Our Purpose

Our Purpose

Governed by an expert Advisory Committee and managed by HCM Strategists, the Federal Financial Aid Advocacy (FFAA) Fund awards short-term grants of up to $200,000 each to support innovative, timely advocacy activity that activates diverse stakeholders and advances federal policymaking for financial aid programs—helping those connected to higher education to harness the power of persuasion.

Beyond creating effective messaging, materials, events and campaigns, the FFAA Fund aims to:

  • Build unconventional partnerships of complementary skills and common purpose;
  • Activate, amplify and empower new voices often missing from the debate; and
  • Seed creative approaches to building will for change—thinking beyond traditional briefings and “Hill Day” visits.

Proposals must address one or more of the following strategies to improve the financial aid system’s ability to increase student access and success:

  1. FAFSA and program simplification
  2. Tax benefit simplification
  3. Institutional and student accountability
  4. Loan repayment
  5. State and federal partnership for aid

Use of Funds

Permissible uses of funds include tactical, one-time advocacy activities or a package of related activities, such as: communications strategies and social marketing; coalition building and issue advocacy campaigns; stakeholder engagement; advocacy training; public opinion research; advising candidates or policy makers; or convenings and facilitation.


Eligible entities include tax-exempt nonprofit organizations (501(c)3), public charities, and public systems of higher education via their 501(c)3 foundations. Former RADD grantees are encouraged to apply.

Consortia are eligible and encouraged. Existing projects may be eligible for funding, if the funds are used to expand or create a unique or new element to the project.

For-profit entities are not eligible to apply at this time, but may be a subcontractor to a non-profit organization applicant.

For more information, download the Request for Proposals.