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Grant Making and Provision of Seed Funds
Although grant making is not the primary focus of our work, FCDE realizes how easily community development initiatives can be stalled or waylaid due to a lack of access to capital. As such, we have integrated three specific programs to help organizations initiate, expand or improve their project work. Specifically, FCDE provides grants to organizations; furnishes seed funds to enhance intern/volunteer projects; and increases partner organizations’ access to additional international funding sources.
Our grant application guidelines and grant support processes ensure that funded projects effectively address community-identified needs and are within the context of creating and strengthening systems that will be sustainable
FCDE makes grants to its partner organizations ranging from $100 - $2,500, depending on the particular grant proposal and identified objectives. The grant application process is open, transparent and competitive. It is geared to enhance our partner organizations’ understanding and capacity to design, craft, and implement sustainable projects and successfully report results to funding sources.
FCDE’s grant program is unique because we work with our partner organizations through each step of the process. Our in-country site teams provide workshops and individualized support for organizations as they design community-driven projects and build quality written grant proposals. Interns or site team members work with our successful grantee organizations to capably implement their funded projects. FCDE assistance includes developing appropriate accounting approaches, monitoring progress, identifying improvements to original plans, aligning project objectives with community needs, and preparing final reports to the grantor. This process of working through small grants together increases the capacity of organizations to continue to write grants on their own and develop other fundraising activities to ensure the financial sustainability of their organization.
Seed funds are used to enable and advance the program initiatives of a partner organization with the assistance of a FCDE/Isla intern. Specific needs and/or opportunities for enhancing organizational projects are jointly identified by the partner organization and intern as a capacity building strategy. The intern and host organization develop a plan on how seed funds will be used. The intern is often directly involved in the subsequent implementation and support of this project. This process benefits both the intern, who receives invaluable international development experience in program design and management, as well as the organization, which gains program funding experience as well as grant writing and management skills.
FCDE works to develop additional funding resources for our partner organizations: We incorporate direct fundraising efforts, encourage FCDE interns to fundraise for projects in which they have been involved, work with charitable foundations to support our partner organizations’ projects, and develop relationships with appropriate corporate partners. Although each collaboration is unique, the result of our work with grant partners builds additional resources for in-country partner organizations. Moreover, FCDE continues to provide a continuum of support to our local partners when they implement projects supported by one of our many grant partners.