Trust for Mutual Understanding Grants

he Trust for Mutual Understanding was established in 1984 by an anonymous American philanthropist as a private, grantmaking organization dedicated to promoting improved communication, closer cooperation, and greater respect between the people of the United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe. TMU’s program reflects her conviction that grantmaking can make a contribution to that process by supporting international face-to-face contact and professional interaction. TMU’s mission has been shaped by the belief that creative international collaboration encourages global harmony. TMU continues to support East-West exchanges in the arts and environment, reflecting the founder’s appreciation of the importance of culture and ecology in people’s lives. Before 1985, there was relatively little American funding for such activities, and what support there was—mainly governmental—was often restricted by political considerations. It remains TMU’s goal to enable talented people to come together from different countries to freely share ideas and stimulate creativity in a nonpolitical context.

TMU has recently updated its online application. The application process is divided into 2 stages: 1) the initial inquiry, 2) the full application. Once the initial inquiry is submitted, you will be notified of the status of your project within two-weeks (14 business days) after the Initial Inquiry deadline. If, after submitting an Initial Inquiry online, a project then is invited to submit a full proposal, you will receive notification from TMU via e-mail, which will contain login credentials to the grantee portal. There you will be able to track the status of your application.

Which projects receive priority consideration?
Projects that involve direct, in-depth professional interaction, with the potential for sustained collaboration, and/or show evidence or professional accomplishment and innovation, and/or respond to social contexts and engage local communities.

Which countries are eligible for TMU support?
TMU’s geographic focus is Central, East, and Southeast Europe; the Baltic states; Central Asia; Mongolia; and Russia. Countries where we are active include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Countries not listed here are ineligible for funding.

Who can apply for a TMU grant?
TMU grants are made to American nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, and typically, it is those organizations that submit Initial Inquiries and, if invited, Final Proposals. TMU does not make grants directly to individuals or institutions abroad. However, an Initial Inquiry may be made by an individual or institution in any of the countries in which TMU is active. If invited, individuals or organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status may then submit a Final Proposal through the fiscal sponsorship of an American nonprofit organization. The fiscal sponsor must submit a letter stating their involvement with the project and their willingness to administer any grant funds, as well as a copy of their 501(c)(3) determination letter.

What kinds of projects does TMU support?
TMU provides grants specifically for international travel associated with professional exchanges in the arts and environmental sciences. Approximately two-thirds of TMU’s awards are for arts and culture and one-third for environmental projects. Activities common to both fields include advanced training programs, workshops, conferences, seminars, joint research projects, and exchanges intended to aid organizations seeking greater institutional stability.

Arts and Culture: Creative artistic collaborations, curatorial research projects, performances given in conjunction with lecture/demonstrations and/or workshops, conservation and historic preservation projects, arts management programs, and cultural documentation activities.

Environment: Ecosystem and habitat conservation programs, land use planning projects, activities that facilitate more effective international contact between environmental organizations, measures designed to preserve biodiversity, and efforts to encourage environmental sustainability.

Which expenses are eligible for TMU funding?
Expenses eligible for TMU funding include: international airfare, airport transfers, travel insurance, visas (and all applicable visa processing fees), lodging, and per diem. TMU also allows up to 20% of the total eligible expenses to be allocated toward “administrative costs.” (For example, if the total eligible expenses is $10,000, $2,000 can be used toward “administrative costs.”)

Moreinfo: http://www.tmuny.org/applicants
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