How to Apply

Eligibility Criteria

We welcome organizations of all sizes – ranging from early-stage to established – that meet the eligibility criteria outlined below to apply:

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Are applying on behalf of a benefit corporation, for-profit company, public-private partnership, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, or fiscally-sponsored project headquartered and/or operating in the U.S.

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As a result of receiving a grant from ReFED, will very likely receive additional capital from other funders and/or advance its impact, often in a way that would not otherwise have been possible without a ReFED grant

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Can put to eligible use at least $100,000 or more within an approximately two-year grant period

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Will use the requested funding for an initiative related to the Catalytic Grant Fund’s current thematic focus

The application and selection process takes approximately four to six months and goes through the following phases: 


Interested applicants submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Target deadline:

Monday, Nov. 20th, 2023 at 11:59pm ET


Select applicants invited to submit a Full Application.

Notification Date:

Monday, Jan. 8th, 2024

Application Process

An Independent Review Committee evaluates the Full Application submissions


Feb. 2024


The Grant Fund Selection committee will consider the finalists and make a decision on who receives funding

Target Review Period:

March 2024


Grantees notified.

Notification Date:

April 27, 2024

Selection Process

Open Calls

The Catalytic Grant Fund hosts a series of open calls – each with a particular thematic focus area where catalytic grant funding can have the greatest impact. Explore the open calls below.

Current Open Call

Serving Up Food Waste Solutions To Restaurants

We often perceive wasted food as the cost of doing business in independent restaurants. But today, with supply chain disruptions, the growing cost of food, and staffing challenges, those costs are becoming increasingly burdensome, creating an opening to reframe food waste reduction as the critical opportunity it is – to drive operational efficiency, deliver unique customer experiences, improve profit margins, and/or create a competitive advantage.

That's why our current open call for the Catalytic Grant Fund is focused on accelerating the adoption of food waste solutions for restaurants. We're looking for proven or pilot-ready solutions that are simple, affordable, and convenient to implement and/or have a strong business case for small to medium-sized independent restaurants – including increased cost savings, improved staff retention, higher customer acquisition, and more.

And to bolster the catalytic nature of this open call, we're excited to announce that a subset of the selected grantees will get a unique opportunity to pilot their solution with restaurants. 

Special thanks to our anchor funder

Application period closed

Selection Criteria

Submissions will be considered based on the following selection criteria.

Initiative Impact Potential

Does the initiative for which the applicant is seeking funding reduce restaurant food waste in a simple, affordable, and convenient way and/or have a strong business case?

Catalytic Potential

Can a grant from ReFED combined with non-financial support unlock additional funding and/or advance the applicant’s impact, often in a way that would not otherwise have been possible?

Organizational Impact Track Record

Does the applicant have a demonstrated ability to create a positive impact, based on metrics relevant to the applicant, and to thoughtfully consider and address potential negative environmental and social impacts?

Team & Implementation Potential

Does the team and board leading the initiative for which they are seeking funding have lived experience directly related to the initiative, as well as relevant skills, knowledge, and resources that will enable them to successfully execute the use of funds?

Previous Open Call

Consumer Food Waste

Consumers are the largest total generators of food waste, but it's not always easy for them to change wasteful behaviors. This first Open Call is focused on solutions and innovations in need of funding that can enable consumers to actively reduce their food waste at home – as well as in restaurant and foodservice settings – by making it obvious, affordable, and convenient. To bolster these solutions, the Catalytic Grant Fund seeks to support initiatives at a local, regional, and/or national level.

Meet the Cohort

Meet the Independent Review Committee

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