Commonwealth Foundation Grants offer grants of up to £30,000 for projects lasting up to two years to civil society organisations in the Commonwealth.
We support projects that seek to facilitate constructive engagement between civil society and decision makers, including civil society participation in policy development and decision-making.
Applications must address one or more of our three priority themes. All applications are required to demonstrate how they will integrate gender considerations into their project design and implementation.
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.
All proposals must ensure that the cross cutting theme of gender is mainstreamed throughout the project.
The Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026 is strongly linked to the Commonwealth Charter and its values and aspirations, and it identifies three thematic areas of focus of the Commonwealth Foundation Grants:
- Environment and climate change
- Freedom of expression
To be eligible for a Commonwealth Foundation Grants grant, the following criteria must be met:
- The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) are registered not for profit civil society organisations (CSOs).
- The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) must be based in a Commonwealth Foundation member country and the project should take place in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country. A list of countries eligible under this call is available at Annex 1.
- The application is for funding for a maximum of £50,000 per annum
- The applicant is applying for funding for a maximum of four years
- The applicant does not have an existing grant from the Commonwealth Foundation at the time the application window is open.
- The average of the applicant’s total income over the last two years is less than £3m
- The project must address one or both Commonwealth Foundation’s outcomes
- The applicant will provide the following documents as part of the application:
- a completed logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template
- a copy of the organisation’s registration certificate1 (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
- a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited accounts (it must include both the accounts and the opinion of the external auditor who has certified them; it should not be older than December 2016)
- a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organisations
Duration and Reward
The Commonwealth Foundation Grants offer 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 have the potential to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation.
The application for a Commonwealth Foundation Grants is a two-stage process: preliminary application and full application. Only shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a full application.
Preliminary applications will be assessed on the criteria below:
- The application has a clear problem definition.
- The application clearly demonstrates that it is demand driven and relevant.
- The project must address one or both Commonwealth Foundation outcomes
- The application clearly shows how the planned activities will deliver outputs that lead to the project outcomes.
- The organisation(s) has the capacity to deliver the submitted proposal.
- The project must mainstream gender in the project design and project plan
Full applications will be assessed on the criteria below, in addition to the criteria used at the preliminary application stage:
- The application clearly illustrates a strategy to sustain the positive outcomes from the project beyond the duration of the funding received from the Commonwealth Foundation
- There is a clear Monitoring and Evaluation strategy for the project
- The project includes a strong gender analysis of the problem, mainstreams gender and identifies how the anticipated change specifically impacts women and girls.
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.
Method of Application
Intretsed and qualified applicants for the Commonwealth Foundation Grants should apply using the link below.