Guidelines for Proposals

The U.S. Russia Foundation welcomes project proposals from organizations both in the United States and abroad that seek to advance our mission within the designated four areas of funding priority.

In addition to these designated areas of funding priority, USRF has established targeted requests-for-proposals (RFPs) in the areas of Russian and American Studies (formerly Expertise and Knowledge), Civil Society and Rule of Law and Governance. See below for details.

USRF is non-partisan. It does not engage in or fund partisan political activity, partisan training, or training focused on electoral activities.

The Foundation encourages all prospective grantees to engage with USRF staff throughout the proposal submission process for additional guidance and discussion on their application(s).

Proposals are selected on a competitive basis. The final decision is made by the USRF Board of Directors. Approved proposals will be executed via a grant agreement signed between USRF and the applicant.

Proposals will be considered three times each year, for decision in October, February, and June.

  • October proposals are due on August 15th.
  • February proposals are due on December 1st.
  • June proposals are due on April 15th.

USRF welcomes proposals from organizations both in the United States and abroad.

The applicant should have at least a two-year financial history confirmed by reports to tax authorities that have jurisdiction over the applicant, and an established track record in successful project management and implementation.

USRF has established four areas of funding priority:

  1.  Rule of Law and Governance
    Focus on outreach, education, and training in law, information, media, and activities that build the capacity of Russian citizens to develop and sustain laws, institutions, and practices that enable good governance at the local, regional, and national levels.
  2. Economic Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Development
    Focus on outreach, education, and training in legal, regulatory, economic, and business practices that build the capacity of Russian citizens for private entrepreneurship.
  3.  Civil Society
    Focus on outreach, education, and training in the capacity of citizen groups in Russia to work within their communities to advance projects that develop and advance solutions which improve the well-being of Russian citizens.
  4. Russian and American Studies (formerly Expertise and Knowledge)
    Invest in U.S. expertise and understanding of Russia, and in Russian expertise and understanding of the United States.

Potential grantees are encouraged to develop proposals that integrate elements across the four areas, with USRF prioritizing integrative proposals that work in multiple funding areas.

USRF will also prioritize proposals that:

  • Identify clear and plausible methods likely to be effective
  • Generate sustainable expertise and relationships that are not dependent exclusively on single-source funding
  • Build capacity in measurable ways, within Russia and the U.S., and in connections between them

Project activities should have practical and applicable results that can be disseminated and replicated.

Preference will be given to the projects with efficient budgets that achieve best value at the lowest cost.

Project budgets should be detailed and self-explanatory, and supported by a detailed budget narrative. Applicants are required to use the standard budget lines provided in “How to Apply.” Please see the sample forms below for further details:

Sample Budget

Sample Budget Narrative

To get started, please read our Application Instructions and Best Practices Guide. Please also consult our “sample” forms:

Sample Budget

Sample Budget Narrative

Proposals must be submitted using the following forms:

    1. Project narrative
    2. Budget narrative
    3. Proposed budget

To submit an application, please send the above documents via e-mail to

At a later stage, applicants may also be asked to provide additional materials such as letters of support from stakeholders, materials illustrating previous successes, and additional details on proposed activities and budget items.