Commonwealth Foundation offers grants of up to £200,000 over four years in support of innovative project ideas and approaches that seek to strengthen the ability of civic voices to engage with governments and that has the potential to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation.
The Foundation believes in the power of stories and storytelling for social change and will award grants for creative approaches that have the potential to influence public discourse.
The selection process is highly competitive and selected projects will have been designed to undertake work that has the potential to lead to one or more of the outcomes in the Foundation’s strategic logic model.
The Foundation’s programme teams are all involved in shaping the focus of the call for proposals. An internal review process, including long-lasting by the Grants team followed by a shortlisting process involving all programme teams, prepares a final list of applications that are then submitted to the Grants Committee. Final decisions on which projects to support are made by the member states represented on the Foundation’s Grants Committee.
The Foundation is interested in supporting projects that strengthen civic voice so that it:
- Is more effective in holding governance institutions to account
- Enhances involvement in policy processes
- Shapes public discourse
- Your project should address one or both of the following outcomes and may include the use of creative expression to achieve project aims:
- Stronger civic voices engaging in policy processes to hold to account
Your project will strengthen the capacity of civic voices in contributing to monitoring government commitments and action
- supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals or other international agreements, and related local and national policy agendas
- Advocating policy priorities to government that address gender and other power imbalances, disparities and discrimination
- Strengthening participatory methods of engaging in regional, national and local governance processes
- Raising awareness and advocating for specific policy issues
- Public discourse more reflective of less-heard voices
- Your project will support less heard voices to contribute to public discourse on development issues
- Your project will support less heard voices to access policy spaces and/or platforms with the potential to amplify voices and influence public discourse
All proposals must ensure that the cross-cutting theme of gender is mainstreamed throughout the project.
- a registered not for profit civil society organization. CSOs may apply for a grant in partnership with another CSO. All CSOs involved in implementing a Commonwealth Foundation grant must be registered organizations and included as partners in the application. You and, when applicable, partner(s) must be based in a Commonwealth Foundation member country and the project takes place in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country (Please see Annex 1 to the Guidelines)
- Your grant application is for £50,000 per year or less
- are applying for funding for up to 4 years
- Your project has not yet started. Applications must be for a completely new project, or for a new phase of an ongoing project. Grants cannot be used to co-fund projects that are mid-cycle.
- do not currently have a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation
- The average of your total income over the last 2 years is less than £3 million
- Your project addresses one or both of the Commonwealth Foundation’s outcomes (see Guidelines).
- will provide the following supporting documents as part of your application:
- the registration certificate for your organization
- The most recent audited accounts for your organization (they must include both the accounts and the opinion of the external auditor who has certified them; they should not be more than 2 years old)
- A complete logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template
- The registration certificate for all partner organizations, if applicable
- * These countries are eligible to apply but project activities must be implemented in eligible countries in this list that do not have asterisks beside them.