Overall, Cisco will not consider incomplete proposals or programs that do not meet our grant-making criteria. Following are the basic eligibility requirements and policies for Cisco Global Impact Cash Grants:
1. U.S. organizations must provide evidence that the IRS has recognized them as tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3), AND has classified them as a public charity.
2. Organizations from outside the U.S. must (a) provide information and documents to determine whether the organization is the equivalent of a U.S. public charity, or (b) agree to sign and comply with an expenditure responsibility contract. Cisco will determine whether (a) or (b) is appropriate for a particular organization.
Note that for first-time global grant applicants, the maximum request amount Cisco will consider is US$75,000.
As a rule, Cisco does not fund organizations or programs whose overhead expenses exceed 25%. Organizations or programs whose overhead costs exceed our stated limit 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.
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.
Cisco Systems and the Cisco Foundation do not promote or discriminate against any person, population group, or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable United States law, as well as other categories identified by Cisco in alignment with our own Human Resources policies. These include, but are not limited to race, color, religion, sex, gender expression, physical appearance, language, education background, national origin, age, disability, and veteran status.
Cisco Systems and the Cisco Foundation seek to support public benefit organizations that are substantially in alignment with our non-discrimination policy. Organizations that are found to discriminate in their provision of services and/or their hiring practices based on any of these or other criteria may be deemed ineligible for funding support and/or required to return any grant awards, and may be rendered ineligible for future support.
Cisco is committed to providing an open, diverse, and nondenominational working environment. Cisco will not support any program which requires exposure, adherence to, or conversion to any religious doctrine in order to be a beneficiary of the program. To clarify, a direct service program run by a faith-based organization may be eligible, provided that the program's beneficiaries are not encouraged or required to learn about, adhere to, or convert to that organization's religious doctrine as a condition of receiving service from the program.
It is Cisco's mission to fund nonpartisan service organizations that adhere rigorously to fundamental human rights principles. Cisco does not knowingly support grantee organizations that endorse, support, or promote violence, terrorist activity, or related training, whether through their own activities or indirectly through their support of, support by, or cooperation with, other persons and organizations engaged in such activities. Cisco requires our grantees to confirm that they do not engage in or support such activities, and we vet potential grantees with care. If a grantee appears to be in violation of this policy, Cisco will suspend funding immediately and require the grantee to freeze grant funds until Cisco has investigated the matter. If the investigation discloses violations of this policy, Cisco will require the grantee to return all grant funds; Cisco will classify the grantee as ineligible for future funding; and Cisco will take such other steps as the law may require.
Cisco's policy with respect to providing grant support to organizations that engage in advocacy and/or lobbying is subject to our diversity policy. This policy states that Cisco does not promote or discriminate against any person, population group, or organization with regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other categories protected by applicable United States law. In accordance with this policy, Cisco will not provide grant support to any organization that advocates or lobbies against any such protected category.
Furthermore, in order to avoid actual or apparent preferences for any protected or non-protected category over another, Cisco may reject grant support to any organization that lobbies or advocates for or against any single person, population group, organization, or cause/issue (e.g., political position, policy, law/legislation, etc.).
In addition, grantees that are classified as charitable organizations under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code must certify to Cisco that they comply with applicable law regarding limits on their lobbying activity and that they do not engage in prohibited electioneering activity. Finally, Cisco does not permit its grant funds to be applied to any individual program of a grantee that involves any type of lobbying or other political activity.
Note: "Lobbying" is defined in Section 4945(e) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code to mean attempts to influence legislation through grassroots lobbying of the public or direct lobbying of government officials. Certain exceptions exist (e.g., for nonpartisan analysis or invited testimony). "Legislation" includes all matters that may be voted upon by the U.S. Senate or House of Representations, a state legislature, a local city or county council, an Indian tribal body, or a legislative body in a foreign nation, including votes taken by a committee of such body. Such matters may include votes to approve executive or judicial appointments of public officials as well as new laws or repeal of existing laws. "Legislation" also includes laws voted upon by the people in an initiative, referendum or other vote taken within a national, state, or local area.
"Political" refers to any payment made or action taken, directly or indirectly, to influence the outcome of any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office, including oral or written statements. Such activity is prohibited for tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Cisco requires applicants to certify that the chairperson or at least one officer of the organization's Board of Directors has reviewed the grant proposal and that the organization's board is aware of the application and supports its submission. Cisco also 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.
Grantee organizations are required to sign a written grant contract before payments can be made.
As noted in the grantmaking criteria section of our program overview, 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.
Please be sure you have reviewed the most recent criteria available on this website, and that you are using our online application form. We regret that we cannot accept legacy paper forms. Application guidelines and requirements are subject to change without notice, and become effective immediately upon posting to this web site. The interpretation and application of these policies is wholly within the discretion of Cisco and the Cisco Foundation. Furthermore, all grants are made at the discretion of Cisco and the Cisco Foundation. Qualification under the policies listed above does not entitle an organization to receive a grant. Cisco reserves the right to decline to make any grant requested.
We partner with nonprofit and non-governmental organizations around the world to build programs focused on critical human needs, access to education, and economic empowerment.
Cisco's Product Grant Program (PGP) makes technology grants that bring our best-in-class networking products and technology to qualifying nonprofit organizations.