Grant Application

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Energy Foundation China Grant Application Guidelines

What are the limitations on foundation grants?

  • Generally, the foundation makes grants to non-profit charitable organizations classified as 501(c)(3) public charities by the Internal Revenue Service. The foundation is unable to make grants directly to individuals.
  • The foundation supports energy efficiency and renewable energy policy development in the People's Republic of China. We are unable to provide grants to projects benefiting other countries.
  • The foundation evaluates grant requests primarily on their ability to: (1) deliver real commitments to energy efficiency and renewable energy in China; and (2) build capacity in organizations within China and thereby further sustainable energy policy progress.
  • The foundation has limited resources and is unable to provide funding for all grant requests. Grants are allocated on a competitive basis, and are awarded based on their ability to build durable and enforceable energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and practices. Preference will be given to those proposals that are able to attract significant co-funding from other sources, particularly in China.
  • The foundation is unable to make grants intended to support candidates for political office, to influence legislation, or to support sectarian or religious purposes.
  • The foundation is unable to fund the research and development of technology (e.g., funds to develop hybrid automobiles or commercialization of an invention).
  • The foundation is unable to fund demonstration projects (e.g., model solar homes).
  • The foundation is unable to fund community energy projects.
  • The foundation is unable to fund endowments or debt reduction, nor does it make general-support grants. The foundation is unable to support annual fund-raising campaigns or capital construction. The foundation is unable to support the planning, renovation, maintenance, retrofit, or purchase of buildings; the purchase of equipment; or the acquisition of land, even if the intent is to save energy.

How to Apply for a Grant

Because The Energy Foundation's funding priorities are specialized, we recommend that all applicants carefully review these guidelines. If you are not sure whether your project fits the guidelines, we encourage you to write a brief letter of inquiry describing the project, its purpose, and the amount you are requesting. We will notify you if a full proposal is warranted.

If you are confident that your project fits within the guidelines, we do not require a letter of inquiry. For those organizations forwarding a full proposal, please send us the application form (see details below) filled out in English, one copy of your proposal (translated into English), and the supporting documents listed below, to The Energy Foundation's Beijing office.

The Energy Foundation will review projects based upon their direct relevance to priority policy issues identified through dialogue with Chinese agencies, non-governmental organizations, and advisors. Proposals will be judged upon the following criteria:

  • Ability to promote priority policy objectives;
  • The feasibility of the project;
  • Design of how project progress will be monitored and evaluated against goals;
  • The ability to deliver enforceable policy change;
  • The ability to deliver carbon dioxide emissions reductions;
  • External peer review of project design.

The foundation seeks to maximize the impact of its funding by:

  • Seeking co-funding for projects whenever possible;
  • Seeking Chinese non-governmental organizational support via in-kind provision of staff time, meeting venues, etc.

The Proposal

Proposals to the foundation should follow a format that best conveys the strengths of your project.  In general, a complete proposal includes the following, presented in English:

  • Project Organization Information Form
  • Project Background Description
  • Project Analysis and Technical Roadmap
  • Project Goal
  • Main Activities/Work Plan and Schedule
  • Main Deliverables
  • Implenmentation Organization and Resume of Key Personal
  • Communication Plan
  • Project budget—including a brief explanation of the budget, a list of other sources of actual and potential funding for the project, and a description of plans to secure additional funding

Supporting Documents

To consider a proposal for funding, we also need the following documents:

  • Pre-Grant Inquiry Form
  • Organization Bank Wire Information
  • Most recent financial statements, if available (and audited, if possible)
  • A current annual report, if available

Please refer to attached templates for more detail.


All grants awarded by the Energy Foundation China must be approved by the Board of Directors of The Energy Foundation.  We accept proposals on a continuous basis.  There are no specific deadlines.  Please keep in mind that it takes approximately four to six weeks to review inquiries and proposals and to contact you with a response.

Please visit the program pages for specific information about the type of work we support in each area.


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