In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its many far-reaching consequences on the communities and organizations we support, we are temporarily pausing the acceptance of new grant applications. Our aim is to be able to accept proposals for new work later in the year. Please check back or follow us on social media for future updates.

Thank you for your interest in the Rural India Supporting Trust.  Before deciding to submit a grant application, we encourage you to review the foundation’s priorities and focal areas. Please review RIST’s what we do section, news, social media pages and funding principles below to become familiar with us and the sectors we support.


RIST supports organizations and projects that aim to lessen the poverty gap by backing efforts to supply quality and affordable services in the healthcare, education, disability and environmental sectors in India.  We consider a wide variety of innovative programming for approval but specifically look for those which focus on healthcare service delivery, educational influence in health/nutrition and STEM, assisting people with disability to lead dignified lives, and those programs which reduce air and water pollution.

In all our work, we are committed to alleviating poverty. To this end, we pursue rights-based approaches and look highly upon programming that integrates gender equality and consideration for people with disabilities. We fund initiatives that match the following principles:

• are replicable either within a sector or across geographical locations within India;
• include plans for long-term sustainability, such as co-funding;
• strive to collaborate with like-minded organizations;
• demonstrate good financial and organizational management;
• value the participation of communities.

RIST does not provide grants to support

• Direct donations or grants to individuals
• Event fundraisers or sponsorships
• Lobbying of any kind
• Projects that exclusively serve religious purposes
• Projects that are not in associated with India
• Election campaigns
• For-profit entities


The foundation’s grantmaking is managed through Survey Monkey Apply, a secure, user-friendly, cloud-based system. Please click here to access it and see below for our guidelines and process

Assess Eligibility

An applicant must meet the following criteria:

• Be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code or have a fiscal sponsor that has 501(c)(3) status and provides written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor.

• A non-US organization wishing to apply for a grant from RIST without a 501(c)(3) ruling from the IRS should be prepared to demonstrate its capacity to receive RIST funds, either through determination by counsel that it is the equivalent of a US public charity or by other means of qualification.

• Engage in work that aligns with the Foundation’s funding interests and priorities. Please read our Grant Guidelines and previously awarded grants to understand our funding interests and priorities.

Concept Note

The Concept Note allows us to dig deeper into your organization and your specific project or program in need of funding. We use a variety of questions to explore and refine concepts—which helps us to understand your perspective and your commitment. This step ends with the decision to solicit a grant application. Concept Notes are accepted on a rolling basis.

In this step, we ask for some contact information, a brief description of your organization and the project design, confirmation of your tax-exempt status and the amount of money you are requesting.

Full Proposal

Organizations demonstrating a potential fit with our mission and areas of focus will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. The Grant Application is submitted after receipt and review of the Concept Note. Full Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. An invitation to submit a Full Proposal does not ensure that an organization will receive funds.

Grant Agreement

After the application review is complete, we will notify your organization of our decision via email. You can always check the status of your grant request by logging into your account on Survey Monkey Apply

After an application is selected for funding, we will notify you via email and provide an agreement which will be signed by all parties.  At this time, we will also plan for fund disbursements.


We want your initiative to bring lasting change to the people and communities you work with.  All PARTNERS are asked to measure their results and submit regular reports so we can jointly discuss what works and what challenges you have encountered.

Take a look at our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) documents to understand our approach.

MEL Steps, our MEL Plan Guidelines, and our MEL Principles


RIST requires timely and informative interim and final grant reporting. Grantees should consult the RIST's Grant Reporting Guidelines, to familiarize with RIST's Reporting Requirements. You can also download our templates using the links below:

1. Progress Reporting Template
2. MEL Reporting Template
3. Budget Reporting Template
4. Final Progress Report Template

These reports should be submitted together and on our online SurveyMonkey Apply portal (SMA), on or before the due dates specified in RIST’s award letter, or as modified in subsequent correspondence. Report due dates are also displayed in your SMA portal. The Foundation reserves the right to suspend grant activities and require the return of funds for delinquent or unsatisfactory reporting and will consider reporting history in the awarding of future grants.