Open Door Grantmaking
The Foundation’s flagship Open Door Grantmaking Program will continue to provide CSOs with one of the very few opportunities to be proactive in identifying and addressing local needs, developing fresh solutions and ideas to existing challenges.
EPF will continue to support pilot projects that foster civic engagement and have the potential to be replicated either in geographic terms or across various issue areas. Project proposals submitted through the Open Door Grantmaking Program should fall under EPF’s mission and mandates. Submitted projects should provide realistic solutions to specific challenges and substantiate priority of these challenges by reliable data. Proposed methodology should clearly demonstrate broad public engagement in identifying problems, finding solutions, and advocating for and implementing changes. Ideally, submitted proposals would lead to tangible and measurable social, political, economic, and/or behavioral changes at local, regional, or national levels.
The Foundation is committed to the principle of gender equality and encourages applicants to consider the different impact the project may have on male and female members of the society. Click here for EPF’s checklist for building gender equality into project planning, implementation and evaluation.
The analysis of projects funded by EPF in previous years showed that the majority of project budgets varied from GEL 40, 000 to GEL 45, 000, a range that enabled grantees to successfully achieve project goals and objectives. Therefore, EPF recommends applicants to take into account this condition when preparing project proposals.
Strategic Grant is a new addition to the Open Door Grantmaking program. Strategic Grant is grant support for regional organizations that are interested in implementing long-term projects (18-24 months). Strategic Grant recipients, in addition to the Open Door project budget, have a chance to acquire additional funding for institutional development support. See information regarding Strategic Grants.
Project proposals can be submitted throughout the year without any specific deadlines. EPF staff will review project proposals submitted through the Open Door Grantmaking Program and will provide applicants with a decision within two months of the submission of inquiry form or full project proposal via e-mail. Click here for EPF’s application submission instructions and materials.
EPF cannot support:
- A particular political party (however, it may fund the work that includes all parties on issues like electoral processes if activities are transparent and fair);
- Activities related to lobbying for partisan purposes (except of the advocate for issues that bring about public and social good);
- Religious activities;
- Capital construction projects for commercial purposes;
- Military projects of any kind;
- Funding for: micro-credit, small business loans, start-up capital for entrepreneurs;
- Non-applied academic research;
- Proprietary market research;
- Scholarships or travel grants for academic study.
Strategic Grant is a new addition to the Open Door Grantmaking program. Strategic Grant is grant support for regional organizations that are interested in implementing long-term projects (18-24 months). Strategic Grant recipients, in addition to the Open Door project budget, have a chance to acquire additional funding for organizational development support. See additional information related to the organizational development initiative below.
Those organizations interested in receiving organizational development support should submit a long-term organizational development strategy, so as to further promote their institution building and longer-term sustainability.
To qualify for Strategic Grants, organizations should satisfy all the following criteria:
- Several years of un-interrupted operations in their fields of interest and track record of attracting diverse sources of funding;
- Proven record of serving as a resource for civil society and local civic leaders in a specific region(s);
- Strong interest in and commitment to strategic organizational development;
- Access to diverse means to support their activities, such as membership fees, program income, own office space, etc.;
- Commitment to work with other leading regional CSOs to identify common issues that can be put on the national policy agenda;
- Commitment to gender equality and equity.
Since institutional development of organizations is one of the main aims of strategic grants, EPF’s assistance within the framework of strategic grants, includes organizational development initiative (ODI).
The ODI Activity Cycle
The ODI consists of several activities:
- Baseline assessment
Open Door grant recipients who qualify for organizational development support and are interested in the ODI will first undergo an initial baseline assessment using the Capacity mapping Initiative (CMI). Based upon the outcome, EPF will provide concrete recommendations on how the organization could continue to improve its standing in all six capacity areas (governance, financial management, human resources, program management, communications, and fundraising). EPF will use its own resources and experts to perform the assessment.
- ODI strategic plan
EPF will provide CSOs support in developing strategic plans for their organizational development. Once an organization receives its initial baseline assessment report with concrete recommendations on ways to improve its organizational capacity, each CSO will be responsible for developing an organizational development strategy and its implementation action plan. For this purpose, EPF will provide both expertise and financial assistance (GEL 6,000-15,000) to each organization.
- ODI financial support
Upon approval of the organizational development strategy and its implementation action plan,EPF will award ODI grants. The ODI grants will allow recipients to implement their action plans to improve their capacities in governance, financial management, human resources, program management, communications, and fundraising. The maximum ODI grant award for CSOs will be GEL 15,000. The lower limit of grant funding is GEL 6,000. The ODI grant activities will be implemented by CSOs during the Open Door grant period. Throughout the entire lifetime of theODI grant, EPF will monitor and evaluate the implementation process according to the agreed schedule and assist CSOs with tangible organizational development advice and grant management expertise.
- Performance Assessment
After the completion of the grants, EPF (using its resources and experts) will conduct a follow-up assessment of the CSOs to measure the progress made since the completion of the baseline assessment report. At the end of this assessment, EPF will provide the partner CSO with another set of recommendations on further institutional growth.
Each Open Door grant recipient CSO that satisfied ODI selection criteria and is interested in organizational development, must indicate this in the grant application form. In addition, they will be requested to provide a written explanation demonstrating how the CSO will benefit from ODI support.
After a CSO signs an Open Door grant agreement, EPF will agree with each CSO on the timeframe for conducting the initial organizational assessment and request in advance the needed documents. The initial CMI assessment with document revision and baseline report submission will take up to three weeks for each grantee. From three to six weeks will be given to CSOs to develop and submit the strategic plan. The expected duration of the ODI grant should not exceed Open Door grant duration. The follow-up assessment will be implemented again in a three-week period for each CSO.
EPF values the transparency of its grant making process; all project proposals are reviewed through a rigorous process that includes multiple decision makers. No one individual can determine the award of a grant and all claims to the contrary are false. Any concerns about unethical practices in the review of your project proposals should be brought to the attention of the internal auditor at firstname.lastname@example.org.