Mandela Day is officially on July 18; however, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the custodian of his
legacy has advocated for “Making Every Day a Mandela Day” to encourage ongoing volunteerism
throughout the year. The new Mandela Day Service Grant will support community service and
volunteer projects where Alumni actively engage in short-term volunteer-driven community
campaigns that contribute to longer-term projects focused on improving livelihoods. Through the
grant, up to six Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni (or Alumni teams) will receive up to $1,000
each to implement a short-term community service or volunteer project in honor of Mandela Day.
• Applications must follow the instructions in this packet.
• Extra materials outside of the application will not be considered.
• Revisions to applications after submission will also not be considered.
• Only one application per team will be considered.
• Applications must be written in English.
Mandela Day Service Grant Process & Important Dates
All Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni are invited to apply for the Mandela Day Service
Grant. The application will consist of a project proposal, including an overview of project
goals and objectives, target audience, budget, timeline, work plan, and Alumni
Collaborator (if applicable).
Selected projects will be announced in March 2023.
All Mandela Day Service Grant applications will receive an initial screen from at least two
judges. The judging panel is composed of members from the Mandela Washington
Fellowship community with professional experience in developing world entrepreneurship
and social enterprise.
Those serving as judges are not personally involved in the ideas being judged, nor do they
have any immediate family involved.
Contestants are evaluated based on:
• Potential for leadership success, as evident by academic and professional background, relevant skills, and demonstrated passion.
• Focus on a short-term project that contributes to sustainable community development initiatives.
• Potential for success of the project, based on the concept note of the application, the proposed budget, and proposed collaborations
• Be succinct. Successful candidates are objective, focused, and clear. These attributes
should come across in your writing. Orient your application towards an educated judge
who is relatively knowledgeable with the key issues.
Be specific. Successful applications are detailed and specific about goals, objectives, and
project activities, leaving no questions about the aims of the project or how fund will be
used to achieve them.
• Consider scale, impact, cost-effectiveness. Successful applicants will build a plausible case
that their project is impactful, realistic, cost-effective, and in the spirit of Mandela Day of
• Keep within scope. The most successful projects are explicit about their focus and avoid
spending resources on too wide or too many areas. A well-focused, tightly scoped project
idea will be considered most successful.
• Apply early. Preference will be shown to the first five applications submitted from each
country, so get your application in as early as possible.