Find your funds
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CTA. 2002. Find your funds. Spore 98. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47510
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore98.pdf
The smart way to get funds these days is through investment. But grants are still available, so why not use those too?Are you looking for funds for equipment to expand your production or processing or marketing capacity? Or funds to strengthen your...
The smart way to get funds these days is through investment. But grants are still available, so why not use those too? Are you looking for funds for equipment to expand your production or processing or marketing capacity? Or funds to strengthen your organisation through training? This article takes a look at ways for local organisations (NGOs and community-based organisations CBOs) to mobilise reasonable sums, in the range of 100 to 50,000, to supplement their own. This important exercise can be as time-consuming as it can be rewarding. In the beginning, there are four fundamental principles to follow: Know what you want. Your goal and your project must be clear to you and your colleagues, in every possible detail. What equipment or training do you need, how will it improve your work in a permanent way? How will you use the funds? How will you replace them? Sometimes you may want help in working this out, and that process may itself need funds, such as hiring an advisor or organising a stakeholder workshop. Some funders, such UNDP/GEF (see below), can assist there. Invest in your future. You are probably looking for a grant, but look at it as an investment or a loan and not as a gift. At some time in the future, you will need to replace, maybe even upgrade, your equipment when it is depreciated, or to develop the skills learned in training. So, using some of the additional income from wise use of your grant, build up some savings to finance that replacement, just like businesses do for new equipment. Some funders do not allow their money to be used directly to build up reserves, but no wise funder will object to you expanding your income. Choose your words well. Funders follow fashions, and they often talk a different 'language' to yours. You may want more funds to improve crop yields, or storage facilities, and they may need to believe that they are financing 'empowerment', or 'gender equity' or 'natural resource management'. Here, you need to honestly and creatively translate your goals into the funders way of seeing the world. Find and understand your partner. There are hundreds of thousands of grant-makers in the world; some are local, many are foreign. Know what they can do for you, and what they cannot. Some specialise in very small grants, of 100 or less, others minimum 5,000 and maximum 50,000. Spend time locating the right funder with the right funds and right attitude to you, or use a funder-finder service to help focus your search. Your first step? Try national coordinating bodies of NGOs, CBOs, farmers associations, chambers of commerce and agriculture, even if you are not a member. They can point you the right way. Then, in your capital city, try the Western embassies, the European Union delegations, and the UN Development programme, which services all UN agencies. They too can point you helpfully and they almost all have funds to make small grants. It is a question of Contact Visit Inform Persuade Perform! A fact sheet on funds and funder-finders is available from Mediateurs (see address page 15), and at the end of this article on the Spore Web pages at www.agricta.org/spore Put a UN jewel in your crown Dreams do come true! Here s a fund which is open, focused and responsive. It s the Small Grants Programme (SGP), set up under the Global Environment Facility in 1992, and set to expand after the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002. Working through the UN Development Programme and its national offices (or through a NGO secretariat), the SGP funds projects, maximum US$ 50,000, in many areas of work shared by Spore readers. Indeed, the SGP directory lists dozens of Spore users. The SGP regards itself, with some justification, as embodying the very essence of sustainable development. It support projects that conserve and restore the natural world while enhancing well-being and livelihoods. The re-use of agricultural waste, rural micro-hydro power for agricultural processing, mangrove preservation, medicinal plant cultivation, agroforestry, organic agriculture and grey water cleansing for urban farming are among their recent approvals. The first steps to persuade SGP to be a financial partner in your work is to explain how your project can make a positive contribution to the world environment, if replicated over time. They look at the world from three perspectives: biodiversity, climate change and international waters all subjects regularly covered in Spore. On biodiversity, you must promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources in arid- and semi-arid ecosystems, and in coastal, forest and mountain areas. The project can thus cover sensible agricultural methods as much as fencing off a national park. The same applies in climate change: you must demonstrate how you remove local barriers to energy conservation and energy efficiency, or promote the adoption of renewable energy. The international waters focal area is more restricted, since it addresses environmental concerns in a waterbody shared by two or more countries. All activities should be strong in community participation, gender issues, indigenous knowledge and local institutions. Grants can be for pilot projects, training, best practice and networking. Micro-grants, typically US$ 2,000, go to community-based planning processes to design larger projects. Each country s structure, dominated by NGOs and CBOs, has locally defined criteria. It is best to contact the SGP directly through the national UNDP office. Otherwise, use the informative Website www.undp.org/sgp or contact the main office. If your country does not yet qualify, keep asking! Sixty-three countries are eligible for SGP grants, but more should join the list soon it includes countries which have ratified the world s Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate Change. [caption to illustration] Planning projects is like being a good tailor: a stitch in time saves nine SGP, UNDP/GEF, 304 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, USA Fax: +1 212 906 6568