top of page

frequently asked questions

What is considered a “refugee-led organization (RLO)”?

We consider a refugee-led organization to be any formal or informal initiative/organization that is founded and run by people of forced displacement background and/or any formal or informal initiative/organization where people of forced displacement are in major leadership positions and able to influence the work of the organization.

Are local partners of international organizations eligible to apply for funding?

Yes. RLOs operating with autonomy at the national level that are also part of a larger international entity are eligible to apply.

What is the average size of your grants?

We offer two types of grants:


1) Boost Grants - These are small (up to $25k) one-year grants that will provide seed funding for RLOs.

2) Advance Grants - These are larger ($100 - $200k) renewable grants that will provide scaling funding for RLOs.

How do you choose who you fund?

All grantees must meet the following basic criteria:


  • Good financial systems and guidelines in place;

  • Ethical guidelines in programs and human resources;

  • Demonstrable impact in the community; and

  • Interest to participate in the movement for refugee leadership in refugee response.


Additionally, chosen projects must have a strong project design, a well-articulated theory of change for impact, a quality project budget, and demonstrated competency in diversity, equity and inclusion. Grantees should be mindful of the historical exclusion of marginalized groups within the forced displacement sector and should strive to address these unequal power dynamics, including through a clear gender lens in their work.


See information about the Refugee Leadership fund for more information.

What is the evaluation process for applications?

Applications will be evaluated by members of the RRLI Coalition through several rounds of scoring. Decisions are made and approved by all Coalition members. See information about the Refugee Leadership fund for more information.

In which countries do you provide funding?

We currently fund refugee-led organizations based in the following five countries: Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon and Uganda. In future funding rounds, we will be expanding this list to further neighboring countries.

How many organizations do you currently fund?

We currently fund 5 refugee-led organizations. We intend to fund 10 additional refugee-led organizations in the upcoming grant cycle.

How long is your funding? Do you provide multi-year grants?

It is our intention to provide multi-year support for all grantees. Specifically, we hope to position  recipients of the Boost Grants to successfully apply for the Advance grants. 

What kinds of projects do you fund?

RRLI is grounded in the belief in community-led solutions. We know that refugee-led organizations best know the needs of the communities; therefore, we are not focused on specific themes and are more broadly interested in funding high-impact, community-led organizations and projects. We are interested in both providing general support funding, as well as specific project-related funding for eligible refugee-led organizations.

Of specific interest, projects should aim to:

  • Provide holistic services for the community,

  • Unlock long-term solutions, and/or

  • Reach large numbers of people

Please note that the three points above are not specific criteria but general guidelines.

Do we need to be a registered organization to apply?

You do not need to be a registered organization to apply. If you are currently not a registered organization, please clearly indicate that in your application and we will work with you to overcome this barrier.

Do we need a bank account to apply?

You do not need a registered bank account to apply. If you currently do not have a registered bank account, please clearly indicate that in your application and we will work with you to overcome this barrier.

In which languages can materials be submitted?

Applications can be submitted in any language.

What kinds of support do you offer to funding recipients?

In addition to funding, all grantees will be offered the opportunity to build close partnerships with 

our RLO partners to help overcome any operational or programmatic barriers, be offered the opportunity to connect with refugee-led organizations around the world, and be provided networking and advocacy opportunities. We do this through our 


Recipients of the “Boost Grants” will receive access to the Strengthen RLOs program which includes hand-on, direct support from current RLO partners, along with network growth, fundraising and joint advocacy support. Recipients of the “Advance Grants” will receive support in network growth, fundraising, and opportunities to conduct joint advocacy work.

Can a group of RLOs team up to apply for these grants? 

At the moment, we are not accepting applications from consortiums. We ask that only individual organizations apply. Supporting a consortium of RLOs might be feasible in future grant cycles.

Can an RLO apply for both grants? 

Each RLO can only apply for one grant. Please select the grant type and size that suits your organization’s current size, scope, and experience. 

What does 'renewable grant' mean? Does it mean $100-200k every year for multiple years? Or the $100-200k can be spent over multiple years?

Our Advance grant is renewable. This means that if an organization asks for 100K the first year, the following year they can receive another 100K or more without going through an additional application process. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Are women refugee-led organizations given special consideration?

We consider an organization's treatment of marginalized groups and specifically their attention to gender issues, but do not give special treatment to any one type of organization.

Where can I get the full recording of the webinars?

Webinar links here.

Can we work with more than one community? 


Can an RLO approach RRLI members in their countries to support the application process?

No. RRLI Coalition members are not able to help applicants in the application process. If you have any questions, please send them to

How many times Can an RLO renew its growth impact grant?

Right now, there is no set answer to this question as it depends on fund availability and the needs and growth of the RLO. Advance grantees will have conversations with the RRLI implementation team to figure out a plan that works best for them. We aim to also support grantees through our strengthening program and connect them to additional donors.

watch our refugee leadership fund webinar



bottom of page