Hacker Initiative (HI) Application FAQ

  • What am I required to submit with my application?

    • Just the information requested on the online form. You will be contacted for additional supporting documents if needed.
  • How often can I apply?

    • Once per project per grant cycle.
  • How many grants are awarded each year?

    • The Hacker Initiative aims to have two grant cycles per year with a goal of awarding up to $100,000 in each grant cycle. Actual amounts awarded are dependent on the number of qualifying submissions.  
  • How will I be notified of grant status?

    • Applicants will be notified by email.  In addition, winning applicants will be announced via our website, https://hackerinitiative.org.
  • Is this an investment or a loan?

    • No. HI provides grants with no strings attached and claim no ownership over the projects they support. We do not wish for the funds to be repaid.
  • Who is on your review committee and how are grant decisions made?

    • All applications are reviewed by our application review team who then makes recommendations to be approved by the HI Board.
  • If accepted, will I get all the money I requested?

    • Not necessarily. Based on assessment of your application and funds available, a recommendation is made by our application review committee and submitted to our board for approval.
  • If accepted, when/how will I receive the grant money?

    • Monies will be awarded via check within 3 weeks of notification. Accepted applicants will be prompted to provide necessary information so payment can be sent.
  • What are the reporting requirements?

    • We ask all grant recipients to provide, within two months of receipt of their grant, a description of how the funding they received contributed to their project. Once the subject project has been completed all grantees must provide a description of the completed project, pictures or video documentation of their project if possible, and a close-out budget indicating how funding was spent.

Eligibility Considerations and Exclusions

Eligibility and Considerations

  • Eligible applicants include but are not limited to students, student groups, independent security and privacy researchers, small organizations, and  individuals.
  • Hacker Initiative gives preference to projects run on small budgets and those less likely to receive corporate, institutional, or government funding. 
  • If you have questions about our grant process please write to us at grant-requests@hackerinitiative.org


  • Members of the Hacker Initiative Board, Programming, Fundraising, Advisory, and other committees are ineligible for consideration.
  • The Hacker Initiative does not consider funding requests for:
    • Activities that are not consistent with the HI mission.
    • Animal related programs, including shelters
    • Athletic teams, events, booster clubs, or sponsorships
    • Awards, monuments and/or memorials
    • Capital campaigns, building projects
    • Deficit funding
    • Development or production of books, films, videos, television programs, social media, or websites
    • Endowments or reserve funds
    • Fundraising events
    • General awareness campaigns/advocacy
    • Government agencies
    • Individual crowdfunding, GoFundMe pages, or similar
    • Individual primary and secondary schools, PTOs, and PTAs
    • Loans or investments
    • Merchandise for fundraisers and auctions
    • Merchandise promotions, partnerships, or advertising
    • Parties, celebrations, parades, festivals, or raffles or related expenses
    • Political or religious symposiums, conferences, or conventions
    • Political organizations
    • Private Hacker Initiatives
    • Professional association meetings or related expenses
    • Religious organizations for religious purposes
    • Research studies outside the scope of our Mission
    • Salaries or staff training
    • School tuition

Grant funds may not be used to promote or engage in criminal acts of violence, terrorism, hate crimes, the destruction of any state, or discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, military and veteran status, disability, sex, age, gender identity or sexual orientation, or support of any entity that engages in these activities.

If you have additional questions please email us at grant-requests@hackerinitiative.org.