Our work goes far beyond grant making. We act more like a venture fund seeking social investments in initiatives that have strong potential for replication and a broad impact.

We proactively search, support and further develop initiatives, through grants and program-related initiatives, matched with ongoing technical assistance.

We partner with leaders and innovators that have a long-term commitment and who share our passion and mission to affect change in the fields we consider strategic.

WORKING PRINCIPLES

SELECTION

Romanian-American Foundation funds programs by invitation only.

WHAT WE FUND

We know our resources are limited, compared with the needs and the potential of the Romanian society. We therefore invest in initiatives that are in line with RAF’s mission and that contribute to our three strategic priorities: Rural economy, technology and innovation, and civic engagement.

AREAS OF FOCUS

Within these three strategic priorities, we work on programs built around entrepreneurship, education, and community development.

PARTNERSHIPS

We will never replace functions of local or national government. We seek to form strong partnerships with local communities, public authorities or other organizations to increase the impact of RAF-supported projects.

LEADERSHIP

Our partners are established organizations, with a relevant track record, sound operations and policies and permanent staff. We evaluate leadership, as well as the value of the project itself.

RECIPROCITY

We work in partnership: our partners and grantees contribute own resources (not necessarily money) to the project.

REPLICABILITY

We seek to support projects with high potential for replication and visible impact.

HOW WE WORK

Download concept paper Download application template

We fund projects by invitation only. However, we are open to receiving project proposals in line with RAF’s strategies.

The development and review of a full application (including due diligence) may take three to four months. Grants are approved by the Board of Directors three times per year, in January, May and October.

RAF is a US-based non-profit entity. To ensure the appropriate use of our grant funds and compliance with the U.S. tax code and anti-terrorism laws, the foundation has extensive procedures for making and monitoring all grants.

RULES IN RELATION WITH PARTNERS

1
Concept
Paper Stage

All potential partner organizations and their programs are assessed by a program officer. Program officers discuss proposed work with prospective grantees and determine whether projects fit with RAF’s priorities and whether the organization has the capacity to undertake the project. Concept Papers will be evaluated and if deemed satisfactory potential partners will be invited to submit a full application

2
Development of Full Application

All organizations invited to submit applications will work closely with RAF staff on program development. Any prospective grantee undergoes a legal, programmatic and financial review.

3
Signed Grant Agreement

Organizations whose programs receive a final positive funding decision from the RAF Board will sign a Grant Agreement.

4
Monitoring and Evaluation

During the grant term, recipients are required to submit reports that are reviewed by RAF staff for compliance with the terms of the grant. As a general rule, the first installment is an advance payment but the next installments are transferred to the grantee only after approval of the intermediate reports.  A program officer will visit the grantee during the term of the grant (one or more site visits).

THE PROCESS

SEARCH
FOR PARTNERS

We identify partners and ideas by proactive solicitation. We carefully evaluate each of them, using a clear set of criteria. We are also open to receiving proposals at any moment.

WORK
TOGETHER

We work closely with each selected partner to develop a pilot for the idea. Our aim is to develop innovative ideas, with the potential to scale and leverage resources.

DESIGN
AND TEST

We test the idea for sustainability and impact.

SUPPORT

We build a supporting network and/or community to expand the support and resources available and to nurture the initiative.

SCALE
AND REPLICATE

We support scale up and replication, where feasible, through advocacy, connecting with new funders etc.

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