Alumni Project Fund

Cultivating Cross-Cultural Collaborations

Backpacktivists who travel with Operation Groundswell often come home feeling inspired and moved to continue working with the local communities they spent time with overseas. That’s why we decided to start the Alumni Project Fund, a platform for alumni to continue living out the OG principles through community-based projects abroad. Our Project Fund provides kick-starter grants to ignite solutions to some of our world’s most pressing problems, connecting alumni with communities abroad.

Applications are now closed. Stay tuned for updates!

How Does it Work?

Program participants and program leaders alike are given the opportunity to propose projects in collaboration with our community partners in seven different regions. Our Project Fund committee then reviews and rewards the proposals according to these three criteria: sustainability, solidarity, and innovation.

We also have a group of past project fund recipients who are eager to help and answer any questions you might have. Simply email [email protected].

Supported by a portion of each participants’ in-country community contribution, the Alumni Project Fund is a groundbreaking vehicle that empowers alumni to create and build on game-changing and lasting projects with our partners on the ground.

The Alumni Project Fund disperses grants in two forms:

  • Small-Scale Projects: Up to $5,000
  • Large-Scale Projects: Up to $10,000


From our first grant in 2011, we’ve given over $80,000 to projects ranging from a seed microfinance project in Ghana to styrofoam building block technology in Haiti.

Last year, our Alumni Project Fund awarded grants to four alumni, including a $10,000 grant to Femme International, a non-profit organization started by Sabrina Rubli, our former East Africa program leader. Femme International is committed to advancing the rights of women and girls through gender targeted programs that address menstruation, sexual health, and feminine hygiene.

The grant awarded was used to support their Feminine Health Management program providing schoolgirls in the Mathare slum in Kenya with the menstrual health education and tools necessary to stay safe, healthy, and in school every day of the month.

At Operation Groundswell, we are proud to support our alumni in their efforts to create a lasting positive impact on the communities they’ve grown to call their second homes!