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Common Questions


Is my organization eligible to apply for a grant?

The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program utilizes World Bank country income groups to establish eligibility to apply for a grant. Organizations from low- and middle-income countries are welcome to apply. This includes low-income, lower-middle-income, and upper-middle-income countries.

Who can apply for a grant?

Governmental and non-governmental organizations based in eligible countries can apply for grants.

  • Governmental organizations include, but are not limited to, national Ministries, state/provincial authorities and affiliate offices.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with relevant advocacy experience aimed at changing or implementing policies.
  • Universities and independent policy institutes (‘think tanks’)

Please note that the grants program does not fund individuals.

What kind of projects can be funded?

Proposals must focus on achieving policy change that will lead to substantial reductions in tobacco use.

Priority will be given to projects that lead to sustainable improvements in tobacco control laws, regulations, policies at the national or sub-national level (e.g. provinces, states), including (but not restricted to):

  • Tax and price measures
  • Illicit trade policy in relation to taxation.
  • Direct and indirect advertising bans (including promotion and sponsorship)
  • Establishment of smoke-free legislation for public places and workplaces
  • Policies for graphic warning labels on tobacco products
  • FCTC Article 5.3 policy (this must be in association with strengthening one or more MPOWER policies)

What kind of projects will not be funded?

The Grants Program does not fund education programs (school-based or otherwise) nor does it fund agricultural or crop-substitution programs.

The Grants Program does not fund basic research, academic studies, prevalence surveys or cessation services. Systematic surveys of adult prevalence and basic research are being undertaken separately with the support of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and are not funded through the Grants Program. Regarding Cessation services, the Grants Program does not fund purchasing of cessation products or service treatment costs, but may provide support to improve policies related to cessation services.

Projects should address a strategic gap in national tobacco control and avoid duplicating work already conducted.

How much funding can a project receive?

Proposals can be submitted for grants from US$25,000 up to US$250,000 per year. Short-term, one-year and two-year project proposals will be considered.

Funding levels should be consistent with the scope and capability of your organization. Cost reasonableness is a factor in the consideration of proposals.

How do I submit a Project Idea?

All applications must be submitted via an online system during the times applications are being accepted. No Project Ideas will be accepted after the deadline has passed.

A link to the online system will be provided on the Apply for a Grant page. 

Can I download the Project Idea application prior to submitting it online?

Yes. To review and prepare your proposal for submission, you may access and download the application template by clicking here

Can I submit more than one Project Idea?

Yes, you are welcome to submit more than one Project Idea. Once you have submitted the previous application simply click on the new form activation and a blank form will appear.

Can I insert pictures and graphs into my Project Idea?

No. The system only accepts text so any insertions of pictures or graphs would be removed by the system during submission, or may stop your application from going through completely.

Why am I not allowed to submit a Project Idea in my own language?

Applications can be accepted only in English. Although we would like to be able to receive multiple language applications, we cannot cater for everyone.

How will Project Ideas be selected to go forward?

Project Ideas are reviewed by a joint working group of Vital Strategies and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Bloomberg Philanthropies is not involved in the selection process.

Vital Strategies manages grants designed to strengthen government, NGO and other civil society organisations’ efforts to control tobacco use. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids/Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund manages grants aimed at developing and implementing strategic advocacy campaigns.

How do you score reviews?

Project Ideas will be scored on their

  • Potential to reduce tobacco use in country with attainment of MPOWER policy/policies (20%)
  • Population Impact (potential for lives saved) (20%)
  • Political will to support proposed policy goal (20%)
  • Project Design (20%)
  • Demonstrated organizational capacity to impact relevant policy area (10%)
  • Multi-sectoral collaboration and partnership (10%)

Why didn’t my Project Idea get accepted?

We receive hundreds of Project Ideas each round and can only accept a small number of those. We place particular emphasis on the Project Idea meeting all the criteria for eligibility, meeting a strategic gap and fitting in with other work being carried out in country.

Although we cannot give everyone feedback we encourage you to submit another Project Idea in the next eligible round.

What happens if I have technical trouble and it is close to the deadline?

We strongly encourage you to submit at least one day prior to the deadline. If you do experience technical problems our admin team should be able to help via Please do not email through your Project Idea to us.

What happens once I have submitted my Project Idea?

The system will send you an automated message advising your Project Idea has been submitted. You will see your Project Idea will appear in the submitted section of your Account page.

Why didn’t I get an automated message?

Often submission confirmation emails bounce back due to incorrect entry of an email address, or email accounts that may block the email. You will receive your Project Idea confirmation email from Make sure your email system does not block this email or puts it in the Junk folder.

When is the next Call for Proposals launched?

Please check the ‘About the Program’ page for information on the next round.