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Grants call 2020: frequently asked questions

1. Am I eligible to apply?

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

i) The applicant and, where applicable, partner(s) must be registered not-for-profit civil society organisations (CSOs)

ii) The applicant must be registered in an eligible Commonwealth Member State and the project should take place in the country of registration. Partner(s) must also be registered in a Commonwealth Member State. A list of eligible countries can be viewed on this page

iii) The application is for funding between £10,000 and £30,000 per annum

iv) The applicant is applying for funding for a maximum of one year

v) The average of the applicant’s total income over the last two years is less than £3m

vi) The project must address one or more of the project areas listed (see guidelines)

vii) The applicant will provide the following documents as part of the application:

  • a completed logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template
  • a completed project plan using the Commonwealth Foundation template
  • a completed budget busing the Commonwealth Foundation template
  • a copy of the organisation’s registration certificate (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
  • a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organisations (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
  • a copy of the organisation’s most recent annual accounts or audited accounts for grant applications from £10,000 up to £14,999: or
  • a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited accounts for grants from £15,000 up to £30,000.

2. What type of projects is the Commonwealth Foundation seeking to fund?

We are interested in supporting national initiatives in response to COVID-19 that aim to engage constructively with government in strengthening relevant institutions, policies and practices as communities and countries seek to recover and rebuild. Please refer to the guidelines for further information.

3. Can the grant be used to fund ongoing work?

The grant should be used to fund new initiatives specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. What kind of audit report do applicants need to submit?

Applicants are required to submit a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited accounts. The audit must include both the accounts and the opinion of the external auditor who has certified them, and it should not be older than December 2018. Please note that project audits and independently verified accounts will not be accepted in lieu of the organisation’s audited accounts. Applicants that submit a set of audited accounts can apply for a grant of £10,000 to £30,000.

5. What kind of annual accounts do applicants need to submit?

Annual accounts must include a balance sheet, a profile and loss statement, and notes about the account. Annual accounts should be signed off by the board or the organisation’s Executive Director, and should not be older than December 2018. Please refer to the guidelines for further information. Applicants that submit a set of annual accounts can apply for a grant of £10,000 to £14,999.

6. Can I submit the audit report/annual accounts after I have submitted the application?

The audit report/annual accounts must be submitted together with the application form.

7. Can an applicant implement a project in a country that they are not registered in?

For this special grants call, applicants must be registered in the country where the project will be implemented. However, partner organisations can be registered in a different country to where the project will be implemented.

8. Do applicant organisations need to have partners?

It is not a requirement to work with a partner organisation to implement the project. However, if an applicant wishes to implement the project with a partner organisation, an assessment of the applicant’s (and partner’s) capacity to implement the project will be made as part of the assessment process.

9. Can two or more organisations submit an application?

Yes, two or more organisations can submit an application. However, one organisation must act as an applicant organisation and the other(s) as the partner(s). The applicant organisation will hold the grant agreement with the Commonwealth Foundation.

10. Can an organisation be an applicant in one application and a partner in another?

No, an organisation can only be included on one application per grants call.

11. Can an organisation be a partner on more than one grant application?

No, an organisation can only be included on one application per grants call.

12. Can I apply for more than one grant in each grant call?

An organisation can only apply for one grant per call.

13. Can an organisation that currently holds a grant with the Commonwealth Foundation apply for a grant under this call.

Yes, for this special grants call, an organisation that currently has a grant with the Commonwealth Foundation is able to apply for a grant, as long as they meet all the other criteria.

14. Can an organisation with an average total income of more than £3m be a partner in a grant application?

Yes, applications can include partner organisations with an average total income of more than £3m, as long as they meet all other eligibility criteria.

15. Can a government department, business or an individual be a partner in the project?

Only not-for-profit civil society organisations can be partners in grant applications. The project can, however, engage government authorities as stakeholders, as well as individuals as stakeholders or beneficiaries.

16. Can the grant cover trainings provided to government officials to strengthen their skills?

Activities that are solely targeted at government officials and/or the private sector cannot be funded by the Commonwealth Foundation. Such activities can be included in the project if there is a strong rationale for them, but they must be covered by other sources of funding.

17. Why is country [X] not included in the list of eligible countries?

Only civil society organisations registered in Commonwealth Member States can apply for a grant. The list of eligible countries can be found on this page.

18. Do you have examples of projects funded in the past?

Past and current projects funded by the Commonwealth Foundation can be found on this page. However, please note that not all of these projects were designed to meet the outcomes of this particular call.