How to Win Funding From the Mastercard Foundation

November 26, 2023

As a nonprofit leader, securing funding to advance your mission is one of your top priorities. One source to consider is the Mastercard Foundation. They provide funding to organizations and initiatives that expand access to education and economic opportunities for marginalized communities in developing countries, particularly in Africa. Winning a grant from a prestigious funder like the Mastercard Foundation would be transformative for your organization. However, the application process is competitive, and you need to demonstrate a compelling vision, innovative solutions, and a track record of impact to rise above the rest. If you have what it takes, a Mastercard Foundation grant could help accelerate your impact and change lives for generations to come. The opportunity is tremendous, but are you up for the challenge?

Mastercard Foundation

Overview of the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program

The Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program provides full scholarships for students from sub-Saharan Africa to pursue bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees at universities in Africa and around the world. Eligibility

To be eligible for a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, you must:

  • Be a citizen of and have lived a significant part of your life in a sub-Saharan African country.
  • Meet the admission requirements of the university and academic program to which you are applying.
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities and a commitment to community service.
  • Have a clear plan for how you will contribute to the transformation of Africa after completing your studies.

The Application Process

Applying for a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship includes the following steps:

  1. Choose the universities and programs you wish to apply to. Review their admission requirements carefully.
  2. Submit applications to your selected universities. Meet all deadlines and ensure your applications are complete.
  3. Complete the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship application, including essays demonstrating your leadership, community service, and commitment to the development of Africa. Submit by the deadline.
  4. If selected as a finalist, participate in an interview with the university selection committee. The interview will assess your fit for the program and potential as a leader and change maker.
  5. Await notification from the universities regarding the outcome of your applications and the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. Offers will be made in late spring.

By providing a world-class education and developing skills in leadership and entrepreneurship, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program cultivates future leaders who will transform Africa. Apply today for this life-changing opportunity.

Eligibility Requirements for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship

To be eligible for funding from the Mastercard Foundation, applicants must meet several requirements.


Applicants must be citizens or residents of a Sub-Saharan African country. The Foundation prioritizes funding for those from disadvantaged communities and underrepresented groups.

Level of Study

Applicants must be seeking funding for undergraduate, Master’s or PhD level study at an accredited college or university, whether in Africa or abroad. The Foundation aims to support access to quality higher education and skills training.

Field of Study

Applicants can pursue degrees in any field that will contribute to social and economic transformation in Africa. The Foundation supports study in fields such as agriculture, engineering, health sciences, education, business, and economics. Applicants should demonstrate how their chosen program of study will enable them to address critical challenges in their communities upon graduation.

Financial Need

Applicants must demonstrate financial need for the scholarship. The Foundation aims to support students who would otherwise be unable to pursue or complete higher education due to lack of funds. Applicants will need to provide financial statements and details about their financial circumstances.

Leadership Potential

Applicants should show strong leadership potential and a commitment to give back to their communities. The Foundation looks for applicants who can become leaders in their fields and communities, helping to enact positive change. Applicants may demonstrate leadership experience and community involvement in their applications.

The Foundation aims to support students who will become leaders in their fields, enacting positive change in their communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. By meeting the eligibility criteria, you will have the opportunity to become part of their mission. Best of luck!

How to Apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship

To apply for funding from the Mastercard Foundation, you must meet the eligibility criteria and follow the application process.


The Mastercard Foundation provides scholarships and grants to organizations and individuals in Africa who meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident and citizen of a sub-Saharan African country.
  • Have a demonstrated financial need and be unable to pursue post-secondary education without funding.
  • Be academically talented with a strong focus on community engagement and leadership.
  • Propose a course of study that will contribute to the development of your community or country.

Application Process

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship through the following steps:

  1. Review the list of eligible universities and programs of study on the Foundation’s website. Select programs that match your interests and goals.
  2. Contact the university(ies) you are interested in to inquire about their application process and deadlines for Mastercard Foundation Scholarships. Each school will have their own application requirements, so make sure you understand them fully.
  3. Prepare your application materials which typically include: an online application, official academic transcripts, an essay demonstrating your leadership experience and community engagement, and letters of recommendation from teachers or community leaders.
  4. Submit all required application materials to your selected universities before the stated deadlines. Be prepared for a potentially competitive selection process.
  5. If selected for funding, you will receive notification from the university. The scholarship may cover tuition, books, room and board, and other fees. You will need to maintain strong academic performance and community leadership to continue receiving funding.

By following these steps and submitting a thoughtful, compelling application, you will maximize your chances of obtaining this life-changing opportunity for education and leadership development. Best of luck!

READ ALSO: Qualifications and Application Tips for the Prestigious Andrew Mellon Foundation Grant


In conclusion, with hard work and persistence, your nonprofit organization has an excellent chance of securing funding from the Mastercard Foundation. By dedicating time to thoroughly understand their application process and funding priorities, you’ll be able to craft a compelling proposal that aligns with their mission to promote financial inclusion and education for young people in developing countries. With a well-developed concept, realistic budget, and passion for your cause, you have the potential to join the ranks of their many grantee partners making a meaningful impact across Africa. The road ahead requires patience and dedication, but the rewards of receiving funding from such a prestigious foundation are well worth the effort. Stay focused on your goals, believe in your mission, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. You’ve got this! With determination and the right preparation, you absolutely can win funding from the Mastercard Foundation.


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