Legacy Fund Grants

Information for Applicants   |  Time Line  |  Grant Assessments  |  Submitting an Application  |  Accessing Your Saved Application Submitting an Application in a Language Other Than English  | Available Funding  |  Grant Restrictions  |  Spread the Word   |  The Genographic Blog   |  Additional Resources

Information for Applicants

For nine years, The Genographic Legacy Fund awarded grants on an annual basis for community-driven projects directly preserving or revitalizing indigenous or traditional culture.

Funded projects have included documenting a traditional language, oral history, or ceremony; creating culturally specific educational materials and programs; establishing a local museum or archive; intergenerational knowledge sharing; and preserving significant sites and artifacts.

To be eligible for funding, projects must be community-driven and deliver a positive, tangible, and timely benefit that is sustainable after GLF funds have been expended. Projects must also show a strong level of local community involvement in their planning, governance, and implementation. We strongly prefer the project manager be a member of the indigenous community. If the project manager is from outside the indigenous community, he or she must show that they have a strong and well-documented relationship with the indigenous group. Projects that are strictly for research purposes are typically not accepted.

Time Line

Please note that we were only offering one grant cycle in 2015. Those who applied for the April 15 grant cycle will be considered during the September 15, 2015 round. Stay tuned for updates regarding the 2016 grant cycle.

Genographic Legacy Fund grants are awarded on an annual basis. Submissions for review will close at midnight U.S. Eastern Time on September 15 each year for the duration of the Genographic Project or until otherwise modified. Awarded grantees will be contacted by the Genographic Project approximately three months after the application due date. We strongly encourage applicants to consider this 3 month review period when determining their proposal timeline.

Grant Assessment

The following criteria will be considered in selecting projects:

  • Does it deliver a positive, tangible impact?
  • Is there a documented relevance to an indigenous/traditional community?
  • Is the cost-to-impact ratio consistent with the spirit of the GLF?
  • Will there be a timely delivery of benefits?
  • Will we be able to accurately evaluate the impact of the project?
  • Are appropriate standards of governance in place (including that the majority of the people providing governance be members of an indigenous community)?
  • If required, is there an ethical evaluation and approval process in place?
  • Are the proposed benefits and impact sustainable after GLF funds have been expended?
  • What is the level of local community involvement in the implementation of the project?

Submitting an Application

To apply for the Genographic Legacy Fund, please fill out the online application. In the past, applications could be submitted via email or mail. We are now accepting grant submissions only via the online application. If you are unable to submit your application online, please email GenographicLegacy@ngs.org for assistance. You may also email us if you are having technical problems with your online application.

To access the Legacy Fund application, you must provide a valid email address and create a password to begin the application. The email address and password you provide will be used each time you access the application.

Applicants are required to submit a letter of community support, which can be uploaded at the end of the online application. The letter of community support is a signed document from the indigenous community stating that the community members support the proposed project and have agreed to be closely involved with the project’s implementation.

If you cannot upload your letter of community support, you may mail it to:

The National Geographic Society
Attn: The Genographic Project Legacy Fund
1145 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036  USA

If you have any questions or concerns about submitting your application, please email GenographicLegacy@ngs.org.

Accessing Your Saved Application 

Please click here to access your saved application.

Submitting an Application in a Language Other Than English 

To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, applications will be reviewed in English, the common language of the members of the GLFSC. Given the global reach of GLF, we understand that it may be difficult for some to submit an application in English. GLF will accept applications in other languages, assuming that GLF can with reasonable effort translate the language into English. Please note that translating applications requires additional review time and an application submitted in a language other than English may not be reviewed within the time line outlined above.

Available Funding

Awards will typically not exceed U.S. $25,000. The exact award amount will be determined by the availability of funds as well as the project’s potential impact and the community’s need (as demonstrated in the project narrative and detailed budget).

Grant Restrictions

GLF grants are not intended to be used for indirect costs, overhead, legal actions, and other expenses not directly related to the proposed project. Funds for salaries, travel, or conferences should be a small portion of the overall budget.

As a condition of the grant, grant recipients must sign a grant agreement detailing specific reporting obligations and other responsibilities that grant recipients will be required to fulfill.

Spread the Word

Word of mouth is an effective way to inform indigenous and traditional communities about the availability of funds for their own cultural initiatives.

If you or your organization has an established relationship with an indigenous or traditional community, enabling the preparation or submission of a community’s application can also be a tremendous step toward  preserving or revitalizing their culture.

The Genographic Blog

Check out The Genographic Blog for news about the project as well as scientific articles and publications.

Additional Resources

For complete details on the Genographic Legacy Fund, please read the downloadable charter document (PDF, Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Genographic Legacy Fund and the Genographic Project.

Grants previously awarded through the Genographic Legacy Fund:
(PDFs, Adobe Acrobat Reader required)

Send questions regarding the Genographic Legacy Fund or the application process to GenographicLegacy@ngs.org.