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Opportunity Beyond Borders

Empowering forcibly displaced and marginalized youth to succeed in today’s technology-driven global economy


Grantmaking Challenge Overview

Thank you for your interest. Applications are closed. Please check back in 2021 for an opportunity to apply.

Across the world, vulnerable populations don’t have access to the kinds of education and training that would give them a fair shot at integration into the mainstream economy.

To redress this inequality and build more inclusive economies, the Western Union Foundation collaborates with nonprofits worldwide who are innovating to reach the most marginalized – migrants, refugees, and underserved youth.

We support programs that equip these people on the move with the skills in technology and entrepreneurship needed to thrive in the jobs of the future as well as provide other critical support like counseling, career guidance, and scholarships.

To provide an opportunity for grassroots nonprofits working to deliver impact in this mission space, the Western Union Foundation launched an open grantmaking challenge to fund programs with the following qualities:

  • Forward-looking: In our technology-driven economy, preparing individuals for the jobs of tomorrow.
  • Lasting-impact: Programs should foster life-changing opportunities for program participants, enabling them to either find a job or secure a higher paying job as a result of the program participation
  • Innovating: Addressing the challenges of integration and workforce training in new and thoughtful ways.
  • Evidence of feasibility: The Foundation will prioritize funding for programs with evidence their approach works and can achieve tangible outcomes.

Additionally, programs should be focused on supporting:

  • Forcibly displaced individuals
  • Young adults aged 14- 24
  • Individuals in our top 25 core geographies

Eligibility Requirements

The Western Union Foundation will only consider providing support to organizations that:

  • Qualify as a tax-exempt organization in the jurisdiction in which the organization is located (in the United States, the organization would have to qualify under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code).
  • Do not otherwise violate or conflict with Western Union’s Code of Conduct
  • Do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or gender.
  • Do not and will not give rise to a conflict of interest.
  • Are in compliance with applicable laws.
  • Will not negatively affect The Western Union Company or the Western Union Foundation’s reputation.
  • Demonstrate a need for support and have sound financial management.

Non-Eligible Charities:

The Western Union Foundation will not provide charitable support for:

  • Individuals, including employees.
  • Organizations without tax-exempt status in the jurisdiction in which they operate.
  • Political, labor, fraternal and/or civic organizations or clubs.
  • Political candidates.
  • Lobbying organizations.
  • Scholastic extra-curricular activities, including sports, band, travel, field trips, etc., and athletic/sports groups such as youth football or baseball leagues.
  • Athletic scholarships and academic scholarships that benefit the donor.
  • Religious organizations, fraternities or sororities, fraternal, veterans & political organizations unless specified for a community outreach program such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Membership dues.
  • Conventions or conferences.
  • Insurance premiums, bequests or life-income trust arrangements or real estate.
  • Gifts in which goods or services were received (such as the purchase of auction items, sports tickets in return for your donation, annual museum passes, etc.).
  • Cumulative donations from several individuals reported as one.
  • In-kind gifts, life income trusts or real estate.


  • Accepting solutions: October 1, 2019 – November 6, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Evaluating solutions: November 7, 2019 – December 13, 2019
    • During this time, the Western Union Foundation may schedule clarification calls if needed.
  • Selectee notification and grant payouts: Mid-December, 2019 – Mid-January, 2020

Core geographies

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States


  • What is the amount and duration of a Western Union Foundation grant for this grantmaking challenge?
    • We anticipate making 5-10 awards between USD $100k – $250k for the duration of 12 – 24 months. Proposals at the higher end of the funding range should cover a 24-month period and have very clear evidence of measurable outcomes, innovation, and sustainability.
  • Can an organization submit multiple proposals?
    • No, please submit only one proposal per organization. If multiple proposals are submitted we will only review the first proposal submitted.
  • When can I expect a response to the proposal?
    • Please see the timeline above.
  • Can I talk to you about my project prior to submitting?
    • Due to a high volume of inquiries, we cannot provide individual feedback on proposals at this time.
  • Can I see a preview of the application?
    • First, please complete the eligibility quiz. Upon completion, your organization will be directed to our online application site where you can preview the application. We encourage you to prepare your responses offline as your work will not be saved over multiple sessions.
  • What language(s) can I submit a proposal in?
    • We currently accept applications in English only.