The Romanian-American Foundation only funds those organizations that share common objectives and meet the eligibility criteria.

RAF uses two types of financial instruments:

  • Grants– non-repayable funds
  • Project-Related Investments(PRIs) – refundable loans (soft loans, bridge loans, guarantees etc.)


Grants allow partner organizations to implement projects that serve both our partner’s and RAF’s mission and objectives. We identify creative partners with a sound program management experience and a strong track record, able to propose feasible ideas.

Based on the identified needs and opportunities, we award grants for pilot projects (aimed at testing a specific type of intervention), consolidation grants (continued funding for projects that demonstrated success in the pilot phase), capacity building grants (to help consolidate the organizations we work with), emergency response grants (for situations that require a rapid intervention, outside the classical grant approval cycle), seed grants (initial capital for founding an organization) and communication grants that align with our common values.

For more information regarding our grants, please see the HOW WE WORK section.

Program Related Investments (PRIs)

PRIs are financial instrument drawing from their roots in the business sector, and are relatively new to philanthropy. RAF developed the PRI mechanism in order complement the existing grant mechanisms used by the organization to achieve its programmatic results. RAF also uses PRIs to expand its impact. The capital used in PRI is repaid, meaning that the invested funds are recycled into new charitable endeavors.

Some of our partner organizations’ initiatives may benefit from a PRI if they are in line with RAF’s strategy and mission and if the candidate organization proves that it is capable of reimbursing the loan.

This product is typically used to cover initial program investments in cost-reimbursable EU grants, or to allow for projects to carry on for the duration of a traditional fundraising period.

When using this financial instrument, organizations that are PRI recipients adapt their daily operations (such as cash flow management) and consolidate their financial management capacity.

Eligibility criteria

Borrowers are selected on an invitation only basis.  When selecting prospective clients for PRIs, RAF will target organizations that:

  • are Romanian registered non-governmental charitable organizations and/or their social enterprises active in the fields of education, entrepreneurship and community development and that can further RAF’s mission in their respective field of activity.  Individually owned business entities are not eligible to become borrowers.
  • demonstrate a satisfactory income source over the relevant period in order to satisfy the cash flow requirements (probable agreements for partnership include projects with the Romanian Government for EU structural funds or other governmental funds; foreign governmental organizations; private grant-making organizations either Romanian or international; signed commitments from the NGOs’ constituencies; income generated from an economic activity run by the respective NGO).
  • demonstrate the ability to use RAF’s capital productively and repay RAF.
  • do not use the funds directly or indirectly for lobbying or political purposes.
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