Questions & Answers for the Booz Allen Foundation and the Innovation Fund

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Application Process/Background

The Booz Allen Foundation is inviting all innovators to apply for grants totaling $1 million.

Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created urgent social issues that require innovative solutions. To help build lasting community resilience in the wake of this unprecedented global crisis, the Booz Allen Foundation has set up an Innovation Fund of $1 million to provide grants and microgrants to nonprofits, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and startups and small businesses that want to harness the power of data, technology, and diverse intellectual capital to develop solutions that will improve COVID-19 relief efforts and make a difference.

The goal of the fund is to surface the best solutions for addressing the social issues created by COVID-19 and empower the people and organizations behind those solutions to drive their development and implementation. The Foundation is specifically interested in solutions and projects that will build lasting community resilience through protecting vulnerable populations and frontline workers or providing for the safe return to work.

A separate legal entity from Booz Allen Hamilton and an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, the Booz Allen Foundation convenes diverse stakeholders from the private, public, academic, and social sectors to solve challenging social issues through innovation and technology and build community resilience from the ground up.

Grants from the Innovation Fund will be administered at the discretion of the Foundation and pursuant to executed grant agreements.

Questions may be directed to Innovation@boozallenfoundation.org.

The grants are open to individuals, teams of individuals, U.S. tax-exempt 501(c) nonprofit organizations, or small for-profit businesses. Additional eligibility information includes:

  • Applicants (both individual applicants and application points of contact for organizations) must be over the age of 18.
  • Application points of contact and individual applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. (Note: Teams may have members that are not U.S. citizens as long as the lead application point of contact is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)
  • Organizations and individuals that apply must have U.S. bank accounts; individuals that apply must have a U.S. bank account in their name.
  • Organizations that apply must be organized in the U.S.

Nonprofit organizations that are not exempt from U.S. federal income tax under U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code Section 501(c) may apply as small for-profit businesses—if the organization otherwise meets the criteria for a small for-profit business except for their nonprofit organization structure. For purposes of the Booz Allen Foundation Innovation Fund, small for-profit organizations are businesses that are organized in the U.S., are generally operated for profit, employ less than 100 individuals, and have an annual gross revenue of up to $3 million.

For information on restricted organizations or activities that the Booz Allen Foundation will not provide funding to or work with, please see our general Booz Allen Foundation FAQs.

(i.e., can it be an international effort)? Solutions and projects can address both U.S. and international issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and proposed solutions may be employed in both the U.S. and outside the U.S.

A U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who currently lives abroad is eligible if that individual has a U.S. bank account in their name to receive the grant funds.

Grants are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 with U.S. bank accounts in the name of the applying individual. Teams of individuals, U.S. tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, or small for-profit entities may have members that are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents as long as the lead contact for the team is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a U.S. bank account. Small for-profit business entities and nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c) are eligible to apply if such entities are organized in the U.S. and have a U.S. bank account.

Eligible small for-profit businesses and individuals/teams may submit funding requests for microgrants of up to $10,000. Eligible nonprofit organizations (including, but not limited, to nonprofit universities and nonprofit organizations affiliated with universities) may submit funding requests for grants up to $100,000. The final decision on funding is at the sole and exclusive discretion of the Foundation and its Board of Directors.

All applicants may visit the Booz Allen Foundation Innovation Fund landing page and click on the “Apply for an Innovation Grant” button at the bottom of the page. We have partnered with YouNoodle for our grant process. You will be asked to create a YouNoodle account prior to starting your application. Applicants will be asked to identify how they are applying—as an individual or team, small for-profit business, or nonprofit. Please review the eligibility information if you have questions about the application category that applies to you.

Applications open 9:00 am ET on Thursday, April 30, 2020.

Applications close 11:59 pm ET on Friday, June 5, 2020.

We would like to receive as many unique and innovative solutions as possible. If you have more than one solution, you are welcome to submit more than one application; however, only one grant will be awarded for a single eligible individual or team of individuals, nonprofit organization, or for-profit business entity. Individuals who submit multiple applications in an individual capacity and as the lead contact for a team, nonprofit organization, or small for-profit entity may not receive more than one grant award.

Yes, you may go back and edit, add to, and improve your application as long as the final version is submitted by the deadline.

Upon application creation, and throughout the grant process, you will receive email notifications of your status. If you have not received notifications or you have submitted your application and have not received an email within 24 hours, please contact innovation@boozallenfoundation.org. If you have a technical issue with the application process, please contact Support@YouNoodle.com.

Due to the amount of applications we receive, we cannot offer assistance with your application other than to help troubleshoot any technical difficulties encountered during the submission process. After you submit your application, you will receive a notification email confirming that your application has been submitted and is under consideration.

After the submission deadline, applications will go through an eligibility assessment and vetting process. All applicants will receive notification informing them of their application status and any next steps.

Your participation begins with a complete and accurate application submitted before the deadline. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, the Booz Allen Foundation will contact you with next steps. Those who advance to the semi-finalist round should expect to take part in a background check and a virtual pitch to judges, and may be asked to supply additional supporting materials related to their application. Nonprofit organization semi-finalists should be prepared to provide detailed project budgets upon request (template to be provided), last year’s financial data, and a Board of Directors list with bios.

Due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic and the urgency with which we are working to identify the best solutions to address it, our team will not be able to offer feedback on applications that are not awarded grants.

Not at this time.

Applications for consideration should offer new ideas and solutions for addressing social issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider if your proposed solution or project fits one or more of the following descriptions: a new system, new product, new approach, new technology, new way to deliver existing solutions, or new process that when implemented will build lasting community resilience through protecting vulnerable populations and frontline workers or providing for the safe return to work. Proposed solutions or projects should also align with the Booz Allen Foundation’s broader engagement goals.

To ensure a fair, equitable, and timely process, the Booz Allen Foundation will not be offering guidance or feedback on any applications. The application process is designed to be as easy to complete as possible. If you meet the eligibility criteria and feel as though your idea, solution, or project is innovative, we encourage you to apply.

The term “vulnerable population” refers to a group of people that may have a higher risk of negative outcomes as a result of an adverse condition. As COVID-19 has demonstrated—and the World Health Organization asserts—children, pregnant women, elderly people, malnourished people, and people who are ill or immunocompromised are particularly vulnerable when a disaster strikes. These groups bear a relatively high share of the disease burden associated with emergencies. Poverty (and its common consequences of malnutrition, homelessness, poor housing, and destitution) is a major contributor to this vulnerability. Due to the specific nature of this pandemic, the Booz Allen Foundation is also considering the unemployed as a vulnerable population, regardless of whether they fit into another of the aforementioned categories.

For this grant program, the Booz Allen Foundation is defining “frontline workers” broadly. This population includes essential service providers in the following industries and/or sectors:

  • Dependent Care Services: Those who work for facilities or provide services that care for children, the elderly, and the disabled
  • Essential Vendor Services: Those who work in logistics, shipping/delivery, and warehouse fulfillment
  • Energy: Those who sustain utilities, telecommunications, and operate gas stations
  • Financial Services: Bank employees, payroll support, and customer service workers at call centers
  • Food Service: Workers in agriculture, grocery stores, restaurants, and food banks
  • Health Care: Emergency personnel, pharmacy employees, and workers conducting COVID-19 research and testing
  • Law Enforcement, Military, and Public Safety: First responders, military personnel, and workers who support national security
  • Mass Transit: Metro rail, bus, ride service, and airport workers
  • Mortuary and Funeral Services: Crematorium and cemetery workers
  • Safety Manufacturers: Those who make medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food processing
  • Waste Management & Sanitation: Trash collectors, building cleaners, and janitors

No. We want as many innovative solutions as possible and will not cap the amount of applications we receive.

Applications will be reviewed against objective and subjective criteria relating to the goals and purpose of the Innovation Fund. Grant award decisions will be made on the strength of the application, the fit with the goals and purpose of the Innovation Fund, and successful completion of the vetting process that applicants who proceed to the semi-finalist round will be required to undertake.

All individuals and organizations, whether nonprofit or for-profit, that progress to the semi-finalist round will need to be formally vetted. Such vetting may include background checks or a request for an audit. All costs associated with such vetting will be borne by the Booz Allen Foundation. The specific requirements of vetting will be detailed to applicants that progress to the semi-finalist round.

If you or your organization are selected as a grant awardee, you will be given a pre-determined grant amount. If your project exceeds that cost or if certain costs associated with your project (like salary) are not permitted to be covered by the awarded grant funds, you or your organization will need to secure separate funds for the remainder.

General data protection and usage is described in the Privacy Policy of the Booz Allen Foundation. The Booz Allen Foundation is committed to a fair and equitable grant submission and evaluation process. Any demographic data you supply with your application will be used solely to ensure that the applications we capture reflect the diversity of the communities in which we live and work. This data will not be used to inform the selection process or determine which applications receive grants.

All grants awards will be governed by a grant agreement that grantees must sign to receive the grant funds. The grant agreement will cover all aspects of the grant including, but not limited to, restriction on the use of grant funds, reporting on the usage of grant funds and impact of project, grant milestones, intellectual property ownership, and marketing and branding opportunities. The Booz Allen Foundation does not intend for grant funds to be used for salary support, though certain other administrative or overhead costs will be allowed. Further specifics of these terms will be shared with those applicants who proceed to the semi-finalist round. Grant agreements will be tailored to the type of grant recipient and the contours of the awarded project. For further details, please see the Terms and Conditions .

The Booz Allen Foundation takes the protection of PII very seriously. The Privacy Policy found here details how PII is protected by the Booz Allen Foundation.

If you do not see your race/ethnicity listed, you may still respond by selecting “Other.” An earlier version of the application contained an unintentional technical error in the list of options. If you have already submitted your application or have started an application but do not have the “Other” designation available in that application interface, please email Innovation@boozallenfoundation.org with this information and it will be added to your application.

The Booz Allen Foundation

The strategic intent of the Booz Allen Foundation is to convene stakeholders to use innovation and technology advancements to help solve challenging social issues and build community resilience from the ground up. The Foundation is uniquely positioned to serve as a convener, uniting collaborators from private, public, academic, and social sectors to help address challenging issues.

The Foundation aims to deliver lasting solutions to complex problems and pave the way for sustainable change.

The Foundation’s primary focus areas are enhancements to global health, support for veterans and military families, and assistance for youth and education programs. Additionally, the Foundation will consider opportunities to provide relief in the recovery from declared disasters.

The Booz Allen Foundation is a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation that is classified as a public charity and exempt from federal income tax under IRS Code Sections 501(c)(3) 509(a)(1). The Foundation received its 501(c)(3) designation by the IRS in 2017.

The Booz Allen Foundation is dedicated to empowering human potential and driving social impact in a spirit of passionate service. A commitment to empowering people to change the world has been at the heart of Booz Allen Hamilton throughout its 100+ year corporate history. The Foundation looks to build upon the firm’s commitment to service and serve as a strong complement to the firm’s ongoing corporate social responsibility activities.

The Booz Allen Foundation is a separate legal entity from Booz Allen Hamilton. The Booz Allen Foundation and Booz Allen Hamilton have separate boards and separate governance. The Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) public charity. Initial funding for the Foundation was donated by Booz Allen Hamilton. The Foundation seeks further support from diverse public sources.

The Booz Allen Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, complements the firm’s ongoing corporate philanthropy. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. maintains a team of corporate citizenship and corporate philanthropy professionals that aligns firm resources against its social impact goals and pillars and pursues opportunities to integrate social good with business priorities. Booz Allen Hamilton engages its employees through community investments, social ventures, pro bono consulting, strategic partnerships with non-government organizations, thought leadership, and volunteerism to meet the firm’s overall corporate citizenship goals. The Booz Allen Foundation shares the firm’s commitment to empowering people to change the world.

Alignment with one or more of the Foundation’s mission areas

  • Alignment with the Foundation’s commitment to building community resilience
  • Opportunity for the Foundation to leverage its role as a “convener” and move the issue forward
  • Opportunity for the Foundation to leverage its access to research, technology, and innovation resources that can help identify the underlying drivers of existing problems
  • Commitment to measurement and evaluation
  • Organizations, including for-profit, not-for-profit, and academic institutions, whose ideals and principles align with those of the Foundation, such as:
  • Public charities (recognized by the IRS) that affirm they have nondiscriminatory policies and/or practices
  • Secular programs led by religious organizations that maintain public charity status (recognized by the IRS) and affirm they have nondiscriminatory policies and/or practices
  • Accredited schools included in the National Center for Education Statistics database
  • Organizations that can affirm they do not discriminate, via policy or in practice, on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state, local, or international law

The Foundation intends to operate in the United States but may provide grants to support organizations or activities outside the United States, in compliance with applicable law.

The Booz Allen Foundation will not provide funding or work with:

  • Political causes, candidates, campaigns, or political activities conducted by political organizations
  • Lobbying organizations
  • Religious activities conducted by religious organizations not of direct benefit to the entire community
  • Nonprofit organizations that are not recognized by the IRS as public charities
  • Organizations listed on governmental anti-terrorism, sanctions, or other watchlists
  • Fundraising events or galas, including table sponsorships, athletic events, competitions, or tournaments unless directly connected to a program activity with which the Foundation is engaged

The final decision on funding is at the sole and exclusive discretion of the Foundation and its Board of Directors.

There is no pre-set amount. The grants and investments to be provided by the Foundation each year will be determined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, in alignment with the Foundation’s strategy.

The Booz Allen Foundation is not able to sponsor fundraising events, galas, sporting activities, or athletic teams. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited inquiries related to sponsorships. The Foundation may, however, sponsor symposia, educational programs, or other events that support the Foundation’s mission areas and activities. The final decision on funding is at the sole and exclusive discretion of the Foundation and its Board of Directors.

The Foundation may support international organizations or activities that promote the Foundation’s mission areas, in each case in compliance with applicable law.

The decision to work with and/or provide funding for a specific activity or organization is at the sole and exclusive discretion of the Booz Allen Foundation, and may be provided or denied for any reason whatsoever. In no event will the Foundation be responsible to any applicant for the cost of preparing or submitting a request for support. Applicants and awardees may not use the Foundation’s name, logo, or other marks except as expressly authorized by the Foundation in writing.

As the Foundation builds out its programmatic initiatives and refines its processes and infrastructure, the Foundation’s staffing needs will be determined. At such time, information on job opportunities will be posted on the Foundation’s website at https://boozallenfoundation.org.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Foundation. As the need for volunteers arises, we will include information on our website at https://boozallenfoundation.org.

To contact the Foundation staff, please send an email to our general mailbox at team@boozallenfoundation.org. We will respond to inquiries in a timely manner.

The Booz Allen Foundation maintains compliance with its Privacy Policy, which can be found here: https://boozallenfoundation.org/privacy-policy/.

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