Grantmaking Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation!

CYSFF considers only the proposals that fit within the Foundation's programmatic interests. For those organizations interested in applying for a grant from the Foundation, we recommend you to read the following guidelines and procedures that govern our grantmaking decisions.

Areas of Interest

While childhood literacy, children's play and support of the ethinic minority community in Hong Kong are the Foundation's primary focus, we also support the following:

Basic life skills training –

to enhance the self-confidence, problem-solving abilities, leadership and teamwork skills of children

Non-profit capacity building –

to improve the organizational effectiveness and performance of non-profit organizations.

Terms of Funding

The Foundation generally provides funding for a maximum of three years per programme / project. This is to discourage dependency on its support, although multiple-year funding may be granted in special circumstances. Where possible, the Foundation provides matching funds to encourage broader donor participation.

Geographical Interest

CYSFF grants funding to innovative, cost-effective and high impact programmes in Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Focus of the Foundation's work in Mainland China

Since the “Law of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Non Government Organization in the Mainland of China” was issued in 2017, the Foundation has conducted projects in the Mainland China in the form of filing for temporary activity by co-operation with local partners. Given the significant changes in the Mainland China regulatory environment in recent years and the complex funding process, the Foundation decided to move its grantmaking focus to Hong Kong, where the head office is located, in 2020. Meanwhile, we confirmed the special projects initiated by the Foundation will be the core work focus in Mainland China.

As such, we regret to confirm that any grant application submitted by China-based organizations can no longer accepted by The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation.

The Foundation's knowledge and insights gained from our investment in the Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance (“SSHRA”) project is significant, spanning 10 very successful years. To formally evaluate the Foundation's resources, we embarked on conducting the strategy to replicate and promote the sophisticated project models developed through the implementation of the SSHRA project, in particular the Free Voluntary Reading model which helps establish an on-campus reading culture.

For more detail, please refer to the Foundation's 2020/2021 annual report.


Major Review Principles

The Foundation's Advisory Committee is very much involved in the entire evaluation process. Site visits are regularly made by our staff members and the Advisory Committee to assess and support the programmes as well as the community in which the programme will be implemented.

Each grant application is assessed on its individual merits, but in awarding grants the Foundation looks for programmes that are innovative, sustainable and impactful. We will review each application under the three broad categories listed below:

Programme Effectiveness:

Does the work align with the Foundation's mission? Does the project proposal show evidence or include plans to demonstrate that the target beneficiary group will receive the benefits stated in the application?

Resource Allocation:

Is the project's proposed budget sound? Does the project plan have the appropriate resources and technological support for the scope of work?


What is the structure (e.g. committees, operational manuals) of the governance system? How many members are on the Board of the non government organisation, and what expertise does each of them bring?


What is the make-up of the management team? How effectively does management run the organization? What role will management play in the project?

Ineligible Requests

The Foundation does not accept requests for deficit funding, nor does it provide funding to organizations to cover cancelled or reduced financial support from other sources. Other ineligible requests include:

  • Endowments, annual appeals or federated campaigns
  • Initiatives that benefit specific individuals
  • Medical research, drug rehabilitation, elderly homes, disaster relief and specific disabilities
  • Sectarian or religious organizations whose principal activity is for the benefit of their own members or adherents
  • Organizations without at least one satellite office within the geographic areas of focus
  • Large-scale entertainment or cultural events
  • Exclusively for capital and/or equipment expenses
  • More than one application from an organization in a funding cycle