Commonwealth Foundation Grants 2023

Apply For Commonwealth Grants for Civil Society Activities

Commonwealth Foundation Grants is now open for application from eligible applicants. The Foundation works 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.

Keep reading to see how to apply for the Commonwealth Grants.

Applying For The Commonwealth Foundation Grants

The 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 have the potential to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation.

Overview Of The Grants

Type Grants
Number of Awards Not specified
Value of Award up to £200,000 over four years
Eligible Countries Commonwealth countries

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About The Foundation

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.

Eligibility Criteria

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

  1. Applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) are registered not for profit civil society organisations (CSOs).
  2. 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.
  3. The application is for funding for a maximum of £50,000 per annum
  4. 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.
  5. The average of the applicant’s total income over the last two years is less than £3m
  6. The project must address one or both Commonwealth Foundation’s outcomes

Exclusions

The Commonwealth Foundation will not fund:

  1. Attendance at training courses, workshops, and conferences unless as part of a larger project funded by the grant.
  2. Academic study or research unless as part of a larger project funded by the grant.
  3. Publication of books and films, unless they are part of a larger project applied for under the grant (note that this provision does not apply to a creative element of any grant, as detailed below).
  4. Exchanges between developed countries.
  5. Activities that are solely targeted at building the capacity of government officials and/or the private sector. If the project requires activities such as training of government officials, funding for such components should be separately sourced.
  6. Projects that focus on service delivery (e.g., the Foundation will not fund activities such as the distribution of medicines).

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Required Documents For Commonwealth Foundation Grants

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

  1. a completed logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template
  2. a copy of the organisation’s registration certificate1 (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
  3. 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)
  4. a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organisations

Eligible Fields of Funding:

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:

  1. Health
  2. Environment and climate change
  3. Freedom of expression

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.

Application Timeline For Commonwealth Foundation Grants

Applications for the 2022-2023 grants call open at 1pm GMT on Thursday 29 September and close at 1pm GMT on Tuesday 1 November. For details on eligibility and the application process please download the call documents below.

How to Submit Your Grant Application

  1. Visit the official website
  2. Login and create your Survey Monkey Apply account
  3. Complete and submit an online application form.
  4. Only completed applications that have been submitted using the online application system will be considered.

Frequently Asked Question

Can two or more organisations submit an application?

Yes, two or more organisations may apply for funding. However, one organisation must be nominated as the lead applicant and the other(s) must be identified as partner(s).

Are partnerships part of the selection criteria?

No. Applicants do not need to nominate a partner. The Foundation does however encourage applicants to consider carefully how they can leverage partnerships (nominated or not) to enhance the scale, depth, and breadth of their work.

Can an organisation be an applicant in one application and a partner in another? Or a partner in more than one application?

No. An organisation can only be included in one application.

What kind of audit report do we need to submit?

For grants of £15,001 and above, applicants are required to submit a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited accounts.

Can an organisation apply for more than one grant?

No. An organisation can only apply for one grant under this call

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

Under this call, we are looking to support projects that seek to facilitate constructive engagement between civil society and government, including civil society participation in policy development and decision making.

How do I apply for a grant?

To apply you will first need to login into your SurveyMonkey Apply account and complete and submit an online application form.

Can I submit an application via email or post?

No. Only applications submitted using the online application system will be considered.

Are there examples of projects funded in the past that I might look at?

Past and current projects funded by the Commonwealth Foundation can be found on our website: commonwealthfoundation.com/projects

Who do I contact if I can’t log into my account?

If you have login problems, please send an email to: [email protected]

When will I find out if my application was successful?

Applications will be assessed from December 2022 to March 2023. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by Foundation staff by the end of March 2023.

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