Call for Applications: Ensuring Educational Equity during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tinker Foundation
Last date: 
Friday, July 31, 2020

Detailed Description

The Tinker Foundation has launched a special funding initiative that will provide short-term grants to civil society organizations in Latin America that are working to address the specific educational needs generated by the pandemic.

This initiative temporarily replaces Education program strategy for the July-December 2020 grantmaking cycle. These grants are intended to support efforts to address the most significant near-term effects of the pandemic on education.

The Foundation hopes to partner with grantees to generate approaches and evidence that could be relevant to future educational disruptions and contribute to broader efforts in the region related to educational access and equity. They will prioritize projects that seek active engagement and participation of the most vulnerable students and communities, and to the extent possible, complement priorities and initiatives of the public education system.

Eligible Projects

  • Given the diversity of contexts and responses to the pandemic in Latin America, the Tinker Foundation welcomes a range of projects that meet local, national, and regional needs in primary and secondary education systems. Projects may address access to education during school closures, planning for responsible reopening, and / or activities related to the resumption of in-person teaching and learning.
  • Funds may be used to pilot new approaches, replicate and scale proven models, continue ongoing projects, and / or generate evidence to inform policy decisions. Approaches may include, but are not limited to, direct outreach to students, training of teachers, and decision-making support to government officials and school administrators.

Illustrative project interventions could include:

  • Communication strategies that engage students and parents in learning at home
  • Radio, television, and web-based learning modules and approaches. Please note that although we generally exclude use of funds for production costs of film, television, and radio projects, exceptions will be made for production of educational content.
  • Teacher training on technology, curriculum adaptation, and student engagement
  • Intensive tutoring programs (virtual and in-person) that address learning loss
  • Support to administrators and teachers on school reopening approaches to maximize student retention
  • Hybrid curriculum and student engagement strategies for gradual, phased reopening of schools and to mitigate potential future school closures

Projects that focus exclusively on humanitarian needs in educational contexts (such as food baskets, personal protective equipment, etc.) will not be considered for funding. In addition, funds may not be used for the following:

  • Funding to individuals, including individual research
  • Direct or grassroots lobbying
  • Annual or other fundraising appeals
  • School tuition, student scholarships, or sponsorships
  • Support for building construction or major equipment purchases

Funding Information

  • The Tinker Foundation will allocate up to $500,000 in uncommitted funds for this initiative.
  • Grants will be for projects of up to 12 months duration.
  • Project budgets should fall within the range of $10,000 to $75,000 depending on the scope and scale of activity.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a registered charitable organization that operates in Latin America.
  • Organizations may apply through a U.S. legal entity 501(c)(3), if applicable. The Foundation generally prioritizes funding to organizations founded and based in Latin America.
  • Demonstrated recent experience working in education sector in the country or countries where the proposed project will take place.
  • Although they will prioritize organizations and projects in Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador), consistent with the historical geographic focus of Tinker’s education program, organizations and projects throughout Latin America are eligible.
  • Whenever possible, the Foundation will prioritize grants to organizations that demonstrate understanding of and address the needs and opportunities of students, teachers, and communities most affected by the disruption to education during the pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, students living in rural and / or marginalized contexts, students from families that are low-income, migrants, and ethnic and social groups that have faced barriers to equitable education.


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