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In accordance with the 2012 Appropriations Act, at least 50 percent of the total estimated cost of the project must come from a philanthropic entity, other federal agency, or state or local government agency, or any combination of these partners. For the purposes of the cost-sharing requirement, HUD defines a philanthropic entity as the subset of 501(c)(3) organizations that directly fund research activities. These include private foundations, public charities, and operating foundations. An educational institution may have a separate foundation, which would be considered a philanthropic entity for these purposes. Philanthropic entities may include foreign entities.

Contributions may not include waiver of overhead or similar indirect costs.