CSOs are effective in addressing the needs of their constituencies.
Over the years, EPF’s Open Door Grantmaking Program significantly contributed to increasing civic engagement across Georgia. During 2008-2015, the Program was able to identify and fund 112 local initiatives designed to increase civic engagement in Georgia’s social, economic, and political events. Around 16 of these grants allowed CSOs to implement innovative initiatives that addressed local needs. Up to 30 grantees supported through the program succeeded in replicating EPF-funded methods and practices through attracting funds from other donors, such as EWMI, COBERM, NED, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, EC, and EED.
EPF will continue to operate its Open Door Grantmaking Program, as it provides CSOs one of the very few opportunities available in Georgia to be proactive in identifying and addressing local needs, developing fresh solutions and ideas to existing challenges. Open Door Grantmaking Program ensures that CSOs provide timely response to the issues that are identified by their constituencies and not by donors. As during the previous years, EPF will support pilot projects that foster civic engagement and have the potential to be replicated either in geographic terms or across various issue areas. Innovative nature of the projects will also be considered, but this will not be a mandatory requirements.
EPF would like to put more emphasis on providing Open Door grant support to regional CSOs that either serve as resource to organizations or work on a grassroots level to foster civic engagement. EPF’s experience shows that successful efforts to strengthen institutional capacity of CSOs involve provision of OD technical assistance together with longer-term grant support to implement both programmatic and institutional development activities. At least initially, EPF will encourage potential grantees to develop longer-term projects, up to 18 months, and set concrete benchmarks for fund disbursements. For those CSOs that serve as resource centers in their regions and qualify for Open Door grants, EPF will also provide organizational development (OD) support, so as to promote further institutional strengthening and longer-term sustainability of its grantees. EPF will make sure that gender considerations are mainstreamed in the CMI tool, so that the baseline assessments conducted for the beneficiary CSOs to assist them in boosting their organizational performance with respect to gender issues.