Grantee Eligibility

All potential grantees must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or a public entity. BFF will not support organizations that discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, political affiliation, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief.

Grant Limitations:

BFF does not fund individuals, direct scholarships or capital campaigns.

Types of Support:

BFF provides funding for both General Operating Support and for Project/Program Support. For additional information about types of support, please click on the specific funding interest area guidelines.

Grant Amounts:

Most of our grants are in the $10,000-30,000 range. A small number of grants exceed this amount.


BFF has two grant cycles per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Important deadlines are as follows: Fall 2019: LOI submission window: April 1, 2019 - July 14, 2019 Application window opens: July 15, 2019 All materials must be received by September 15, 2019 Decision notification: November 2019 Spring 2020: LOI submission window: November 15, 2019 - February 14, 2020 Application window opens: February 15, 2020 All materials must be received by April 1, 2020 Decision Notification: June 2020


LOIs are welcome throughout various times a year, however grant applications are by invitation only. Please reference the LOI timeline provided below. Unsolicited requests will not be considered.


CYSTEM grant applications will be considered from organizations based anyhwere in the United States.

Grant Guidelines

Grant Application Process | CYSTEM

Grant Types: CYSTEM

Grants for general operations are made to organizations who provide unique services within their communities.  This includes organizations whose work closely aligns with CYSTEM's mission to build a bridge for underserved populations to a fulfilling career in the Interactive Software Industry.

Our I & R Grants target projects and programs that are both innovative and replicable.  We support these grants to allow sector leaders to test new models that have the potential to help their individual organizations and when replicated, to help their peer organizations. 


This includes, but is not limited to, new strategy-focused projects or products designed to enhance the effectiveness of an organization, projects that help clear a path for diverse individuals to careers in the Interactive Software industry, and projects that work to solve systemic barriers for underrepresented communities within the sector.

I & R Grants

Recruitment and Retention Grants: In an effort to support diversity in the interactive software industry and ensure a strong and consistent pipeline of new staff, we support grants that focus on recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented communities.  

Advocacy Grants: In an effort to help improve the diversity, we fund efforts to support to the diversification of the interactive software industry.  However, we do not fund lobbying efforts on new laws, legislation or for candidates.

Sector Supporting Grants
Recruitment & Retention and Advocacy

OD Access grants seek to strengthen an organization's ability to efficiently deliver services to clients.  Ranging from $1,000-$3,500, these grants facilitate access to existing tools that might otherwise might be out the organization's financial reach, that have a direct benefit to the organization or the clients they serve.  


In an effort to be responsive to the needs of our grantees, OD Access Grants are reviewed within 30 days of the date the application is submitted.

To learn more about these grants and apply, please visit the Access Grant area of our site. 

Organizational Development
Access Grants

Letter of Inquiry for CYSTEM

Once you've reviewed the type of grants we provide and their guidelines, we invite you to submit a Letter of Inquiry. We accept LOI's for our CYSTEM grants on the following schedule:

  • November 1, 2018 - February 14, 2019 for consideration in the foundation's 2019 Spring Grant Cycle

  • April 1, 2019 - July 14, 2019 for consideration in the foundation's 2018 Fall Grant Cycle


LOIs will be reviewed at the conclusion of each open submission period. Once reviewed, feedback will be provided and invitations to submit complete grant applications will be sent, if applicable. 


Grant Application for CYSTEM

An invitation is required to submit a grant application.  If you are not a current BFF grantee, we require you submit a LOI during timeframes detailed above.  We accept grant applications (from invited organizations) for our CYSTEM grants on the following schedule:

  • February 15, 2019 - March 31, 2019 for consideration in the foundation's 2019 Spring Grant Cycle

  • July 15, 2019 - September 15, 2019 for consideration in the foundation's 2019 Fall Grant Cycle


Grant applications will be reviewed at the conclusion of each open submission period. Once reviewed, we will email the contact person identified in the application regarding next steps.  Grant applications will be submitted through our online grantee portal.

Reporting on Your Grant

If approved for funding, within 6-8 months of the grant's distribution, you will be required to submit a report on the status of the funded project or the impact general operating support has had on your organization's work.