USAID Grant Funding for Development Innovation Ventures


usaid div grant funding

USAID Development Innovation Ventures program (DIV) provides grant funding based on a tiered-evidence approach that maximizes impact per dollar spent. DIV recently received a $45 million gift to to expand its current grantmaking capabilities, and identify and scale cost-effective development innovations that can make a difference in countries where USAID works.

DIV supports innovators and researchers around the world to test new ideas, take strategic risks, build evidence of what works, and advance the best solutions. DIV’s model allows for risk at early stages and mitigates risk at later stages, ensuring that funding is targeted to the most impactful and cost-effective innovations.

DIV is now accepting grant applications for products, technologies, services, or applications that can scale breakthrough solutions to critical global development challenges to improve millions of lives. Since 2010, DIV has provided $106 million in flexible, tiered grant funding to over 190 innovations, across 46 countries, that demonstrate rigorous evidence, maximum impact per dollar, and a pathway to scale and sustainability.

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USAID DIV Funding Amounts

Proposals for funding are accepted year-round across three stages, from any type of organization, in any country in which USAID operates. Development Innovation Ventures offers three tiers of startup financing:

  • Stage 1: Proof of Concept ideas can receive up to $200,000 in seed funding over 3 years
  • Stage 2: Testing and Positioning for Scale applicants can get $200,000 to $1,500,000 in supporting grants for 3 years
  • Stage 3: Scaling solutions can ask for $1,500,000 to $5,000,000 in investments over 5 years

In addition to the donor funding listed above, DIV provides $1,500,000 for research reports and evaluations that generate rigorous evidence of an innovation’s impact and potential for expansion.

7 Benefits to DIV Donor Funding

DIV grantees have the opportunity to tap into an array of acceleration services, tools, and financing opportunities, including:

  • Flexible, patient grant funding – DIV offers grants, the most patient form of capital, and build flexibility into their grant funding structures.
  • Dedicated grant manager – DIV assigns a dedicated team member to help you navigate USAID and U.S. Government regulations.
  • Acceleration services – DIV helps identify barriers to scale and provides, or connect grantees to, targeted services for specific growth and sustainability needs.
  • Strategic marketing – DIV can help with marketing, communications, and branding consultations to develop clear messaging and effectively communicate impact through storytelling
  • Sales Strategy – DIV supplies practice diagnostics to improve sales pitches, better understand customers, and increase revenue
  • USAID network – DIV offers connections to technical bureaus in science, technology, innovation, partnership, USAID Missions, and the Development Credit Authority for loan guarantees for commercial innovations.
  • Connections to partners – DIV can supply access to a network of partners, researchers, service providers, and other donor funds, in order to amplify impact and growth

3 Core DIV Investment Principles

DIV has three core principles it uses in all investment decisions:

  1. Evidence of impact on improving lives of people living in poverty in the developing world.
  2. Cost-effectiveness, such as returning over $17 in social benefit for each dollar awarded.
  3. Viable potential for scale and financial sustainability that includes commercial and public funding

DIV provides tiered funding based on an innovation’s demonstrated track record of and potential for achieving each of these principles.

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5 Tips to Win USAID Grants

DIV assesses proposals according to its core principles: rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and viable pathways to scale, as well as the capacity of the team testing or implementing the proposed intervention.

Here are 5 tips to improve your chances of winning this USAID grant:

  • Be specific and detailed – What is the problem? What is your solution?
  • Present a clear theory of change – What outcomes will your solution achieve? How will it achieve those outcomes?
  • Explain your long-term plan – What is your viable pathway to scale and sustainability? Will you leverage the private and/or public sectors?
  • Thoughtfully review your competitive landscape – How is your solution more impactful and cost-effective than others? What is your competitive advantage?
  • Be realistic about your costs – What capital costs are need to start your services? What are the operational costs to deliver your solution?

Apply Now for DIV Grant Funding

Startups, social enterprises, and innovative solutions to global development problem that are looking for grant funding to reach scale should apply to Development Innovation Ventures today. The current Annual Program Statement ends on October 31, 2023

Over its first three years, 43 innovations that received DIV seed funding reached 24 million people at a cost per person of only $0.75, with five innovations reaching more than one million people and six other reaching over 100,000 people.

More Funding Opportunities

Do you want to apply for USAID grants for humanitarian aid projects? Get startup investments for a technology business? Or learn how to win more contracts? Then please sign up now to get our email updates. We are constantly publishing new funding opportunities like these:


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