Applications Invited for Grants Programme - Huge Pool of Ideas for Advancing Societies

Applications Invited for Grants Programme - Huge Pool of Ideas for Advancing Societies

Organization: Commonwealth Foundation

Apply By: 09 Jan 2020

About the Organization:

Commonwealth Foundation is an international organization established by Heads of Government in support of the belief that the Commonwealth is as much an association of peoples as it is of governments. The Foundation seeks to ensure that policy and government institutions are more effective contributors to development through the influence of civic voices.

Grants programme:

They are 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 government 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
  • Engage with legislators to shape legislation 

Public discourse more reflective of less-heard voices

  • Your project will support less heard voices to contribute to public discourse on development issues and challenge gender disparities and discrimination
  • 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.  


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

  • The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) are registered not-for-profit civil society organizations (CSOs). 
  • The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) must be registered in a Commonwealth Foundation member country and the project should take place in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country.
  • 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 organization’s registration certificate (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
    • a copy of the organization’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 2017)
    • a copy of the registration certificate3 for all partner organizations

The Commonwealth Foundation will not fund:

  • Projects that are mid-cycle
  • Attendance at training courses, workshops and conferences unless as part of a larger project funded by the grant
  • Academic study or research unless as part of a larger project funded by the grant
  • Publication of books and films, unless they are part of and/or learning tools developed as a result of a larger project funded by a Commonwealth Foundation grant
  • Exchanges between developed countries
  • Activities that are solely targeted at government officials and/or the private sector  

The Commonwealth Foundation will not consider applications from:  

  • Government and intergovernmental organizations 
  • For profit organizations
  • Organizations who are not based in eligible Commonwealth Foundation member countries 

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 application clearly shows how the planned activities will deliver outputs that lead to the project outcomes.
  • The application clearly shows the feasibility of delivering the project within the chosen time frame
  • 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
  • The applicant (and partners) has the capacity to deliver the submitted proposal. 
  • The project addresses one or both Commonwealth Foundation outcomes
  • The project includes a strong gender analysis of the problem, mainstreams gender and identifies how the anticipated change specifically impacts women and girls.    


  • The call for applications opens at 12:00 GMT on 1 November 2019
  • The deadline for submission of the preliminary application form is 5 pm GMT on 9 January 2020
  • Applications will be assessed in January and February 2020
  • Shortlisted applicants will be requested to supply supporting documentation in mid-March 2020
  • The deadline for submission of supporting documentation is 3 April 2020
  • All applicants will receive a formal notification on the outcome of their application by the end of July 2020 at the latest. If you have not heard from us by April 2020 please consider your application unsuccessful. 

For this grant cycle, projects should start between October and December 2020.  

If you require any further information about the Grants Programme and the application process, please email the grants team on cfgrants@commonwealth.int and a member of the grants team will get back to you.

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