Things We Don’t Fund: INGOs

Let me preface this post by saying that many large international NGOs are staffed by passionate, hardworking and knowledgeable people and often do incredible work in tough conditions. And some small, local NGOs are inefficient, incompetent and sometimes corrupt. It seems a little paradoxical, therefore, to say that we will not fund INGOs. And a look back over the grants we have awarded during the last four years reveals that we have indeed supported a number of INGOs in the past, including Amnesty International and Christian Aid. So why have I included them in a list of things we don’t fund? Well, here goes…

  1. First and foremost, we are not saying that we will never fund INGOs again. We like to examine every proposal on its own merits, so we may well fund particularly strong applications from good INGOs, so don’t be too surprised if you see the occasional grant going to a big NGO.
  2. One of the reasons we prefer smaller organisations is that we are a small funder ourselves and have limited amounts of funding to offer. With a typical grant size of around £10,000 we feel that sometimes we can get better ‘value for money’ by supporting small, in-country organisations free of many of the overheads that large NGOs with offices around the world face.
  3. Small, local NGOs are often closer to the communities and problems they are trying to solve. They have often worked and lived in their communities all their lives and so have a great understanding of the local context and constraints they’ll be operating under. This can be crucial to the success of a project.
  4. INGOs have specialist fundraising teams with knowledge and expertise of what will appeal to particular funders and significant resources to put together impressive proposals. Smaller NGOs don’t have these resources, meaning it is often difficult for them to get the ear of funders. We recognise this and it’s why we aim to be as open and approachable as possible. When they do get in touch, we like to hear what they have to say.

If you work for a small NGO in Africa and are looking to integrate technology into your work, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via the site and we can help advise you on whether you’d be suitable for funding.