Freedom in Practice

How to Apply instructions

If you are a not-for-profit organization promoting freedom in practice, we want to hear from you. We receive LOIs year-round without specific deadlines. Once you have submitted your LOI, you will receive further information regarding the timing and next steps. If you are uncertain about the eligibility of your proposal, please review our funding guidelines closely before submitting an LOI.

If your project meets our funding criteria, we will contact you and extend an invitation to submit a full proposal for further consideration. Our board meetings take place in May, August, and December. The evaluation period is between 3 and 6 months. If you require further support, please email us at

Letter of Intent (LOI)​

As potential breakthrough ideas can occur every day, we accept LOIs from highly qualified and dedicated institutions all year round. LOIs are submitted online via our grant management system, SmartSimple and are assessed by internal staff and our Advisory Board for overall fit with our funding guidelines.

Only applicants with LOIs deemed most meritorious, falling within our Focus Areas, and aligned with our Freedom Philosophy will be invited to submit full applications.

Full Grant Application

Full grant applications are accepted by invitation only. Only the most promising applications with the highest potential for sustainable, transformative impact will be invited to submit a full grant application online via SmartSimple. The full grant application is a lean process, which simply builds on the LOI with additional questions. It should include a concise project plan, milestones, and a detailed budget so that peer-reviewed evaluation by experts in the field is possible. Specific instructions will be provided to selected applicants for the full grant application.

Grant Review Committee

Full grant applications are reviewed by a Grant Review Committee, a panel of external experts that carry out a comprehensive review.

Impact on Society

We look for projects that address an important problem and that empower individuals to achieve social and economic autonomy. Projects should have the potential to create an impact within 3 years or less and solutions should offer exponential, sustainable and, if possible, scalable impact. After the grant term is complete, Rising Tide Foundation requires periodic (1-5 years) survey responses to gauge the long-term impact of its investment.


The proposed approach, methodology, logistics, and technologies should be sound and chosen in such a way that successful completion of the project is cost effective and feasible. Aims, outputs, and outcomes should be measurable and likely to be achieved within the timeframe. Applicants should effectively anticipate difficulties and threats whilst considering alternative solutions.

Innovation & Originality

Proposals should explore concepts, challenge existing paradigms that are applied in a new way, and/or employ innovative methodologies to improve an outcome. They should not significantly overlap or duplicate projects that already exist. Potential duplications and/or overlaps should be explained.


Requested funds should be justified and reasonable. We don’t normally fund overhead costs. Requests for travel costs should be clearly defined, planned, and justified. Reasonable travel costs are allowable only if such costs are an integral part of the project.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Apply

All LOIs must be submitted via our grant management system, SmartSimple.

Step 1

When on the SmartSimple homepage, click on the “Register” button which will allow you to create an account for your organization and yourself. If your organization already exists in the system, you will be able to select it from a dropdown menu.

Step 2

Once you have registered, please select the “Submit Funding Request” tab in your user dashboard. Here you will be able to select our “Freedom in Practice” grant funding opportunity.

Step 3

Click the “Apply Now” link which will automatically move you into the LOI form that you will need to complete online. If you would like to download the questions before completing it online, please click the “Save Draft” button and then the “LOI Summary” button and you will then be able to download the questions.

Step 4

Complete all fields in the application form within the SmartSimple system. Please be sure to click “Save Draft” regularly so that no information is lost as you complete the LOI. Please note that the LOI application has limits for the number of characters for each section. All grant notifications will be sent through the SmartSimple system after the LOI is submitted.

Grants Management System: SmartSimple

Our grant management system allows qualified non-profit organizations to submit LOIs and full proposals for our Freedom in Practice grant program. If a grant is awarded, the portal is used to manage the grant process and grant payments from start to finish. If you or your organization is new to the Rising Tide Foundation, please register before applying.

Grant Duration

Projects can last up to 5 years. Project activation is expected within 6 months after funding notification and direct beneficiary impact must be achieved within 3 years.

Long Term Funding

Creating financial dependencies and raising expectations for funding continuation is avoided. Applicants are challenged to plan out their projects from beginning to end. One-time funding is preferred. Second-time funding is considered under exceptional circumstances.

Funding Amount

Funding amount is assessed based on the project’s needs. We do not provide maximum or average award amounts as they tend to vary from project to project.

Geographic Focus

Preference is given to regions where the political infrastructure is robust enough to allow free market principles to expand and grow.

What We Don’t Fund

We are unable to support the following funding requests:

  • Unrestricted donations
  • Direct grants to individuals
  • Political campaigns or legislative lobbying efforts
  • Projects that exclusively serve religious purposes
  • Building projects or renovations, including construction materials and labor costs
  • Payment of debts, living costs, travel bursaries, or personal needs
  • Organizations that are not tax-exempt
  • Projects that do not fit our programmatic strategy
  • Organizations that do not share our set of values and principles

Click here to Download the Funding Guidelines PDF

When do you accept LOIs for approval?

We accept LOIs year-round. There are no hard dates for when LOIs must be submitted. Our Board of Directors meets three times per year at which those LOIs accepted for full proposals are considered for funding.

How long does it take for an LOI to move through the review and approval process?

The standard LOI, that is accepted for funding, takes on average between 3-6 months to process. In rare circumstances, grants are processed more quickly or more slowly than this.

Do you have a geographical preference in grants you fund?

No, we do not have a geographical focus. We recognize that good ideas that advance freedom and prosperity around the globe can occur at any time in any place and we are open to entertaining these proposals no matter where they come from.

What is the average dollar amount of grants that are funded? 

Our project funding amounts are assessed based on the project’s needs. We do not provide maximum or average award amounts as they tend to vary from project to project.

Do you fund multi-year projects?

Yes. We fund projects of varying lengths. Currently, we are funding projects as short as one year and as long as five years. That said, we do expect that projects begin to generate a tangible impact within three years of the project start.

What are the main impact indicators you look for in the projects you would like to fund?

We look specifically for indicators that measure to what extent the project has contributed to enhancing freedom. We are aware that this is a challenging task but believe in the innovative spirit of our grantees to find such measurements. Each project has to define its own measurements that are relevant for the impacts they are striving to achieve. Projects should have the potential to create an impact within 3 years or less and solutions should offer exponential, sustainable and, if possible, scalable impact. After the grant term is complete, we require periodic (1-5 years) survey responses to gauge the long-term impact of our investment.

Can sustainability be seen in other ways besides just revenue?

Yes, sustainability can be demonstrated in other ways besides revenue generation through the project. One way that this might be possible is demonstrating a strong ability to secure long-term funding for a project outside of the commitment from Rising Tide Foundation or simply develop methods that the impact of the project will be sustained in the long-term. We have also seen organizations develop sustainability through franchising models. We are sure there are additional ways of demonstrating sustainability that we have not seen nor thought of.

What is considered as an overhead cost?

We consider non-project-related, general organizational costs as overheads. We only fund overhead costs that are directly related to the project.

Does a current grant need to finish before an organization is able to apply for another, perhaps unrelated, grant?

It is not a requirement that current projects be fully complete before applying for a new grant. We are willing to entertain new grants from organizations that are currently receiving funding for a separate project. That said, we prefer that organizations wait to submit a new grant until the current grant is approaching its end.

Do you provide unrestricted funding for organizations?

We do not provide unrestricted funding to organizations and do not have plans to do so in the future. We believe strongly in project-based funding with well-defined output, outcome, and impact indicators.

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