The State Department created the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) in 2011 to support alumni initiatives that promote shared values and innovative solutions to global challenges. The competition provides small grants to teams of past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to carry out public service projects that utilize skills and knowledge they have gained through their exchange experiences. To participate, alumni must be members of the International Exchange Alumni (IEA) global online community and form teams of at least four IEA community members (this number includes the team leader). Proposed projects must address one of the AEIF themes. In 2015, 48 grants of up $25,000 were awarded to alumni teams worldwide to support their public service projects.
2016 AEIF Timeline
- Tuesday, February 9: AEIF Launches at Noon ET. Alumni can start submitting proposals and budgets.
- Wednesday, March 9: AEIF Proposal and Budget Forms Due by Noon ET. This is the final and only deadline, so make sure you get your four team members and submit your final projects in before the deadline, no exceptions.
- Late April: AEIF 2016 Winning Projects Announced!
What is new with AEIF in 2016?
You know that saying, “Change is good?” Team Exchange Alumni has made a few enhancements to AEIF this year to make it a smoother process.
- There is no finalist phase this year! AEIF is all one phase, instead of two.
- In addition to completing a proposal form, alumni teams must now submit a completed budget form by the deadline.
- We recognized that the voting process caused some confusion about how projects were evaluated. So, this year, there is no voting! IEA members can still comment and provide feedback on proposals. Remember, projects will be evaluated based on a set of criteria outlined here.
- To be eligible for consideration, AEIF teams must comprise at least four alumni who are registered on the IEA website. This number includes the team leader. (You may remember, in past AEIF competitions, a team of five alumni was required.)
The following themes were selected for AEIF 2016:
- Access to Education
- Civic Participation
- Climate Change and Environmental Protection
- Empowering Women and Girls
- Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment
- Human Rights and Social Inclusion of Vulnerable Populations