Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunity helps address poverty

Written by Mindia Whittier

Funding opportunity supports NPOs and social entrepreneurs addressing poverty in developing countries.


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invites applications for the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program. This year-round grant competition considers proposals for innovations that address international development challenges and improve the lives of people living in poverty in developing countries around the world.

DIV provides tiered funding to pilot, test, and transition to scale (i.e., grow to reach the highest number of beneficiaries possible) those innovations that demonstrate evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and the potential to scale. The funder takes a portfolio approach to impact – relatively small, high-risk bets are taken on
early-stage innovations that may generate varying levels of impact as they are piloted and larger amounts of money are invested in later-stage innovations that are better able to demonstrate impact.

DIV is deliberately open to all kinds of innovations and all forms of innovators, in all sectors and countries in which USAID operates. The aim is to help transition the best innovations with proven impact to scale to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

DIV funds four types of grants. Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 grants follow a tiered approach that aligns the funding amount to the strength of the evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of the proposed innovation. Evidence Generation grants are reserved for rigorous evaluations of already scaled or scaling development solutions that lack sufficient rigorous evidence of impact and cost-effectiveness.

More details on each of DIV’s grant types can be found in the “Stages of Financing” located here.

DIV accepts applications from all development sectors, including education, environment, energy, democracy, economic development and others. Anyone can apply, including social entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and governments. Funding supports innovations across all countries where USAID operates. A full list of countries in which USAID operates can be found at www.usaid.gov/where-we-work.

About the author

Mindia Whittier