Commonwealth Foundation Grants Program 2023 (£15,000-£30,000)

Commonwealth Foundation Grants Program 2023 (£15,000-£30,000)

Commonwealth Foundation Grants Program 2023 (£15,000-£30,000)

The Commonwealth Foundation is pleased to announce its grant Programme to bring the voice of civil society into all aspects of governance, supporting civil society engagement in shaping the policies and decisions that affect people’s lives.

The Foundation’s vision is of a Commonwealth of equal, just, and inclusive societies. their mission is to contribute to that vision by:

  • Supporting the active and constructive participation of Commonwealth citizens in all aspects of their governance
  • Nurturing the growth of vibrant and free civil societies in all Commonwealth countries
  • Advancing the principles and ideals of the Commonwealth.

Focus Areas

  • Applicants must address one or more of the Foundation’s three priority themes:
    • Health
    • Environment and climate change
    • Freedom of expression
  • They seek to support initiatives that encourage and make possible meaningful and constructive engagement between civil society and government around policy and decision-making relevant to these three themes.
  • The Foundation’s themes overlap and connect in myriad ways. Applicants are encouraged to explore those intersections when developing their proposals and, where appropriate, consider addressing more than one theme.
    • Possible health focus areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on:
      • Advocating for universal health coverage
      • Realising the right to health through better availability, quality, and accountability in health services and delivery
      • Developing programmes and policies that address the social determinants of health.
    • Possible environment and climate change areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on:
      • Developing, reviewing and improving laws, policies and practices aimed at addressing environmental and climate threats
      • Monitoring the implementation of relevant laws, policies and practices — such as national climate plans or commitments
      • Addressing mitigation and adaptation challenges.
    • Possible freedom of expression areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on:
      • Advocating for a legal and regulatory environment that protects and upholds freedom of expression for all
      • Promoting access to information and transparency in governance, including through a free and independent press, robust freedom of information laws and their practical application
      • Supporting civil society to work with artists to raise awareness to issues of freedom of expression and engage in advocacy efforts around these issues

Additional Themes

  • Applicants are encouraged to reflect on their other themes and considerations which, while important to us, do not necessarily need to be reflected in successful applications.
    • Gender
      • They recognise that social structures and systems are shaped by gendered power dynamics that often reflect and perpetuate inequality and discrimination. They ask all applicants to demonstrate an understanding of how gender operates within their chosen theme/s and show how they will integrate that understanding into their project.
    • Partnerships
      • The Foundation understands their limits to fund worthwhile initiatives and they encourage applicants to carefully consider how they can leverage partnerships to further enhance their work.
    • Participation of young people
      • Young people are central to the Foundation’s mission and vision. Applications are encouraged from CSOs working to support and advance the involvement of young people in their own governance, as well as from CSOs that include young people in their structure.
    • Small and vulnerable member states
      • The Commonwealth is a champion of small states and carries a special duty to support and advocate for the interests of small and vulnerable states. Applications from eligible small and vulnerable states are strongly encouraged.
    • Capacity Development
      • The Foundation understands the importance of strengthening organisational capacity. Shortlisted projects will therefore be invited to propose capacity strengthening initiatives that cover organisational needs that are broader than the project but that help to enhance organisational effectiveness. See Guidelines for Applicants for more information.

Funding Information

  • Grants of £15,000 per annum
  • Grants of £15,001 and above

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a grant under this call, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must be a not-for-profit civil society organization (CSO) registered in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country.
  • Newly registered organisations (those that have been registered and operating for less than a year) should not apply.
  • The proposed project must be implemented in the country of registration. Projects can be implemented in one or more eligible Commonwealth Foundation member countries and can have a national, sub-national, regional, or international remit. In multi-country projects, strong local participation in project implementation is required.
  • The applicant organization must have a minimum of two years’ demonstrable experience working on participatory governance and advocacy within the area/theme(s) of the proposed project.
  • The total grant amount requested must be between £15,000 and £30,000 per year, and for a maximum of two years.
  • The requested grant amount should not exceed 70% of the applicant organisation’s total annual income, averaged over the past two years.
  • The annual income of the applicant organisation, averaged over the past two years, must be less than £2m.
  • The project proposal must address at least one of the notified priority themes.
  • The project proposal must demonstrate appropriate integration of gender considerations. For example, the applicant may use the findings of gender analysis to inform the design of the project proposal and / or and ensure allocation of adequate resources to effectively address gender equality in the project cycle.
  • Proposals must relate to projects that are expected to begin within the second half of 2023 (i.e., after 1 July 2023 and before end September 2023). Note that applications not meeting the above eligibility requirements will not be considered.
  • Note: The Foundation appreciates that CSOs interested in applying for a grant may already be doing significant work that falls within the parameters of this grants call and that would benefit from support for expansion and/or continuation of that work. They are therefore willing to consider supporting an additional component or extension of an existing initiative. This should be made clear in the application.

Click Here to Apply

Also Read: Other Opportunities to Apply

Also Apply for the Strategic-Technical Support Program – Capacity Building for NGOs and CBOs

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