Working to improve mutual understanding between the Middle East and the West


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Encounter Grants

The Encounter Grant is a small-scale award to fund interfaith and/or intercultural encounters that bring together people from MENA and the West.

The Encounters can be but need not be academic in nature. They must aim to improve mutual understanding between MENA and the West.
Gingko awards up to three Encounter Grants per year, normally up to a maximum of £3,000 for each grant (download grant description as a PDF here)

The Encounter Grants are open to anyone anywhere in the world who can demonstrate the value of their project and their suitability to lead it.

Gingko particularly welcomes:

– applications from people in the MENA region and/or with MENA heritage;

– applications for projects led by people from both the MENA region (and/or with MENA heritage) and the West;

applications for projects in regions and countries where there is limited financial support available for interfaith and/or intercultural encounters.


The Encounter Grants are open to anyone who can demonstrate the value of their project and their suitability to lead it. Previous experience organising and/or leading similar projects or events is welcome but not essential. Applicants must be committed to improving mutual understanding between MENA and the West and have an openness to encountering the Other.


Projects for the Encounter Grant must bring together people from both MENA and the West in a direct and meaningful way. The encounter should be impactful – in other words, designed with the aim of creating real change in all participants. The encounter must be mutual – in other words, the encounter should be designed so that both sides are learning and growing. The encounter can be intercultural or interfaith or both.

Examples of possible encounters might include: a season of scriptural reasoning gatherings for participants of the three Abrahamic faiths, from MENA and the West; an educational project bringing together students from MENA or of MENA heritage with students from the West; a workshop, which encourages dialogue across ethnic and religious groups from MENA and the West, to build mutual understanding and prevent future conflict.

Outcomes and Impact

Applicants should indicate their expected outcomes in their application. Outcomes should be specific and clearly defined.

If the encounter is written about, either by the grant recipient or a third party, Gingko’s support must be acknowledged, wherever possible, in any published outcome.

Grant recipients must submit a brief report (750 to 1000 words) to Gingko upon the completion of their project, detailing how the project turned out, assessing how well the project achieved its expected outcomes and providing final accounts for the project. Where possible, grant recipients should conduct a brief survey of the impact of their project on its participants and include the results in their final report. 


Applicants should include a schedule for their project in their application. Gingko normally expects projects to be completed within two years of an Encounter Grant being awarded.


Applicants must include a budget. Applicants should submit a budget for the entire costs of their project, indicating as appropriate which parts of the budget will be funded by Gingko’s grant. Applicants should indicate other sources of funding and whether these have already been secured.

Financial Need

Applicants must include a declaration that without the grant they would not have the resources to carry out their proposed project.

Eligible Costs

Gingko Encounter Grants can cover direct costs of organising encounters, including event and technology costs, travel, accommodation, marketing and general expenses. The grant can be used to pay small fees to the organisers and/or others involved in delivering the encounters but these fees should normally total a third or less of the grant requested. If in doubt, please email Gingko at

Annual Deadline

6 April.

Application Procedure

Please study the application form carefully before applying – download as a Word document or as a PDF here. Completed applications must be emailed to by midnight (UK time) on 6 April. Decisions will be announced in June of the same year.


Two letters of recommendation must be submitted in support of each application and should be sent to by midnight (UK time) on 6 April. At least one letter of recommendation should come from a professional contact of the applicant(s) who has professional experience of them in a context relevant to the Encounter Grant. If the project applied for is academic, then at least one referee must be a professional academic with professional academic experience of the applicant(s). Both references should come from professionals or individuals of good standing in their communities. These references must come from a work or official email address.

Terms and Conditions

Successful applicants will need to agree to Gingko’s Terms & Conditions.

Assessment of Grants

Grant applications will be assessed by a panel of reviewers with experience in organising and leading interfaith and intercultural encounters. Applications will be anonymised before assessment. Gingko aims to have at least one assessor from MENA or of MENA heritage on the judging panel. Decisions are based on the quality and practicality of the proposed encounter(s), the costing of the work, the qualifications of the applicant to conduct the work, and the reports of referees. The decision of the panel is final. We regret that we cannot offer feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Ethical Policy

Gingko expects all grant applicants and recipients to abide by its ethical policy, which is included in the terms and conditions for all grants. Gingko is a non-political, religiously neutral organisation, committed to non-discriminatory treatment of others in all aspects of our work. We operate in accordance with the UK’s Equality Act. We respect and celebrate diversity.

Further Questions

If you have any questions about the Gingko Encounter Grant, please email us on