If you have been invited to submit a letter of inquiry or a proposal to the Foundation, please contact your program officer for additional instructions.


The Heising-Simons Foundation believes in funding the true cost of grantee’s work. Therefore, the Foundation does not employ a specific fixed minimum or maximum indirect cost rate for project support grants to non-universities. We encourage an open dialogue between grantees and Program Officers to develop a shared understanding of each project’s true costs. For grants to universities, we will accept an indirect cost rate up to 15% of the total direct costs. Please see our full policy here

The Foundation supports work that is charitable, educational, and for scientific purposes, regardless of the tax status of the grantee.

Yes, the Foundation permits organizations to use fiscal sponsors if the proposal includes:

  1. a completed Fiscal Sponsor Proposal Cover Sheet
  2. a signed fiscal sponsorship certification letter, and
  3. an explanation of the fiscal sponsor relationship outlining the discretion and control of the sponsored project either in a cover letter on fiscal sponsor letterhead, or outlined in the proposal narrative.

Proposals are reviewed by Foundation staff, consultants, and on occasion Board members. In addition, staff will often contact other individuals for comments on review of a pending proposal. This may include individuals in the community or the relevant field, other funders, or other Foundation grantees. If you prefer that we not do so, please let us know.

The Foundation reviews proposals on a rolling basis. Please work with your Foundation contact to determine the best date to submit a proposal.

The entire process from proposal development and submission to approval varies. Timelines vary depending on grant: amount, program area, the scope of work, and whether the proposal is new or a renewal.