The Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge FAQ

About this FAQ

This is a Frequently Asked Questions section collecting questions and answers about the Inclusive Growth Challenge. It is updated on a regular basis, and we encourage you to refer back often. If you still have questions, please send an email to to suggest for inclusion in the next FAQ update. Thank you for your interest and participation!

To understand where your organization is in its data journey, follow DataKind’s data maturity framework, which outlines six areas that are critical when thinking about your organization’s data readiness. These areas include leadership, skills, culture, data, tools, and analysis.

There are numerous types of datasets that your organization could be using, ranging from internal proprietary data to global open data. These may include data on your day-to-day operations, information generated from machine or human processes, structured, unstructured, or semi-structured text data, spatiotemporal data, among many others.  Popular global datasets may include:

Eligibility is a project of New Venture Fund, which is a U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Funding from 501(c)(3) organizations must be used exclusively for charitable purposes. Additionally, in order for a project to be charitable under U.S. law, it must not result in financial gain to any individual or non-charitable entity that is more “incidental and tenuous” to the related social impact. You can read more about the second requirement here. 


To meet this second requirement, grant agreements between the New Venture Fund and any Challenge Awardees that are not 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations may include stipulations relating to intellectual property resulting from the Challenge Award. The nature of any such stipulations will be flexible and will consider your project’s unique structure and goals. will provide applicants that advance to Phase 2 of the Challenge with assistance from legal counsel to collaboratively determine the best structure for their project and the intellectual property resulting from therefrom to ensure charitability. However, examples of such stipulations might include a requirement that certain intellectual property resulting from a Challenge Award be made open source, or be made available for free or at a reduced price to nonprofit organizations, government entities and/or individuals in need.

Yes, social enterprises are eligible to apply, provided they are located outside of North Korea, Sudan, Iran, the Crimea region, Syria, and Cuba, and that their proposed project meets the foregoing requirements for charitability.

You can still apply if your team lacks technical or data expertise. The project proposal must clearly outline a plan for how the project will be completed. That plan could involve funding to hire additional team members, and each proposal will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

We’ve stipulated that multiple awards will not go to the same individual or entity. However, we may consider multiple entries from large organizations such as universities. Any entry must be distinct,  without overlap in the scope of the proposals or the project teams. If you are aware that two or more teams within your organization will be submitting Entries to the Challenge, please indicate this in your application, along with how your team meets the foregoing requirements. Fiscal sponsors may submit more than one application but may only submit one application per fiscally sponsored project. Please email us at if you would like us to consider an exception.

There is no preferred length, we are accepting proposals for projects of up to two years.

Application Steps

For Phase 1, applicants can:


  • Refer to the resource links in the submission area
  • Attend webinars and office hours, or view their recordings
  • Ask questions for potential inclusion in the FAQs


For Phase 2, applicants can:


  • Refer to all support available in Phase 1
  • Avail themselves of technical and proposal expert support hours, to be arranged by DataKind, the Challenge technical implementation partner.

Once an application is submitted, it is considered finalized. If you have a compelling reason for it to be re-opened, and it is still within the submission period, please contact us at


Yes, you can apply with a group of organizations, but the awards must be distributed to a single legal entity or individual who will be legally responsible for executing the coalition’s proposal in accordance with the terms of their grant agreement.

For maximum efficiency of limited resources and to serve as good stewards of charitable funds, it is New Venture Fund’s policy to fund indirect or direct overhead costs up to 15% of the approved grant amount. Any indirect costs greater than 15% must be approved on a case-by-case basis.
A budget template will be provided for all applicants that are selected for Phase 2 of the application and will offer further detail on what is considered to be a direct cost. At that stage, we recommend that applicants provide detail on indirect costs specifying what funding will be used for, though we cannot guarantee that indirect costs above 15% will be approved.

In Phase 1, individuals will be assessed against other individuals and unincorporated groups, while entities will be assessed against entities. However, there are no set-asides for Individuals or Entities in Phase 2 - those who advance may be of any entry type, and it is possible that no members of the Individual group, or no members of the entities group, are selected to advance.

DataKind is offering webinars for the applicants to know more about the challenge. Participate to learn more:

  • June 24th at 7am EST and 2pm EST – Art of the Possible: Showcasing Data Science Solutions in Inclusive Growth and Recovery
  • July 1st at 7am & 2pm EST – Scoping 101: Identifying Your Data-Scienceable Problem
  • July 8th 7am & 2pm EST – Data 101: Discussing Open Source Data, Overlooked Data, and the Ethics of Data

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