National and International Funding opportunities for language work

Contact RNLD if you know of a relevant funding program which you would like to add to this site.


General advice

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Grant proposal writing tips

Foundation Center Proposal writing short course

GrantCraft: Practical Wisdom for Grantmakers

Grant writing for Indigenous languages by Ofelia Zepeda and Susan Penfield (2008, University of Arizona) [downloadable PDF]

So where do you get the dosh from? by Peter Austin, Endangered Languages & Cultures blog (March 7, 2008) 

Writing a good grant proposal by Simon Peyton Jones and Alan Bundy


International applications

The following international agencies fund language documentation and/or revitalization work regardless of the country of citizenship of the applicant.  

  • The Christensen Fund is a US philanthropic organization created by the Christensen family and based in California. Pre-proposals for the African Rift Valley, Central Asia, Southwest U.S. and Northern Mexico and SF Bay Area Programs may be submitted from August 1-31 and for the Melanesia Program from September 1-30.
  • Earth Action Network Endangered Languages Program is a non-profit international organization interested in supporting the preservation and restoration of Native languages and the Earth-honoring worldview at their core. There is no active call for applications.
  • EuroBABEL promotes empirical research on underdescribed endangered languages. There is no active call for applications.
  • Ford Foundation's overall mission is to reduce poverty and injustice and to promote democratic values, international cooperation and human achievement.
  • The Genographic Legacy Fund awards grants on an annual basis for community-driven projects directly preserving or revitalizing Indigenous or traditional culture. Applications are due June 15 annually.
  • Toyota Foundation's founding philosophy is to contribute to the realization of a human-oriented society for the sake of greater human happiness. There is no active call for applications.
  • United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues  has created a Trust Fund for the Second Decade which is looking to support projects with a focus on Indigenous peoples, particularly in the areas of culture or the environment. 2014 applications close 1 November 2013.
  • Wenner-Gren Foundation has a variety of grant programs for anthropological research and scholarship that are open to applicants irrespective of nationality or country of residence.
  • World Oral Literature Project supports local communities and fieldworkers engaged in the collection of oral literature by funding original research, and organising workshops and training in digital archiving methods. The web site notes that applicants are still welcome to submit expressions of interest, however they are no longer accepting new proposals for review.


Country specific funding agencies

Funding for work on endangered languages is also available through government agencies which (primarily) fund their own citizens. Some agencies are listed below under each country.




United Kingdom

United States