Frequently Asked Questions

GFEMS does not currently have open funding opportunities for project delivery, but this FAQ aims to help prospective future applicants understand GFEMS’ approach to grantmaking generally. Future funding opportunities for project delivery will be posted on our Current Funding page.


1. Before Applying

I’m thinking about applying for GFEMS funding. Where should I start?

To learn more about our objectives and process, please review the GFEMS Funding Principles, Current Funding, and the following FAQs.

Is it possible to speak to someone at GFEMS about my program idea before applying?

In order to ensure an open and competitive process, GFEMS is unable to consult with applicants about ideas prior to Concept Note submission. Please review the Funding Principles, Current Funding, and the following FAQs to ensure your proposal is in alignment with GFEMS’ base criteria. 

Please also see these additional Q&As, where we aggregated and responded to questions related to our inaugural funding round.

How does GFEMS define modern slavery?

GFEMS defines modern slavery as the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and consistent with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Palermo Protocol), individuals may be trafficking victims regardless of whether they once consented, participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked, were transported into the exploitative situation, or were simply born into a state of servitude. Despite a term that seems to connote movement, at the heart of the phenomenon of trafficking in persons are the many forms of enslavement, not the activities involved in international transportation. Notably, elements of trafficking can include, but do not require, movement. GFEMS often uses the terms “modern slavery,” “human trafficking,” and “forced labor” interchangeably.


2. Eligibility Requirements

What types of organizations are allowed to apply for funding? Are there other requirements organizations must meet?

GFEMS will only fund:

  • Registered non-profit organizations, multilateral organizations, academic institutions, and for-profit organizations with the caveat that for-profit organizations are not permitted to generate profit from grant-funded activities.

  • Organizations that are able to demonstrate financial due diligence (e.g., prior experience managing official development assistance funding from a government or multilateral organization, a minimum of 2 years of audited financials, etc.)

  • Proposals that align with GFEMS’ Theory of Change, including focus on prevalence measurement and reduction (please review the GFEMS Funding Principles for more information)

My organization is based in the US. Are we still able to apply for funding?

Yes, US-based organizations are eligible to apply for funding as long as the project will be conducted in a relevant overseas location, and the organization is already legally authorized to operate there.

My organization is not based in the US. Are we still able to apply for funding?

Yes, non-US organizations are eligible to apply for funding as long as they are already legally authorized to work in a relevant overseas location.

Does my project have to be in a certain country or industry?

GFEMS has posted Current Funding opportunities that specify the country and/or industry we are investing in. At this time, GFEMS is unable to fund projects that are not included in the Current Funding page.

Can my organization develop a joint concept note in partnership with another organization?

Yes, organizations can apply in partnership, provided they identify a prime applicant that meets the eligibility criteria above. Note also that GFEMS may suggest collaborations following the Concept Note solicitation phase.


3. Application Process

How does the application process work?

GFEMS utilizes a multi-stage approach to applying for funding, which begins with a solicitation for brief Concept Notes. This allows for a competitive process that emphasizes quality of idea over ability to produce a full proposal in a limited amount of time. Additionally, it creates less burden on applicants at the early stages. Applicants that advance to later stages will require more information and time.

Does my submission have to be in English?


What regulations should applicants be aware of?

GFEMS’ funding originates from a range of public and private sources. US funding will be administered according to applicable laws and regulations found here. Applicants must be able to meet these requirements.

What are the different steps in the application process?           

  • Step 1: Applicants review Funding Principles, Current Funding, and FAQ in detail.

  • Step 2: Applicants download and complete the Concept Note template for your proposed project.

  • Step 3: GFEMS evaluates Concept Notes and invites successful applicants to submit full proposals in response to GFEMS’ guidance and feedback.

  • Step 4: GFEMS works collaboratively with applicants to support proposal development and ensure adherence to due diligence requirements.

  • Step 5: Invited applicants submit full proposals.

  • Step 6: GFEMS evaluates full proposals and requests feedback from external experts.

  • Step 7: Board reviews full proposals, feedback, and due diligence requirements to make final funding decisions.


4. Evaluation Criteria

How will GFEMS evaluate my proposal?

GFEMS will evaluate proposals based on its Evaluation Criteria, which details criteria within the categories of impact at scale, sustainability, strategic approach, and execution.