Empowering Young Citizens To Create Positive Change

During our 2017 evaluation, partners told us that to deliver their mission and become resilient, they needed the security of longer-term funding, and the ability to identify their own priorities to do their work most effectively. From 2018 the Foundation will therefore offer flexible funding of £50,000 to £100,000 per partner per year for three years. This can be used to cover core (or operational) costs, innovation and project testing, existing project costs, or both. The funding is flexible, but not unrestricted. This means that partners will be able to determine what they would like to use the funding for, and will be able to change and adapt this over the lifetime of the grant. However, the initial allocation (and any later reallocations) will have to be agreed with the Foundation beforehand, as we need to ensure that we are meeting our charitable objectives and our overall goals and mission. 25% of any grant the Foundation makes to its partners will be used for capacity building and organisational development. We will ask the partner to identify what they feel their organisation, or their staff members need, and will work together to find the best ways of meeting these needs with the funding allocated.

When you can apply 
From 2019, the Foundation will have one funding round per year. In 2019, organisations that meet the call for concept notes can apply between 1 February and 1 April after which shortlisting and vetting will take place with decisions made by the Board in September. An item will be shown on the news page of this website indicating what organisations, where and working on what themes can apply by sending in concept notes. In 2018 applications were by invitation only as we were piloting our new approach and adapting our processes and procedures.

What we will be looking for
We are looking for opportunities to support organisations which operate in the thematic areas described below, have excellent track records and are working towards becoming more sustainable, effective and accountable. We believe that strong organisations will be critical to positive change in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and we are keen to invest in their development. Some of the criteria we will consider include:
  • Whether the applicant organisation is, or has the potential to be, an important player in its field.
  • Whether the organisation has, or is developing, a clear sense of purpose, direction and strategy that links clearly and legitimately to a constituency or target group.
  • Whether the organisation is well-managed and accountable.
  • Whether the organisation shows commitment to development and learning, including that of its staff.
  • Whether the organisation and staff align with the Asfari Foundation’s values and approach.
  • Whether the organisation and staff demonstrate an openness and willingness to engage in a transparent and active partnership with the Foundation, as a part of which we share learning and insights.
We will also take an interest in new and innovative approaches to programming; and to system-wide approaches to tackling challenges in the area of focus, although these are not required of applicants.

Themes 
We are keen to invest in organisations which work in one or more of the following thematic areas:
Civil Society (Lebanon and Syria only, but including initiatives for Syrians and Palestinians in Lebanon and Syrian organisations worldwide working for the benefit of Syria):
  • Organisations and initiatives that contribute to the overall vibrancy, professionalism, effectiveness and governance of the civil society sector as a whole.
  • Civil society organisations that work on one or more of the themes of: citizenship, governance (whether internally, nationally or internationally) and the development of independent quality media.
Youth Empowerment (Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, including initiatives for Syrians and Palestinians in Lebanon, and Syrian organisations working for the benefit of Syria and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people in the UK):
  • Organisations and initiatives that contribute to the overall vibrancy, professionalism, effectiveness and accountability of the education systems in Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.
  • Organisations which work on entrepreneurship (whether business or social).
  • Organisations which work on education for young people older than 16 (including scholarships).
Moreinfo: https://www.asfarifoundation.org.uk/information-for-grant-applicants
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