Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
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  • 1. The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
    • 13 years old
    • Board of 9
    • 5 Standing Committees : HR and Compliance, Finance and General Purposes, Grant Management, Membership and Executive
    • 20 staff members – main departments : Finance, - Programme, HR and Admin, & Executive Office
    • 42 member groups (environment and child sector organizations and educational institutions
  • 2. EFJ’s Grant Making
    • Since 1993, 931 grants approved for a total of J$1,702,020,000B (USD $20M)
    • Two Calls for Proposals (The Call) sent out each year on selected themes in the child development and survival (40% funds) and the environment (60%)
    • Discretionary grants, of up to J200,000 (approx USD3000) introduced 2005/2006 as a small responsive grants programme outside of the Call process
    • Project approval by Board based on recommendations of the Grant Management Committee
  • 3. Evaluating Our Grant Making Lessons Learned
    • Call process brings strong degree of transparency, and process accountability
    • Use of Due Diligence tool in process promotes fairness
    • Many successful projects yet impact more at the local level than nationally – linked with national priorities
    • Capacity building component of the EFJ’s work has been successfully applied and should be focused and possibly increased
    • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms can be improved and linked to baseline indicators and targets
  • 4. The Road Ahead
    • Capital Campaign – negotiating second generation funds and identifying new sources of funds
    • Leveraging other grants on behalf of members and grantees through EFJ’s influence and through funding partnerships
    • Identifying other sources of funds that grantees and members may want to access
    • Re-looking components of the investment portfolio in order to improve investment earnings
    • Keeping administrative expenses controlled
  • 5. Investing for Sustainability
    • EFJ has invested funds through fund managers in commercial banks and investment houses over 13 years
    • Investment instruments have been largely safe, high interest rate government papers
    • As a result, fund has essentially more than doubled from original total expected to be about USD20M over 18-19 years
    • A staff member monitors the investments weekly even though all instruments are held by external bodies
  • 6. Diversifying Investments
    • The EFJ as part of its sustainability plan identified and engaged in several partners to increase its corpus
    • “ Go Green” facility with a commercial bank – small and medium sized enterprises access loans for enviro-retrofitting the bank handles the loan portfolio interest shared by bank and EFJ.
  • 7. Diversifying Investments 2
    • Investment in Jamaican company with an international brand name product – company arose out of a community based agro-processing industry - Walkerswood Partners Limited - selling Jamaican sauces, spices, etc.
    • EFJ invested in and has preference shares in the company and the agreement is to collect dividends on an annual basis based on loan repayments at a very competitive rate
  • 8. Diversifying Investments 3
    • The EFJ has also allocated some of its funds to the seeding of an endowment – funds from the “Go Green “ Facility and the Walkerswood Investments will be flowed into the Endowment fund
    • In addition the EFJ is negotiating a second debt for nature swap and meeting with international foundations to attract funds to the region with the EFJ as fund manager
  • 9. EFJ as Fund managers
    • Currently the EFJ is developing its skills as fund managers for other projects.
    • Two partnerships currently operate within this context : administrative and programme partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation (Child Development) and one with the TFCA and Nature Conservancy Forest Conservation Fund.
  • 10. Co-Financing
    • The EFJ is embarking on several co-financing arrangements in order to leverage resources to its grantees
    • Projects have been co-financed with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund
    • Agreements are being finalized with the GEF-Small Grants Programme and with the Commonwealth Foundation (England)
    • NGO Strengthening projects have taken place with IDB - Jamaica
  • 11. Important Lessons
    • All arrangements must be formalized through written, legally vetted agreements with party
    • Investments and arrangements should err on the conservative side to minimize risks
    • Reports must be made on schedule so that at all times the Foundation has knowledge of the status of the investment
    • Start early the process of investment
    • Have a diversified investment portfolio