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Innovation Fund Post-‐Webinar Questions & Answers Revenue Criteria 1. Can the 1/3 match be made by the umbrella organization to which the applicant is connected? a. Perhaps. If the umbrella generally subsidizes its subsidiary, then such support would not qualify as a match. However, a special allocation from the umbrella to the subsidiary so that the proposed initiative can be executed would qualify. In other words, support needs to be over and above normal transfers and specifically allocated for the proposed project Program Content and Geography 2. We are an international NGO with an office in US. The office was established last year but the NGO has been in existence since 1995. Are we eligible to apply? a. Yes. The 10 year requirement is designed to demonstrate continuity in the delivery of program, and not the establishment of the US based nexus. 3. We are an organization that looks to innovate its funding stream by having the government of the country take over the funding many of service delivery costs we have historically covered. Is this a viable proposal? a. Generally speaking, we would not consider cost shifting to governments be a viable proposal. That would not be an innovation with a focus on market or quasi-‐market partnerships for social problem solving at sustained and scalable levels. 4. Can we use the grants for projects that will improve resource mobilization and contribute to sustainable revenue (such as those that raise an organization’s visibility or improve efficiency)? a. Simply improving visibility would not qualify. However, improved efficiency gets a “qualified yes.” If by improving efficiency you are freeing 445 DOLLEY MADISON RD., SUITE 208, GREENSBORO, NC 27410• 336-376-7710 MAIN • 336-851-0410 FAX • email@example.com EMAIL • www.afgg.org WEB
up resources that will be allocated to diversify revenue then yes. To create, build, or support a nonprofit fundraising team or effort, no. 5. If we are a re-‐granting organization to grassroots groups in the developing world, could we qualify? a. Generally speaking, regranting does not qualify. If you are essentially acting as a US based fiscal agent, and the grassroots group is an independent freestanding organization, then you as the U.S. based organization could apply on behalf of the organization for funds to implement that organization’s proposal. 6. If the project is based in the US, but involves and benefits program participants who live in developing countries, is that use of funds eligible? a. Yes, if the benefits are in the developing world. 7. We are a US based organization that trains college students in all aspects of small enterprise. They carry out their small enterprise on college campuses, and the profit they generate is allocated to a US -‐based development organization that uses microfinance to support small enterprise among rural women farmers in Africa. Is this a model that would fit? a. If the focus of the organization’s proposal is the benefit to the work the NGO is accomplishing for rural women in Africa and the US program is simply a way of contributing to that, the model would fit. If the focus of the proposal is on the benefit to the US based programs, then it would not fit. There would also need to be demonstrated that the profit is necessarily allocated to the microfinance fund, that it is built in to the process, and is not simply a voluntary grant on the part of the US based organization. 8. We design a product that is built and used in the developing world. We are generating funds for our work in the developing world by starting a program to sell our product in the U.S. Would this US effort count if all the revenue is used to fund our work in the developing world? a. If: a) funds from US sales are truly creating a new source of revenue, and a grant will not simply cause a reallocation of funds that would otherwise support domestic program; and b) revenue is necessarily used to support program outside the US, then the proposal would meet the guidelines. 9. Is global biodiversity conservation eligible under the Environment category? a. Yes. Page 2 of 4 |
10. Does the Health critical area include mental health? a. Yes. 11. If the US based organization is helping artisans/ artisan groups in developing countries gain access to new markets for their work, is that eligible? Would the fund provide support for several pilot situations helping artisans gain access to new markets/speciality retailers, etc? a. This is well within the intent of the innovation fund. 12. Whether the mission to advance freedom of information and expression in support of democracy and democratic institution building would qualify for this RFP? Would the fight against impunity in crimes committed against human rights and freedom of expression defenders, including journalists, qualify for this RFP? a. Within its five areas of focus, the Innovation Fund defines its current priorities in the developing world as follows: i. Global Health, with specific reference to health systems; ii. Education, with specific reference to sustained broad access to basic education among all disadvantaged; iii. World Relations, with specific reference to entrepreneurial effort and job creation in conflict areas of the world; iv. Environment, with specific reference to access to clean water; v. Poverty, with specific reference to innovations in increasing family incomes, small and micro enterprise strategies. Policy work, advocacy, or projects to advance a cause in public opinion or government policy corridors are not qualified for Innovation Fund grants. 13. Can you make up of an example of an ideal project that meets the requirements? a. There is no ideal project. More important, we’re confident that applicants and the creativity they bring to the problems they face will fashion initiatives that meet our criteria better than any hypothetical we could offer up. That said, the following is a relatively clear, if unimaginative, example of an initiative that meets our criteria. An organization in the clean water space is working in five villages. It believes it has developed a technology that can turn the provision of clean water into a business. It has a plan to make that happen but it needs is a beta test in two villages to determine the skills and capabilities that are needed to execute the plan and to finalize (because the Fund is Page 3 of 4 |
targeted at the go-‐to-‐market phase) revenue structure that both enables entrepreneur profit and (if required) payment back to the originating technology owner via fees or licenses. They are seeking funding for a beta test. This would qualify. Application Process 14. In regards to the organizations not chosen as finalists, will they have the opportunity to receive a critique of their proposals? a. Yes. Other 15. Can you help clarify your definition of "innovation" i.e. are you focusing on new methods of fundraising, or to help our organization expand into a new fundraising method for us? a. By innovation we do not mean the improvement of traditional philanthropic grant acquisition. We are really talking about social finance and the investment in medium sized non-‐profits to make them able to play on this social finance field, and thus provide some needed stability. 16. How do you define social finance? a. It is everything from program related investment to impact investing. There are many different aspects to social finance. What it generally means is strategies that have the ability to reach markets or quasi markets in a reliable way to generate profits for social problem solving. 17. Will this opportunity be offered only once, or will it be offered again in the future? a. Yes. Plans are for this to be an ongoing offering. June 15, 2012 Page 4 of 4 |