Applying for Grants
- Q1. Who can apply? Can individuals apply?
- Q2. In what fields do you provide support?
- Q3. What activities are not eligible for support?
- Q4. Over what period are grants provided?
- Q5. When does the fiscal year begin and end?
- Q6. What is the upper limit for grants?
- Q7. Is it possible for a single organization to simultaneously apply for several grants?
- Q8. Can several organizations apply together for one grant?
- Q9. Is it possible to receive funding for a project from SPF while receiving funding for the same project from another organization?
- Q10. Can applications be submitted in languages other than English or Japanese?
- Q11. What points should I be careful about when preparing a project proposal?
- Q12. What points should I be careful about when preparing the project budget document? What kind of costs are covered by SPF grants?
- Q13. Can grants be used to cover personnel and overhead costs?
- Q14. Can project proposals be sent as an email attachment?
- Q15. When will a decision be made about my proposal, and from what date will the grant be available?
- Q16. What is the application deadline?
- Q17. How are the grants paid?
1: Who can apply? Can individuals apply?
Organizations eligible for a grant from SPF include incorporated foundations and corporations, NPO corporations, universities and other incorporated educational institutions, and private organizations conducting non-profit activities, established on the basis of the Act on Promotion of Specified Non-profit Activities. Commercial enterprises and individuals are not eligible to apply. There are no restrictions due to nationality.
2: In what fields do you provide support?
Please refer to the section of our website dealing with SPF Program Policy.
3: What activities are not eligible for support?
The following activities are not eligible for support.
- Acquisition of personal property or real estate, construction of buildings (purchase of land or buildings, construction of schools or other facilities, etc.)
- Assistance for operating expenses of an organization (rent of an office building, etc.)
- Purely theoretical academic research (research conducted by an individual, etc.)
- Aid activities following natural or other disasters (emergency relief for typhoons, earthquakes, etc.)
- Events with corporate links (film festivals and other such events)
- Specific individual applications (individuals, not organizations like travel expenses to attend meetings or seminars overseas, lodging expenses, etc.)
- Applications for scholarships
- Creation of funds
- Purchase of equipment and other such goods (computers, photocopiers, etc.)
- Cultural or artistic activities (exhibitions, dance performances, etc.)
4: Over what period are grants provided?
One to three years. However, for projects lasting two years or more, the grant contract is renewed every year.
5: When does the fiscal year begin and end?
It begins on April 1, and ends on March 31 of the following year.
6: What is the upper limit for grants?
There is no upper limit as such. However, for the majority of projects we have supported in the past, the yearly budget per project has been between US$ 20,000 and US$100,000.
7: Is it possible for a single organization to simultaneously apply for several grants?
Yes. However, SPF has a policy of trying to provide support to as many organizations as possible. Hence, in recent years, we have seldom provided simultaneous support for several projects conducted by one organization.
8: Can several organizations apply together for one grant?
This is not possible. While it is possible for several organizations to collaborate on a single project, applications must be made after first designating one specific organization or representative.
9: Is it possible to receive funding for a project from SPF while receiving funding for the same project from another organization?
Yes. However, in cases where an organization receives funding from another source in addition to SPF, details of this funding (the name of the funding organization, the amount of the funding, etc.) and the proportion which funding from SPF will represent of the entire funding received by the organization must be made clear to SPF.
10: Can applications be submitted in languages other than English or Japanese?
No, that is not possible. Applications must be written in either Japanese or English.
Grant application forms can be downloaded here.
11: What points should I be careful about when preparing a project proposal?
We recommend that you state the project objectives, activity details, expected results and other important aspects of your project concisely, and clearly explain what makes your project stand out. As SPF routinely receives and reviews a large number of proposals, it is important that you show specifically why your proposed project should be given precedence over others.
12: What points should I be careful about when preparing the project budget document? What kind of costs are covered by SPF grants?
Please include costs necessary for implementing your project. Please note that purchase of land or buildings, or computers or other equipment, is not covered by SPF grants. Costs that are usually detailed in the proposed budget include: costs for travel, meetings, contracted service, honorarium, communication and transport, printing and reproduction, data collection, office supplies, miscellaneous expenses, etc.
13: Can grants be used to cover personnel and overhead costs?
Yes. However, personnel costs included in the budget must be only those required for conducting the project. Overhead costs for the implementation of the proposed project are covered; however, these costs must not exceed 20% of the total cost for implementation of the project (excluding personnel costs).
14: Can project proposals be sent as an email attachment?
All proposals must be sent by post. An express courier service may be used. Proposals sent by FAX or email cannot be processed.
15: When will a decision be made about my proposal, and from what date will the grant be available?
In principle, grants are decided at a Board of Trustees meeting in March each year. The project period for approved grants begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 the following year. Expenditures are eligible to be covered by the grant if they occur on or after the project start date, indicated in the Grant Agreement signed by the project proponent and SPF.
16: What is the application deadline?
As projects eligible for SPF grants begin on April 1, in principle, the deadline for applications (to arrive at SPF) is the last day of October the previous year. However, applications may be submitted at any time.
17: How are the grants paid?
After the Grant Agreement has been signed , grants will in most cases be paid in 2-3 installments into a specified bank account. In cases where the grant is paid in two installments, the first payment will be made within one month of signing the agreement. The final payment will be made after the balance is determined at the end of the fiscal year. In cases where the grant is paid in three installments, the second installment will be paid after SPF receives the interim report (including the financial report). In cases where the balance indicates that SPF has sent more funds than were actually spent for the project, the difference is to be refunded to SPF.