Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund for Organizations 2018 (Up to $50,000 Grant)

Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund for Organizations 2018 (Up to $50,000 Grant)

Deadline: January 10, 2018

Does your initiative have a bright idea that could solve a key problem in education? Apply for the Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund. The Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund is aimed at supporting a small number of early-stage initiatives, with individual grants of up to US$50,000 available to help build the capacity of teachers and to strengthen the status of the teaching profession.

The Varkey Foundation (VF) empowers teachers and supports an enabling environment for innovative teaching, working holistically to equip the human ecosystem for education and supporting teachers to work to the best of their ability and to improve the teaching profession. Over the next five years the VF commits to catalysing a global, sustainable change in the way teachers are trained, treated and perceived.

The VF Challenge Fund provides grants to partner organisations that offer innovative solutions in support of our mission. The Challenge Fund seeks to support a small number of early-stage initiatives in their endeavours, with individual grants of up to $50,000 available to help build the capacity of teachers and to strengthen the status of the teaching profession. In the last two years the Challenge Fund has formed the basis of a dynamic and committed network of global partners and the VF is seeking to expand this community.

On the basis of their portfolio and areas of interest, The Varkey Foundation is particularly interested in receiving proposals which address the following:

  • The recruitment and retention of teachers
  • Influencing public policy and discourse about the teaching profession
  • School leadership and management
  • Support to teachers and school leaders in Fragile and Conflict States (FCAS) and emergency situations
  • Teacher-related challenges


A maximum of $50,000 is available per grant.


The Challenge Fund has no restrictions on the countries applications must be from in order to be eligible. As long as you are a registered not-for-profit entity your application is welcome.

To be eligible, an Applicant must:

  • Be a registered NGO / Charity & non-profit organisation;
  • Be at least eighteen (18) years old at time of entry;
  • teach or provide educational support to students between the ages – of 5 and 18;
  • not be prohibited from participating in the Application or receiving the Grant under applicable law;
  • not have a criminal record; and
  • not have conducted themselves (by act or omission) in such a way as to bring the teaching profession or VF, its affiliates, or their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, and subsidiaries (“VF Parties”) into disrepute (as – may be determined at the sole discretion of VF).
  • Previous applicants and winners are eligible to apply.

Please note that the VF will not fund:

  • Applicants who do not demonstrate clearly how the proposed innovation will contribute to raising the status and capacity of the teaching profession.
  • Applicants seeking funding to cover costs as part of an existing programme. While the VF will consider funding to introduce innovations in existing programmes if there is a clear rationale (for instance, responding to contextual changes or an identified programme gap), the Challenge Fund is not designed fill funding gaps or provide “top up” financing.
  • Applicants who do not adequately define the proposed project’s geography, duration, and phasing. This does not have to be in the form of a detailed Workplan, however.

Selection Criteria. The judges will evaluate Applications based on the following criteria:

  • Context of organisation: including geographic interest, level of funding, and strategic focus;
  • Project rationale: including problem identification, clarity of proposed pathway to change;
  • Project quality: including proposed partners, demonstrable understanding of the innovation being proposed, clearly thought-out challenges; and
  • Project sustainability and potential for scale-up: including financial sustainability, use and communication of pilot results, quality of evidence gathered during pilot.


Read more about the Challenge Fund here.

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund.