Posted to the Ethnos Project by on April 9th, 2011

Building Capacity. Raising Awareness.

The Genographic Project was designed to include a distinct legacy component—an important element that will indirectly reciprocate the invaluable contribution made to the project by participating and non-participating indigenous and traditional communities around the world. The Genographic Legacy Fund (GLF), through the extension of grants, aims to empower indigenous and traditional peoples by supporting locally-led efforts that can also raise global awareness about the cultural loss indigenous and traditional communities face.

Funded by net proceeds from the sale of the Genographic Project Public Participation Kits, the Genographic Legacy Fund links the scientific side of the project and the public participants to the indigenous and traditional communities to establish a shared, positive, and ongoing legacy for the Genographic Project.

The enthusiastic response to the Genographic Project has made the Genographic Legacy Fund a reality. Officially launched in May 2006, the Fund has already been translating that enthusiasm into sustainable benefits for indigenous and traditional communities around the world.

Reflecting the values and missions of the Genographic Project partners—the National Geographic Society, IBM, and the Waitt Family Foundation—the Genographic Legacy Fund is directed primarily towards preservation and revitalization of tangible or intangible indigenous or traditional culture.

Terry D. Garcia
Executive Vice President
Mission Programs
National Geographic Society
Spencer Wells, PhD
Project Director
The Genographic Project


Community Profiles

From the savanna plains of sub-Saharan Africa to the vast steppes of northern Eurasia, indigenous and traditional communities around the world have received support from the Genographic Legacy Fund for their community-driven projects.

Learn more about the challenges some of these communities are facing and what they are doing to bring about a positive change.

To see the location and focus of all of the GLF-supported projects to date, view the map at the top of this page.

Information for Applicants

The Genographic Legacy Fund awards grants on an annual basis for community-driven projects directly preserving or revitalizing indigenous or traditional culture.

Funded projects have included documenting a traditional language, oral history, or ceremony; creating culturally-specific educational materials and programs; establishing a local museum or archive; inter-generational knowledge sharing; and preserving significant sites and artifacts.

To be eligible for funding, projects must be community-driven and deliver a positive, tangible, and timely benefit that is sustainable after GLF funds have been expended. Projects must also show a strong level of local community involvement in their planning, governance, and implementation.

Time Line

Funding decisions are made on an annual basis. Submissions for annual review will close at midnight US Eastern Time on the 15th of June of each year for the duration of the Genographic Project or until otherwise modified. Award announcements will occur in coordination with the GLFSC, the Genographic Project and receiving groups.

Application Format

The Genographic Legacy Fund does not have a required application form. To apply, please send a detailed description of your project and its fulfillment of the GLF criteria, making sure to include the following:

  • A proposed budget showing the requested amount and how it will be spent
  • Names, indigenous affiliations, and basic qualifications of project management
  • Primary contact person and contact information
  • Any brief supporting documents showing the merit of the project

Applications are not subject to a minimum length requirement. However, applications longer than 20 pages (including supporting documents) will not be considered.

Submitting an Application

Applicants with sufficient email access are encouraged to submit their application via email to

Applicants without sufficient email access may submit their application by mail or fax.

Genographic Legacy Fund
c/o National Geographic Society
1145 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Fax: +1 202.857.7333

Please do not submit duplicate versions of your application through additional channels.

Given the global diversity of the GLF and those involved in the review process, applicants are discouraged from submitting supplemental materials such as books, CDs or DVDs, or large electronic media files. If a community is unable to communicate its need in writing, alternative formats may be accepted.

Available Funding

Awards will typically not exceed US$25,000. The exact award amount will be determined by the availability of funds as well as the project’s potential impact and the community’s need (as demonstrated in the project narrative and detailed budget).

Grant Restrictions

GLF grants are not intended to be used for indirect costs, overhead, legal actions, and other expenses not directly related to the proposed project. Unless absolutely integral to the proposed project, funds may not be used for salaries, travel or conferences, or for construction or land acquisition.

As a condition of the grant, grant recipients must sign a grant agreement detailing specific reporting obligations and other responsibilities which grant recipients will be required to fulfill.

Spread the Word

Word of mouth is one important method utilized by the Genographic Legacy Fund to inform indigenous and traditional communities about the availability of funds for their own cultural initiatives.

If you or your organization has an established relationship with an indigenous or traditional community, facilitating the preparation or submission of a community’s application can also be a tremendous step towards preserving or revitalizing their culture.

Please see Additional Resources below to download a basic one-page application form which can be circulated to communities who might be unable to submit a more-descriptive application.

Additional Resources

For complete details on the Genographic Legacy Fund, please read the downloadable charter document. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Read answers to frequently asked questions about the Genographic Legacy Fund and the Genographic Project.

Download a basic one-page application form for potential applicants otherwise unable to submit an in-depth application. [PDF] [Word]

Grants previously awarded through the Genographic Legacy Fund. [2008] [2007] [2006]

You can send questions regarding the Genographic Legacy Fund or the application process to


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