Michael and Susan Dell Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation concentrates its international efforts on India and South Africa. Dell awards grants to address poverty, expanding educational opportunities, and increasing family economic stability. 

IP TAKE: Dell awards few international grants, so grantseekers should expect competition. Grantseekers should also be metrics-oriented, and think big. Dell tends to lean toward large projects that involve measurable progress.

PROFILE: Dell Computers founder Michael Dell and his wife Susan established the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in 1999 to improve educational opportunities and healthcare for children in the Dells' home region of central Texas. Since then, the foundation has expanded to award international grants to organizations working in India and South Africa.

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s international grantmaking heavily emphasizes improving the lives of impoverished children living in (select) urban areas in India and South Africa. The foundation does not have a specific 'global development' program. However, Dell has identified its grantmaking priorities to affect the greatest impact on improving the lives of vulnerable populations in its regions of focus. 

Dell’s Family Economic Stability program seeks to break the cycle of poverty, improve children’s health, and ensure that kids get the education they deserve. In South Africa, Dell focuses its grantmaking on youth employment. In India, the foundation operates three initiatives: Financial Inclusion, Jobs and Livelihoods, and Social Performance.

Within Dell’s Family Economic Stability program is the Urban Microfinance strategy, which makes equity investments in specialized credit services and savings products. Investments are limited to groups working in India.

The foundation’s Urban Education program awards grants to expand educational opportunities for children in cities in India and South Africa.

Another division of Dell’s Family Economic Stability program is its Social Performance Indicator strategy. This strategy awards grants to organizations that are working to close the information gap related to measuring and supporting the social returns related to the microfinance industry.  

To gain a better understanding of Dell's global development related grantmaking, grantseekers should refer to Dell's Funding page.   

Organizations can apply for Michael & Susan Dell Foundation funding at any time, provided the applicant's work aligns with the foundation's giving priorities. Grantseekers should keep in mind that Dell has a thing about data, so grantseekers would do well to emphasize metrics in whatever proposals they put forward.

PEOPLE: 

  • Janet Mountain, Executive Director
  • Barun Mohanty, Managing Director, International Programs
  • Rahil Rangwala, Director, Family Economic Stability
  • Debasish Mitter, Country Director, India
  • Prachi Windlass, Director, India Education
  • Dean Villet, Country Director, South Africa 
  • Leigh Anne Albert, Program Officer, South Africa

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