Blackstone Innovation Grants
Thank you for your interest in Blackstone Innovation Grants! The application deadline has now passed. If you applied and are waiting to hear about the status of your application, please note the updated timeline. Finalists will be notified by early January 2016 and grants will be awarded in February / March 2016. Many thanks for your patience.

To download the full RFP click here
Thank you for your interest in the Blackstone Innovation Grants. Please note, the 2016 Blackstone Innovation Grants RFP is now closed. Grantees will be notified in early 2016. To learn more about our programming and about future funding opportunities, please follow us on Twitter.
I. Introduction
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation and the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Initiative
Since 2008, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has committed over $30 million to foster entrepreneurship globally.
Through the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Initiative, The Foundation has identified, created, and replicated four distinct program models with the greatest potential to create high-growth businesses and ignite job growth in priority regions. Through these programmatic initiatives, the Foundation is creating a global network in which the participating organizations can share best practices, methodologies, and contacts, and are connected with Blackstone’s intellectual capital and resources.
The Foundation is accepting applications for the 2016 Blackstone Innovation Grants, an annual program that awards a series of targeted grants to non-profit organizations that support entrepreneurship. For the 2014-2015 grant cycle, 20 outstanding organizations were awarded $3M from a group of more than 500 non-profit applicants.
Now in the fourth year of the Blackstone Innovation Grants program, The Foundation is pleased to release our annual request for proposals (RFP) to evaluate and select eligible organizations and programs to spur entrepreneurship around the country and the world through two key funding tracks.

II. Overview
2015-2016 Blackstone Innovation Grants RFP
Start-ups play a critical role in our global economy as a major source of opportunity, economic growth, job creation and disruptive innovation. In order for these start-ups to thrive and develop the capacity to solve complex social challenges, they need strong start-up ecosystems to nurture their progress. And yet, many regions and industries still face hurdles as they strive to build ecosystems that support meaningful start-up creation and growth.
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation seeks to accelerate solution-oriented action around the systemic challenges facing entrepreneurial ecosystems by providing a platform at the regional, national and global level to highlight and advance leading models of inclusive, scalable innovation. The Blackstone Innovation Grants will be awarded to organizations that are tackling the big challenges facing entrepreneurship and that, through their work, are building an increasingly inclusive and prosperous society. The Foundation is looking for BIG, BOLD ideas - across sectors and in a variety of regions – that have the potential for creating lasting change at a major regional, national and/or global scale.
To be eligible to apply, organizations must be at least three years old and have an annual operating budget greater than $1,000,000. Organizations must have an existing track record of success in their region, and metrics to prove their effectiveness. Funding will be available in two tracks, and organizations may only apply for one of the two. Through our final portfolio of grantees, we hope to understand how the leading organizations are addressing current needs and supporting entrepreneurial growth, and will work closely with them as they develop paths to scale these solutions to new regions in the future.

III. Funding Available
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation will award up to $5 million to support established organizations that are actively working to strengthen an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The majority of grants awarded will be between $250,000 and $500,000 and our final portfolio of grantees will be geographically and programmatically diverse.
An organization may apply for one of two tracks:
  1. BIG Program/Project Challenge Grant:
  2. Organizations may apply for funding for a specific program/project (new or existing) that addresses a systemic challenge facing entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation defines an entrepreneurial ecosystem as a target population, industry, or geographic region. In order to apply, an organization must clearly articulate the challenge (what you will be solving for), and must demonstrate how the program/project will address the challenge with a new or innovative approach over a one year period. The challenge and program should affect (or have the potential to affect) a large population, serving as a model that could be replicated nationally or globally in future years.
    To apply for this track an organization must be exempt from U.S. federal income tax pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and classified as a public charity under section 509(a)(1) or section 509(a)(2) of the Code (or a non-United States organization able to demonstrate that it is the legal equivalent of a public charity).
  3. BIG Event Grant:
  4. Established organizations may apply for funding for a specific event or convening, or a specific track within a larger event, that accelerates the conversation around entrepreneurship on a regional, national and/or global scale. The event must convene key influencers, decision makers, and practitioners in entrepreneurship and should have clearly articulated goals to make a lasting impact on an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
    For this track, a strong preference will be given to events that are hosted (at least in part) by an organization that is exempt from U.S. federal income tax pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and classified as a public charity under section 509(a)(1) or section 509(a)(2) of the Code (or a non-United States organization able to demonstrate that it is the legal equivalent of a public charity)

To download the full RFP click here
Apply Online Here:

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Submitting Your Application
Applications must be submitted electronically using the online application provided on The Blackstone Charitable Foundation web site.
Applications must be received (fully uploaded) no later than 8:00pm ET on Monday, October 12, 2015. Applications received after the 8:00pm ET application deadline will be considered late and will not be considered for review.
Prior to submitting your application please review the FAQ’s found within the RFP. If you have additional questions, please contact the Foundation team at Given the volume of applicants, we will do our best to get back to you within a timely manner.

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