The Website

This website provides tools, resources, and information for development organizations in Africa seeking grants from American and European funders. The tips and suggestions that have been gathered for this site come from interviews with several grantmaking organizations and associations in the United States and Europe that target the grassroots.

This site will NOT tell you how to apply for a grant or even where to apply for a grant. Instead, it will let you know what funders are looking for when they review your organization’s grant applications.

It is important to note that the grantmakers that participated in this research, in general, make grants of less than $20,000 per year. In addition, the information provided here may not be applicable to funders other than those included in this study.

The Research

This website is result of a semester-long Capstone research project conducted by Alexis Nadin, a recent graduate of American University with a dual degree in International Studies and Political Science, with Honors.

After decades of attempted development in Africa, development experts are calling for a shift from top-down development to an emphasis on the grassroots. Numerous American and European philanthropic organizations have emerged to more effectively funnel financial support to the grassroots in Africa. But are they successfully reaching grassroots organizations, and do grassroots organizations have the capacity to meet the criteria of those funders?

This research intended to answer these questions by first conducting interviews with funders and determining what criteria they use to select grant applicants and second surveying development organizations in Africa to determine if those organizations were aware of and able to meet those requirements.

This research found that a majority of development organizations in Africa are in fact complying with best practices in organizational management, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation as they are defined by American and European funders.  Yet more than 30% of surveyed organizations have never received grant funding. This research aims to help grassroots organizations better understand strategies for getting funded.

The Survey

As part of the research, more than 190 African development organizations completed an online survey. The survey asked participants questions about their organization, its age, size, programs and capacity, and the organization’s funding, including its operational budget, its primary funding sources, and its grant experience.

This website seeks to integrate survey responses with the interview responses, using information from organizations that have received grants in the past to make conclusions about best practices in grant seeking.

Click here to take the survey