Commonwealth Foundation Grants for Organizations 2017-2018

Commonwealth Foundation Grants for Organizations 2017-2018

Deadline: January 3, 2018

The Commonwealth Foundation grants call for the 2017/18 period is now open for preliminary applications. Do you have a project idea for supporting participation in democracy & development? Submit a preliminary grant application.

The Commonwealth Foundation’s mission is to support civic voices to share their stories, learn and act together and influence the institutions that shape people’s lives. The Foundation works to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development with effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels of participatory governance which implies creative and constructive engagement between civil society and other governance stakeholders.

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


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

  • The applicant is a registered national or regional not for profit civil society organisation (CSO).
  • The applicant must be based in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country and the project should take place in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country. A list of countries eligible to apply for a grant is below.
  • 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 per annum
  • The project must address the Commonwealth Foundation’s intermediate 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 certificate (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)
    • a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organisations

They 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

Applications will not be accepted from:

  • Government and intergovernmental organisations
  • For profit organisations
  • International NGOs with resources that exceed those of the Commonwealth Foundation
  • Organisations who are not based in eligible Commonwealth Foundation member countries
  • Organisations whose target beneficiaries are not from eligible Commonwealth Foundation member countries

Grant Requirements

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 voice 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
  • 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 equality is mainstreamed throughout the project.

Eligible Countries

Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brunei, Darussalam, Cameroon, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Swaziland, The Bahamas, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago


The application for a grant is a two-stage process: preliminary application and full application. Only shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a full application.

For more information, visit, Commonwealth Foundation Grants.