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Grants to USA and Japan Nonprofits for Collaborative K-12 Educational Programs


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International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

Pre-College Education Grant

United States-Japan Foundation (USJF)

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #150593

Grant Description

Grants to USA and Japan nonprofit organizations for educational projects that enable K-12 youth to learn about each other’s culture, country, and society. Applicants must submit a letter of inquiry prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support projects at the pre-college education level that work directly with students, develop top-quality curriculum materials on America or Japan for educational audiences in the other country, connect schools and classrooms in the US and Japan, and develop and improve instruction in Japanese language.

The United States-Japan Foundation supports innovative education projects that help young Americans and Japanese learn about each other’s society, culture, and country as well as learn to work together on issues of common concern. The Foundation focuses on K-12 education and throughout its history has been at the forefront of supporting teacher professional development projects that train US teachers to teach about Japan and Japanese teachers to teach about the United States. 

The Foundation seeks to respond to needs at the pre-college level as identified by experts in US-Japan education and practitioners in the field. The Foundation is open to diverse methodologies for engaging teachers and students in the study of Japan and the United States that range from history, art, and music to science and society. The Foundation also proactively leads efforts to develop educational programs and projects when a significant need is discerned.

USJF seeks to support programs that:

  • Build human networks among teachers on both sides of the Pacific with a mutual interest in teaching and learning about Japan, the US, and US-Japan relations, particularly in the fields of social studies, science, and Japanese language instruction (support for language instruction is currently limited to Japanese-language programs in the United States)
  • Invest in programs in regions in both countries that have been underserved in terms of exposure to and resources for learning about the other country
  • Take advantage of new technology to bring Japanese and American teachers and students together
  • Enlist the expertise residing at institutions of higher learning and other NGOs in support of US-Japan studies programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels in both countries
  • Present the products of research and policy studies and media programs on US-Japan issues to an audience of pre-college students and their teachers, with the aim of fostering mutual learning and understanding among the young people who will be the future leaders in both countries, forced to come to terms with making policy and responding to the changing nature of the US-Japan relationship
  • Enhance, expand and preserve the study of the Japanese language at the pre-college level in the United States through teacher professional development opportunities, national standards, and performance assessments
  • Develop curricula and other products focused on Japan and/or the United States that are immediately relevant to and useful in meeting the demands faced by teachers at the pre-college level
  • Continue to support and enhance the US-Japan knowledge of the vast network of teachers and students who have been exposed to US-Japan studies over the years through USJF-sponsored programs.

Proposed projects should seek to incorporate one or more of these elements in a way that is particularly suited to the need(s) in pre-college education they seek to address. However, the above guidelines should not be seen as a deterrent to innovative new proposals and concepts. 

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Proof of non-profit status must be provided with full proposal. For US-based organizations, please submit a copy of your IRS determination letter indicating you are a 501(c)(3) organization or are tax exempt for some other reason. Japan-based organizations are requested to submit some form of documentation demonstrating their nonprofit status; please consult with Foundation staff if there are questions.

The Foundation only funds non-profit organizations legally incorporated in the United States and/or Japan. They do not consider or respond to inquiries made from entities outside of these countries.

The following types of projects fall outside of the Foundation’s guidelines: Undergraduate education, sports exchanges, publication subsidies (unless directly related to a current USJF project), and scientific research. Grants can only be made to individuals or organizations holding non-profit status. Foundation grants may not be used for lobbying or to support election to public offices. The Foundation does not award grants as contributions to capital campaigns, endowment funds, deficit operations or for the construction or maintenance of buildings or other physical premises.

The Foundation does not make grants to individuals.

Pre-Application Information:

The Foundation welcomes Letters of Inquiry not later than June 15 for the Fall Grant Cycle.

- By June 15: Suggested submission date for Letters of Inquiry. Please note that in spite of this deadline, applicants are encouraged to submit a Letter of Inquiry as early as possible for review.
- June 20 – July 10: Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed and responses sent as soon as possible.
- August 10: Deadline for receipt of Full Proposal (only invited full proposals will be considered)
- August 10 – September: Internal/External review of Full Proposals
- October: USJF Board of Trustees meet to review Full Proposals, make funding decisions
- November: Funding decisions announced

Please note: The Foundation will award grants only in the Autumn starting from 2022. There will no longer be a Spring cycle.

Please note that from May 2022 forward materials related to grants will be processed through Submittable. The first step in submitting a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is registration on Submittable©. Please use this link below and follow the steps outlined. When you are a registered user, you can begin the formal process of application. Registration is required.

Full proposals should only be submitted upon the invitation of the Foundation. Uninvited full-proposals will not be considered.

Foundation welcomes phone calls and e-mails from prospective grantees to discuss their projects at anytime. Applicants are encouraged to contact the staff of the Foundation early on in the proposal development process for feedback and guidance. Comments and questions regarding the guidelines are encouraged.

Application process:



Term of Contract:

Proposals can indicate an interest in multi-year funding, but should focus on one year at a time. Approved projects that initially indicated an interest in multi-year support would need to submit renewal proposals for future support.

Contact Information:


While most questions about the status of your application can be answered by referencing your Submittable©portfolio, please feel free to direct inquiries to

Non-profit organizations located in the United States should contact the Program Department in the New York Office at

Non-profit organizations located in Japan should contact Mr. Tomoyuki Watanabe, Japan Representative, in the Foundation’s Tokyo office.

United States-Japan Foundation
145 East 32nd Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 481-8753

Tokyo Office
Reinanzaka Building 1F
1-14-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Tokyo 107-0052
Tel: (03) 3586-0541

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