Grant making

We receive over 3,000 proposals a year and we are only able to award about 200 grants annually. All applications are assessed on their own merits and we use the same selection criteria for every applicant, which is as follows:

  • Closeness of fit with OSISA’s programme and priorities;
  • Significance of the need to be addressed;
  • Potential to achieve significant and enduring results;
  • Capacity of the applicant to accomplish its goals and objectives;  and
  • Appropriateness of the budget.

What we do not support

  • Initiatives with footprints outside the ten OSISA operating countries
  • Relief programs
  • Retrospective requests
  • Capital equipment, unless in exceptional cases
  • Promotion of a particular religious or spiritual philosophy
  • Arts and Culture
  • Political organisations
The time required to review a proposal varies according to the complexity of the proposal itself, the problem being addressed, and the number of proposals being reviewed. Generally, it can take at least six months from the time a letter of inquiry is received to the actual award of a grant, although OSISA strives to be as expeditious as possible in its review of inquiries and proposals. Please keep this in mind when planning.

Given the terrain in which we work, we can sometimes provide funding in a much shorter period, but we address matters on a case–by-case basis.  The OSISA Board meets quarterly, at which time they consider the funding recommendations of the staff.  There is no guarantee that an application sent in now will fall within the cap by the time it reaches the Reviewing Committee.

During the review, representatives of the Foundation will research the proposal through telephone enquiries, site visits, and meetings with agency of staff, board members, volunteers, and clients as necessary. On occasion, outside experts may be asked to help review a particular proposal. Foundation staff prepares written proposal summaries and recommendation to the OSISA Board.

Check out our common grant types  to find the one that matches with your request.  Each grant type contains detailed information about what you need to provide and an application form which you can either print or apply online.
When to apply 
You can apply at any time, and as often as you like for grants amounting to $50,000. However, we have open calls and closing dates for grants over $50,000. Please note that the call for proposal targets four deadlines for submission. Proposals received after the closing date will not be considered.


  • 1 Hood Avenue/148 Jan Smuts; Rosebank, GP 2196; South Africa
  • T. +27 (0)11 587 5000
  • F. +27 (0)11 587 5099