Corporate Social Responsibility

Eligibility Requirements for Digital Economy Initiative Grants

Organizational Requirements

  • Organizations within the United States must be recognized by the IRS as tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3), and classified by the IRS as a public charity.
  • An organization's overhead is not to exceed 25 percent. (Organizations are occasionally exempt from this requirement; however, they must be exceptionally aligned with Cisco's values and criteria, and they must clearly explain and justify their overhead costs. Exemptions to the requirement on overhead expenses are determined on a case-by-case basis.)
  • The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is US$100,000.

Ineligible Expenses

Proposals for funding with the following expenses will not be considered:

  • General operating expenses, other than directly associated with the program itself;
  • Membership-based activities;
  • Programs that promote or serve one culture, race, religion, population group, or political viewpoint -- rather than the community at large; religious, political, or sectarian organizations. (Note: A program run by a faith-based organization may be eligible. See Grant Giving Policies.)
  • Grant-making organizations (all other foundations including private foundations, family foundations, school foundations, etc.).

Policy on the Funding of Equipment

In general, Cisco does not fund the purchase of computer hardware or software, but may consider doing so only in cases where: 1) such resources are leveraged in a strategically innovative manner, thereby extending their impact well beyond everyday/staff use; AND 2) such resources are not available through other, more cost-effective means such as in-kind donation. Applicants must demonstrate that they have thoroughly explored such avenues without success.

Policy on Reviews of Accuracy/Compliance

Cisco requires applicants to certify the accuracy of the proposal and to confirm that the organization complies with the policies stated on this web site.

All applicants are subject to reviews of their representations in their grant applications, their compliance with the policies stated above, and, if applicable, their adherence to the terms of the grant contract. If such a review reveals significant inaccuracies or violations of the policies stated above, or if an organization does not cooperate with the review, the organization may be required to return any granted assets and forfeit future funding eligibility.

Written Grant Contract

Grantee organizations are required to sign a donation agreement electronically before donations can be delivered.

Reporting and Performance Tracking

Cisco looks for grant proposals in which concrete measures of success can be used to assess performance. Organizations that receive funding will be required to use our online grant platform to customize performance metrics for their project and measure their progress over the life of the grant award. Meaningful participation in this process is a requirement for continued funding eligibility.

Cisco Grant Giving Policies

In addition, organizations must adhere to Cisco policies related to non-discrimination, religious proselytizing, non-support of violence and terrorism, advocacy, lobbying, and other political activities and other areas listed in Grant Giving Policies.