Commonwealth Foundation Grants for CSOs

Deadline: 29 October 2013/ 3 March 2014/ 30 September 2014
Open to: Civil Society Organisations undertaking projects in Commonwealth Foundation member countries
Grant: up to £30,000


The Commonwealth Foundation invites civil society organizations to apply for its grant programme. The programme contributes to sustainable development in the context of effective, responsive and accountable governance with civil society participation. It supports innovation and sharing of replicable and sustainable models, whilst promoting good practice in participatory governance. Grants of up to £30,000 per year will be awarded. Multi-year funding available (up to three years).

Participatory governance grants

Participatory governance is about how the state, the market and civil society interact to effect change. These interactions involve the inclusion of civil society in decision-making processes, enabling citizens to exercise voice and vote, and engage in policy formation.

By awarding grants to support participatory governance across the Commonwealth, the programme aims to:

  • Deliver an efficient and effective programme which is responsive to the development needs of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the Commonwealth
  • Complement the effectiveness of the Foundation’s projects by providing grants to CSOs beyond those supported through the projects
  • Generate knowledge and understanding of participatory governance and its benefits in promoting effective, responsive and accountable governance within the Commonwealth by supporting models of good practice

The grants programme will be particularly supportive of proposals that mainstream the Foundation’s cross-cutting outcome areas in their project design:

  • Gender equality
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Cultural respect and understanding


You are eligible to apply if you meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Your organisation is a registered Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and you can provide a copy of your registration document to verify this
  2. Your project addresses at least one of the Commonwealth Foundation’s short-term outcomes
  3. Your project or activity budget is for no more than £30,000 per annum
  4. Counterpart resourcing is available for the project
  5. The duration of your project or activity is three years or less
  6. You do not currently have an existing grant with the Commonwealth Foundation at the time the call is announced

The following countries are currently eligible for projects to be undertaken in their country: Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Cyprus, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Seychelles, St Lucia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago and Zambia.


You can apply for a grant up to £30,000 per annum for up to a maximum of three years.


It is a two-stage process and civil society organisations should firstly submit a preliminary application.  Please read the guidance notes on how to complete the preliminary online application form for a Commonwealth Foundation grant HERE.

This will then be followed by a short listing process. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit a full application within a month of notice and will be emailed a link to an online application form. At this stage, applicants will be expected to submit a logic model, a full budget and a project plan with templates supplied along with a link to the full application form.

Please allow a six months window between the call for application date and your project start date. For example, if you are applying for a grant from 1 October 2013, your project should not start before April 2014.

Below are the dates for the submission of the preliminary application form:

  • 1 October 2013 – 29 October 2013
  • 4 February 2014 – 3 March 2014
  • 2 September 2014 – 30 September 2014

For more information visit the official website HERE.

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