As a private foundation, the Tinker Foundation has promoted economic and social development in Latin America by supporting “people, projects, and ideas” for more than sixty years. The Foundation's mission is to promote the development of an equitable, sustainable, and productive society in Latin America. Tinker realizes its mission by providing funding to civil society organizations – among them nonprofit entities, research institutes, and universities – working to address the region’s most pressing challenges. The organizations the Foundation supports use Tinker resources to test promising ideas, extend the impact of proven models, and bring together stakeholders to solve problems in new ways.
One of Tinker's grants program areas is Sustainable Resource Management. The Tinker Foundation’s work on the environment is focused on efforts that support the sustainable management of habitat and resources and incorporate social and economic dimensions affecting the well-being of local communities. Funding is available for projects that address the theme of "Promoting Sustainable Management Practices". Projects should address the crucial links between effective resource management and communities that use them and seek to ensure that economic returns resulting from improved management policies benefit local populations. Potential strategies include assessing and establishing best practices; developing the human talent required to manage and conserve resources (i.e., technical training); and identifying mechanisms, practices and/or policies that avoid or mitigate overexploitation. Issues of interest include sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, and non-timber forest products. Projects may also consider the conservation and livelihood aspects of sustainable tourism, and payment for environmental service programs.
Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: Tinker Foundation has awarded USD 124 M for 1,908 projects.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America
Recipient categories: NGOs
Organization Status: The Tinker Foundation provides grants only to organizations that are charitable in nature, i.e., with a United States 501(c)(3) tax status or its equivalent if the organization is located outside the U.S. Organizations from Latin America do not need to have United States 501(c)(3) status.
Geographic Focus: The project must be focused on the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Institutional Program Area: The project must fall under one of Tinker’s primary program areas: Democratic Governance, Education, Sustainable Resource Management.
The sequence of the application process in the online portal is as follows:
- ELIGIBILITY QUIZ: The letter of inquiry (LOI) form on Tinker's online grants portal begins with a series of eligibility criteria questions. Organizations that pass the eligibility quiz may proceed to the LOI section. If the applicant has an individual login for their organization, they may submit an LOI directly within the portal using the login platform, and the applicant does not need to complete the eligibility quiz. This Quiz allows Tinker to determine if the applicant organization qualifies for support from the Foundation. Please note that the actual letter of inquiry and proposal forms are available only when the grant cycles are open.
- LOI: LOI will provide a brief description of the applicant’s proposed project as well as an estimate of the project budget. The LOI allows Tinker to assess the appropriateness of the project and determine if a full proposal is warranted. Tinker Foundation requires an LOI to limit the time and effort applicants might otherwise spend on preparing a full proposal that is not likely to be supported.
- FULL PROPOSAL: Full Proposals should include all aspects of the project. They will only be required if the proposed project falls within Tinker’s areas of interest. After reviewing all the LOIs, Tinker invites a limited number of organizations to submit a full proposal. The proposal allows Tinker to understand each project more deeply and confirm its fit with Tinker’s programmatic priorities. Although Tinker limits the number of proposals they accept, an invitation to submit a proposal is not a guarantee of funding. In practice, Tinker typically funds one-third to one-half of the proposals they receive. Final decisions are based on Tinker's assessment of programmatic relevance and potential impact of each project, as well as institutional strategic and financial considerations.