support, including event sponsorship, pro bono work, and gift matching.
  • Foundations typically offer support in the form of grants. Foundations exist in various shapes and sizes but are commonly categorized into: public, community, family, and private. 
  • Individual donors offer support in the form of donations. High net worth donors can play a significant role in your fundraising strategy, and typically prefer to donate to registered nonprofits to minimize tax.


We believe that most readers working on high-impact projects will benefit most by fundraising through public foundations. This is because public foundations can afford to be more impact-focused than corporations, while also distributing grants more quickly than governments. So, we’ll pay particular attention to public foundations in this post.

High net worth individual donors can also play an important role in your funding strategy. However, they may be more likely to support fundraisers within their existing personal or professional networks, which makes it difficult to recommend specific individual donors. So, we won’t be exploring individual donors in this post.

But first, a word on governments and corporations.

Governments & corporations

Governments can support your fundraising efforts in two main ways.

Firstly, government agencies can provide grants directly to support your project’s work. These grants are made possible through taxation. However, government grants are highly competitive, and the application process can be both bureaucratic and time-consuming.

Secondly, governments can offer tax relief on investments from third parties. For example, in the UK, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offers tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in your company, and helps your company to raise money when it’s starting to trade. 

Schemes like SEIS are intended to boost the economy, so may require you to register your project as a limited company rather than a charitable entity. So, if a charity structure isn’t suitable for your project, and you have interested investors, then government schemes can be a great incentive for funders.

Corporations, on the other hand, can offer more flexibility when it comes to fundraising. Corporations — or “corporate foundations” —include small business and large multinational organizations. Alongside grantmaking, they can subsidize or sponsor events, support you with pro bono work, and match gifts or donations made by their employees to your project.

The difficulty with fundraising via corporate foundations is that their incentives are rarely aligned with producing the maximum social impact. 

Corporate foundations play a significant role in their associated corporation’s PR strategies. This means that the causes and charities they fund disproportionately benefit from having the public’s attention (and sympathies!) Therefore we don’t generally advise seeking seed funding from a corporation for a new high-impact project.


Foundations exist in various shapes and sizes but are commonly categorized into: public, community, family, and private. Foundations are usually supported by the public but may (also) be supported by family endowments or individual wealthy donors. 

We believe that most readers working on high-impact projects should prioritize fundraising through public foundations. Our recommended public grantmaking foundations include:

  • EA Funds
  • Lightspeed Grants
  • Survival & Flourishing Projects
  • Survival & Flourishing Fund
  • Charity Entrepreneurship
  • Meta Charity Funders
  • Manifund
  • Center on Long-Term Risk
  • Emergent Ventures
  • GiveWell


We haven’t included grantmakers that:



EA Funds

EA Funds is one of best-known funders of projects in the effective altruism space (EA). It runs four grantmaking funds:


The Global Health and Development Fund isn’t currently accepting applications for funding. So, if you’re fundraising for a project in this area, consider applying to another funder, like Charity Entrepreneurship or GiveWell (both discussed further below).


Overview EA Funds aims to fund “outstanding projects focused on social impact”. This includes individuals, organizations, and other entities like academic institutions.
Focus areas
  • Global health & development
  • Animal welfare
  • Long-term future
  • EA infrastructure
Illustrative grants This depends on which grantmaking fund awards the grant:

  • Global Health & Development Fund: $1.2M to support research into the effects of lead exposure and engage with global policymakers
  • Animal Welfare Fund: $49,000 to support a ban on caging hens
  • Long-Term Future Fund: $200,000 to run existential risk forecasting tournaments
  • EA Infrastructure Fund: $40,000 to run an EA Introduction Program weekend camp for high-potential Mexican students


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount Typically $5,000–$100,000, but can be as low as $1,000 or higher than $300,000.
Application process The application form takes ~1-2 hours, and the evaluators may be in touch to request further information about your project. Successful applications are typically funded within 21 days. 




Lightspeed Grants

Lightspeed Grants is run by Lightcone Infrastructure. As its name suggests, it offers rapid funding to projects that have a chance of substantially changing humanity’s future trajectory for the better. This includes reducing the probability of existential catastrophe from AI, preventing the development or spread of biological pathogens, improving global decision-making, and uncovering crucial considerations that could shift our understanding of the future.


Overview Lightspeed Grants aims to support “projects that have a chance of substantially changing humanity’s future trajectory for the better.”
Focus areas Long-term future
Illustrative grants
  • $316,000 to SERI MATS to fund an 8-week scholars program to pair promising alignment researchers with mentors in the field
  • $82,000 for a 1-year salary to make videos and podcasts about AI safety & alignment
  • $524,000 to support the operations of FAR AI
Funding amount $5,000–$5M
Application process Submit the application form (1-2 hours) by 6 July. Grant decisions are communicated by 6 August. Urgent requests receive a response within 14 days from application.




Survival & Flourishing Projects

Not to be confused with its better-known cousin the Survival & Flourishing Fund (discussed below). The Survival & Flourishing Projects (SFP) awards small grants and service contracts for impactful projects that don’t yet have an institutional home. 

The key differences between the closely-related SFP and SFF are: 

  • SFP doesn’t make grants to 501(c)(3) public charities, while SFF does; and
  • SFP makes grants to individuals, whereas SFF doesn’t.


Overview SFP aims to “secure funding and fiscal sponsorship for projects that will benefit the long-term survival and flourishing of sentient life, including but not limited to humans.”
Focus areas Long-term future
Illustrative grants
  • $15,750 to research the taxability of grants to individuals and sharing those findings
  • $35,700 to research how knowledge of deep history could contribute to decision-making for longtermist outcomes
  • $141,564 to earn a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford University focussed on arms control


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount $5,000–$200,000
Application process Typically, the process is as follows:

  1. Submit application by 3 April
  2. Top applicants are offered funding and a project agreement, and given time to work with their current employers, if any, to negotiate a reduction in their time commitment or other agreements with their employer. 
  3. Each winner is added to SFP’s public list of funded project winners after they sign their project agreement.
  4. Shortlisted applicants are notified that they may be invited to Phase 2 if some top applicants do not reach an agreement within 4 weeks of their initial funded project offer.


See the SFP homepage for grant round announcements and application information, including the deadline. 




Survival & Flourishing Fund

The Survival & Flourishing Fund (SFF) facilitates grants to existing charities. It uses its “S-process” algorithm to evaluate grant requests, and then recommend those grants to its participating funders twice per year.


Overview SFF aims to “bring financial support to organizations working to improve humanity’s long-term prospects for survival and flourishing.”
Focus areas Long-term future
Illustrative grants
  • $110,000 to support the operations of the Center For Applied Rationality
  • $130,000 to support the operations of the Future of Life Institute
  • $37,000 to support the operations of the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount Typically $20,000–$500,000, but can be as low as $10,000 or higher than $1M.
Application process If there’s no open grant round, you can apply here. Grants can be made as quickly as one week after the grant request; however, there’s no fixed timeframe within which a decision will be made.

See the SFF homepage for grant round announcements and application information, including the deadline. 




Charity Entrepreneurship

Beyond simply receiving a grant, your project may benefit from a more involved approach: incubation. Incubation offers you a period of support and resources, like management training, office space, and funding. Incubators are typically excited about early-stage projects without a fleshed-out business model, and can be highly competitive. We’ve previously discussed the advantages and disadvantages of incubators here.

Charity Entrepreneurship (CE) is the leading incubator in the EA space. It can offer enormous value if you’re interested in launching a nonprofit in the global health & development or animal welfare spaces.


Overview CE’s Incubation Program aims to give “a small cohort of talented people from all over the world everything they need to launch a field-leading charity.”
Focus areas
  • Global health & development
  • Animal welfare
  • Family planning
Illustrative grants
  • $75,000 to Family Empowerment Media to prevent maternal deaths and health burdens due to unintended pregnancies
  • $50,000 to Fish Welfare Initiative to work with farmers, corporations, and governments to improve the welfare of fish
  • $60,000 to the Lead Exposure Elimination Projects to drive policies to eliminate lead poisoning worldwide


You can read more about the projects that CE has funded here.

Funding amount Typically ~$120,000, but up to $200,000.
Application process
  1. Written application (~30 mins)
  2. Test task 1 (~3 hours)
  3. Recorded interview (~30 mins)
  4. Test task 2 (~3 hours)
  5. In-depth interview (~60 mins)


The application process takes up to 10 hours in total. See CE’s application page for incubation round announcements.




Meta Charity Funders

Meta Charity Funders (MCF) is a growing network of donors, including high net-worth donors, focussed on meta charity. These donors operate a number of “funding circles”: collaborations targeting specific cause areas, like mental health, antimicrobial resistance, or farmed animal welfare. A grant application doesn’t need to be tied to a specific funding circle, though.


Overview MCF aims to “support infrastructure that impacts the charity world.”
Focus areas EA infrastructure
Illustrative grants
  • $200,000 to Giving What We Can to grow the effective giving community while diversifying its revenues sources
  • $36,580 to Future Forward to seek EA-aligned promising talent in India
  • $140,000 to Ge Effektivt to support fundraising for effective charities while dealing with a funding gap


You can read more about the projects that MCF has funded here.

Funding amount Typically $10,000–$500,000.
Application process There are two grantmaking rounds per year — one in the fall and one in the spring. The next round is expected to open in March 2024. But you can apply via the short application form at any time, and time-sensitive applications may be considered on an ongoing basis.





Manifund designs and organizes programs that fund impactful projects. It runs a regranting program which places individual regrantors in charge of allocating donor funds. Regrantors are listed publicly, alongside their areas of expertise and their volume of regranting.


Overview Manifund aims to “leverage the knowledge and networks of domain experts” to rapidly fund impactful projects.
Focus areas
  • Global health & development
  • Animal welfare
  • Long-term future
  • Science & technology
  • EA infrastructure
Illustrative grants
  • $12,000 to support research into AI consciousness and moral patienthood
  • $33,000 to support research into avoiding incentives for performative prediction in AI
  • $367,000 to support the operations of Riesgos Catastroficos Globales, a global catastrophic risk think tank in Argentina.


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount Typically $5,000–$100,000, but can be higher than $1M.
Application process You can submit a publicly-viewable project proposal directly on manifund.org once you’ve created an account.




Center on Long-Term Risk

The Center on Long-Term Risk (CLR) primarily offers research grants, so its offering will be most valuable to those interested in launching or continuing research projects. Receipts can be charitable organizations, academic institutions, or individuals — the central criterion for funding is the ability to do high-quality work relevant to suffering risks (“S-risks”).


Overview CLR aims to “build a global community of researchers and professionals working to do the most good in terms of reducing suffering.”
Focus areas Long-term future
Illustrative grants
  • $47,409 to help mainstream research on wild animal suffering, through publications and targeted outreach
  • £9,060 to cover a three-month research project on simplicity bias in neural nets
  • $251,060 to support research into empirical game-theoretic analysis in fundamental technical directions


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount Typically $5,000–$100,000.
Application process Submit the application form and you should hear back within 4 weeks. Applications are evaluated, and grants made, on a rolling basis.




Emergent Ventures

Emergent Ventures is an entrepreneur-focussed grantmaking program administered by Tyler Cowen. Tyler Cowen is a Mercatus Center faculty director who is well-known for his wide-ranging conversational podcast Conversations with Tyler (which includes amongst its guests Peter Singer, William MacAskill, and Philip Tetlock).


Overview Emergent Ventures aims to “supports entrepreneurs and brilliant minds with highly scalable, “zero to one” ideas for meaningfully improving society.”
Focus areas STEM
Illustrative grants
  • Developing biomarkers for ageing
  • Enabling scientists to manage data and research pipelines, using best practices from software engineering
  • Combating misinformation on social media


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount Typically $10,000–$500,000.
Application process Submit the application form, including a proposal no longer than 1,500 words.





GiveWell is a meta-charity, which means it analyses the effectiveness of other charities and publishes its results. It aims to identify the “top charities” within the global health & development cause area. For each opportunity, GiveWell:

  1. gathers independent evidence e.g. by looking at e.g. randomized controlled trials;
  2. models and refines cost-effectiveness;
  3. conducts interviews and site visits;
  4. reviews budgets;
  5. asks for program data; and
  6. follows up on progress.


GiveWell is renowned for its deep quantitative and qualitative analysis, and receiving funding from GiveWell is therefore extremely competitive, and not particularly well-suited for seed funding.


Overview GiveWell aims to fund a small number of evidence-backed projects that save or improve lives in the developing world.
Focus areas Global health & development
Illustrative grants
  • $1.3M to support planting trees for timber to raise incomes among poor households in Rwanda
  • $5.2M to provide schoolchildren with deworming treatment to kill illness-causing parasitic worms
  • $30M to provide cash incentives to caregivers to vaccinate their children in Nigeria


You can find all historic grants here.

Funding amount Typically $100,000–$1M, but can be as low as $10,000 or higher than $50M.
Application process
  1. Submit application form
  2. Initial investigation
  3. Leadership approval on plan for deeper investigation
  4. Deeper investigation
  5. Conditional approval
  6. Grant made


Here’s an in-depth overview of the process for grantees.


Getting support

Fundraising isn’t merely a question of identifying suitable funders. You may also need to write a compelling grant application and/or establish a fundraising strategy to keep your project sustainable in the long-term.

In terms of your longer-term fundraising strategy, consider a case for support (CFS). A CFS is a document used primarily for fundraising which tells the project’s story, and is used to engage both new and existing donors. It’s the bedrock of a fundraising strategy and would be one of the first things a fundraising consultant would suggest to begin or improve your fundraising strategy.

Once you’ve received funding, be sure to manage your finances appropriately. If you’re considering outsourcing any financial functions — like budgets, bookkeeping, or payments — here are some things to look out for in a provider.

Read more