Applying FAQs

FAQs relating to UK Aid Direct and Community Partnership grants:

About UK Aid Direct

Why does UK Aid Direct specifically provide support to small and medium sized civil society organisations?

Small and medium sized civil society organisations have a unique ability to build relationships, trust and legitimacy, through their grass roots knowledge of needs in developing countries. They play a vital role amplifying voice, shifting social norms and securing accountability for people that are excluded, discriminated and disadvantaged in order to build more open societies and economies. Small and medium sized civil society organisations are a key part of the overall portfolio of action required to achieve poverty reduction.

How is UK Aid Direct different from the Global Poverty Action Fund?

UK Aid Direct is the second phase of the Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF). This next phase of funding demonstrates DFID’s commitment to working with civil society partners to achieve poverty reduction. Whilst GPAF focused on the Millennium Developments Goals, UK Aid Direct is designed to support the UK’s commitments to achieving the Global Goals. UK Aid Direct will build on the success and momentum of the GPAF, introduce more flexibility and responsiveness in recognition of the changing global international development framework, and work to strengthen communication and outreach.

Where can we find information on the vision and mission of the fund?

Please refer to the About > Priorities section of this website.

What will be the focus areas of future UK Aid Direct funding rounds and when will they take place?

UK Aid Direct has been established as a flexible and responsive fund to support small and medium sized civil society organisations working to reduce poverty. The timing and any criteria for future funding rounds will respond to global international development priorities and will be decided by DFID Ministers. Future funding rounds will be announced as soon as they are decided.

What UK Aid Direct can fund

What does UK Aid Direct mean by not-for profit?

The fund is not limited to registered charities but will support other not-for-profit organisations as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

The UK Aid Direct website includes the DFID definition of not-for-profit as: “organisations that do not distribute surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead use them to help pursue the organisational goals”.

What time period does a UK Aid Direct grant cover?

For a Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grant it is up to 2 years.

A Community Partnership grant is up to 3 years duration.

An Impact grant is from between 3 to 5 years, and proposals for 3+ years must be supported by a compelling case for longer duration.

A Jo Cox Memorial Strengthening grant is for between 2 to 3 years.

A Jo Cox Memorial Network grant is for between 2 to 3 years.

Can you advise us on other funds we could apply for?

We don’t advise individual organisations on what other funds they could apply for.

However, please do look at the UK Department for International Development’s funding summary page (opens in a new window) for other funding opportunities.

Why isn’t our organisation’s country listed as an ‘eligible’ country?

The list of eligible countries is determined by the Department for International Development (DFID). Please see this page for a breakdown by country.

Is the organisation I am working for eligible to apply for a UK Aid Direct grant?

Please read our section on eligibility here  to find out.

You can also read the eligibility criteria for each of the grant types in more detail, by navigating from the UK Aid Direct grant portfolio page.

Your organisation needs to be working in one of the eligible countries listed and this may be different depending on the grant type.

Are there maximums/caps on budget categories such as capital expenditure, monitoring & evaluation, or UK costs?

UK Aid Direct does not specify how much of the budget should go to capital expenditure, monitoring and evaluation activities or UK costs. It is up to the organisation to make the determination appropriate to the project.

We understand that DFID does not want a significant proportion of its grants to be spent on construction, but what about projects focused on addressing poverty with the provision of housing, water points, sanitation units that reduce poverty in a very measurable way?

Major capital expenditure (e.g. construction or purchase of buildings, purchase of land) cannot be supported as a primary focus of the proposed initiative. Any aspect of capital expenditure that you include needs to be fully justified as directly contributing to a sustainable outcome linked to the reduction of poverty and must be set out clearly in the budget. This is intended to avoid funding of buildings and equipment that are not supported by other project components or approaches to ensure that the capital expenditure contributes to a sustainable poverty reduction outcome

Would a project that delivered service to women only be considered gender discriminatory if the benefits of the project would reach the whole community?

This would not be considered to be discriminatory, but we would still expect the men to be involved in the project design and implementation as appropriate.

Can we apply for funding of an existing project?

Applications to UK Aid Direct for the scaling up of an existing project/pilot,  to new geographic areas or expansion to include new components, will be eligible. Such applications should be supported by evidence of impact of the existing project.

Application process

Is it possible to submit an application for the same project, to both Jo Cox Memorial grants and Impact/Community Partnership grants?

In theory, yes. However, these funds have distinct aims, so make sure to consult both sets of guidance carefully before applying.

In past funding rounds, it was stated that organisations should not receive more than 40% of their total income from DFID. Is this still the case?

No, DFID is not using the 40% rule for applications for any UK Aid Direct funding rounds currently. However, during the financial management assessment of the project, DFID will consider the dependency that the applicant organisation has or will have, on DFID funding.

Can I discuss my application with you directly?

Unfortunately, we are not able to discuss applications directly but do email us if you have any queries about the application process or specific eligibility criteria.

Can we submit more than one application?

Organisations cannot hold more than 2 concurrent, live UK Aid Direct grants of one grant type (e.g. 2 Network grants). However, there is no limit to the number of applications that can be made.

A live grant is a project with more than 9 months left to run from the start date of the UK Aid Direct call for proposals.

The maximum combined grant model allowance is 5 live UK Aid Direct grants of different types.

What is the deadline for applications?

The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) will remain open and all applications will be reviewed on a 6-monthly basis.

For all other grant types, please refer to their individual pages:

Community Partnership grants

Impact grants

Jo Cox Memorial – Strengthening grants

Jo Cox Memorial – Network grants

 

Can we partner with other organisations?

Yes. It is expected that you may be working with local implementing partners.

You can also form a consortium, please see here for further information.

Can you send us an offline application form?

No, all applications must be submitted via our online application form, which can be accessed here through our online portal (opens in a new window).

You can download a pdf of the application form to work on offline after you have registered to apply but we strongly recommend you view it online and we cannot accept applications which are not submitted through our online application portal.

Where can I find the online application portal?

The online application portal can be found here (opens in a new window).

Where can I find an offline version of the application form?

A PDF version of the application form and the budget template can be downloaded once you have passed the eligibility test. These can be accessed in the online portal.  Under no circumstances will UK Aid Direct review requests for funding or proposals submitted outside of the online portal.

What is the working definition of primary and secondary beneficiaries?

Primary beneficiaries are people who will directly benefit from the intervention, for example a mother attending an antenatal clinic is a direct beneficiary.

Secondary beneficiaries are those who are benefiting indirectly from an intervention for example, someone attends a training on improving nutrition then shares that information within her household. The members of her household are secondary beneficiaries.

Both direct and indirect beneficiaries should only be counted once, regardless of the number of interventions they may receive over the course of the project, and should not be included in both the primary and secondary beneficiary counts.

How and when will we be notified of the outcome of our submission?

Applicants will be advised of the outcome by email addressed to the main contact provided on your submission.

 

Can I submit draft versions of my application for approval or ask for suggestions on ideas for projects?

In the interests of fairness to all applicants, we regret that we are unable to provide specific guidance to applicants relating to individual project ideas. Your application should demonstrate how your idea fits with the specific objectives of UK Aid Direct and the specific funding round. The guidelines provide advice on what is and what is not eligible. However, if you have a specific query relating to any aspect of the guidance material, we are able to offer clarification, so please do not hesitate to email us or send a message via the Contact page of the website.

Requirements and supporting documents

How will we be expected to show evidence of match funding? How much of the match do we need to have secured at the start of the project?

On UK Aid Direct, 25% match funding for Impact grants is obligatory. It is optional for other grant types. A letter of commitment for at least the first year, prior to the contract starting is needed.

Does DFID have a preference with regards to the lead applicant in an informal partnership? For example, a UK NGO or local NGO?

It will depend which grant type you are applying for as to whether the eligibility criteria is only for UK registered NGOs.

There is no inherent preference for either a UK or a local NGO to lead.

Do UK Aid Direct grants fund buildings?

No, there is a list of what type of activities and costs that can be funded.
Major capital expenditure (e.g. construction or purchase of buildings, purchase of land) cannot be supported as a primary focus of the proposed initiative.

Any aspect of capital expenditure that you include needs to be fully justified as directly contributing to a sustainable outcome linked to the reduction of poverty and must be set out clearly in the budget. This is intended to avoid funding of buildings and equipment that are not supported by other project components or approaches to ensure that the capital expenditure contributes to a sustainable poverty reduction outcome.

To find out more, please visit the guidance sections for the individual fund types within this website.

Do you consider gifts as part of ‘income’?

This would depend on if a value has been placed on the gift and included in the organisational accounts, and what type of gift it is.

If a value has been placed on it and it is included in the accounts then, we would consider it part of income.

What is meant by ‘income’?

Income (or turnover) can be defined as the total incoming resources or total funds received by an organisation during a given financial period.

Examples of ‘income’ includes funds / monies received as unrestricted and restricted funds from grants, donations, sales of goods or services etc.

Can we partner with other organisations?

Yes. It is expected that you may be working with local implementing partners.

You can also form a consortium, please see here for further information.

Does our organisation need to be based in the UK to apply for a UK Aid Direct grant?

To be eligible to apply for a Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grant or a Community Partnership grant, groups must be UK registered.

To be eligible to apply for an Impact grant, a Jo Cox Memorial Fund – Strengthening grant, and a Jo Cox Memorial Fund – Network grant, your organisation must be:

  • UK registered or
  • in one of the lowest 50 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) or
  • in a country that DFID considers to be high or moderate fragility
Successful applicants will need publish their financial data on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) as part of DFID’s transparency agenda. Do implementing partners also need to be fully or partially IATI compliant?

The Civil Society Partnership Review released by the UK Government in November maked the following statement:

At a minimum, by the end of 2017, centrally funded CSOs will be required to meet the full International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard on all their funding, and ensure that all the organisations in their delivery chain also meet the standard.

Under the terms of the DFID Accountable Grant Arrangement, all organisations directly receiving DFID funding are required to publish to the IATI standard every quarter and within 6 months of signing the grant agreement. Lead grant holders will also be expected to support their implementing partners to publish their IATI data.

Grant holders funded through the Small Charities Challenge Fund will be encouraged and offered support to publish to the IATI standard, however, it will not be a requirement stipulated in their Accountable Grant Agreement.

We are a new organisation and do not have 3 years of audited accounts, does this exclude us from being able to apply?

A newly formed organisation can apply provided that it is able to meet all the eligibility criteria. If you cannot provide audited or approved accounts for the past 3 years, we may ask you to provide other information to satisfy us that you are able to manage the grant.

What are the due diligence requirements?

All organisations are required to undertake a due diligence assessment prior to a DFID grant being confirmed. Assessments examine the capacity of organisations to manage DFID funds appropriately and transparently. Following the outcome of the assessment DFID’s offer of support will either be confirmed or withdrawn, and follow up actions may be required as a condition of the grant. Full details are available on the Gov.uk website (opens in a new window).

If your project involves working with downstream partners your organisation should expect to carry out robust due diligence on the proposed partners and provide your assessment and findings for verification during the UK Aid Direct due diligence assessment.

Application portal

Can you send us an offline application form?

No, all applications must be submitted via our online application form, which can be accessed here through our online portal (opens in a new window).

You can download a pdf of the application form to work on offline after you have registered to apply but we strongly recommend you view it online and we cannot accept applications which are not submitted through our online application portal.

If you would like to re-submit the eligibility questionnaire, do you have to use a different email address?

The eligibility answers cannot be changed once submitted, as they determine whether or not an applicant can go through to the concept note stage.

Whether you submitted the eligibility answer incorrectly or whether your eligibility has changed, the only way to change responses to eligibility questions is to begin a new application. You can do this by logging in using the same email address, scrolling down to “Current Grant Windows”, and clicking “Apply” next to the grant you wish to apply for. You can then begin eligibility checks again and input accurate responses to re-check eligibility without using a different email address.

Do I need to register each time I want to submit an application?

Applicants do not need to register each time they wish to apply for support. However, applicants are required to submit a new application for each funding round. Previous applications will not automatically be considered in a new funding round.

Can I stay logged in and be inactive for long periods of time?

The system will log you out after a while if you stay inactive and it may not be obvious to you that you have been logged out (for example, if you are logged in for over an hour without using the system at all). If you have been away from your login screen for an hour or more the best thing to do is log out and then log back in again to avoid information being lost. The system should save your application information as you provide it, so there is no risk in logging out. But it is always good to check that the information you provide is being saved.

How do I reset my password?

If you forget your password, the Login section of the website contains a ‘Forgot your password?’ link through which applicants can reset their passwords.

Who can I contact if I experience technical issues while applying through the online system?

If you have any technical difficulties in using the portal then please submit a query through the Contact form on the website or by emailing ukaiddirect@manniondaniels.com, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Which internet browser should I use for online applications?

The system will function on the latest two versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome. The fastest and smoothest experience will be on Google Chrome. However, the application form will function on all three.

Can I log in via more than one internet window?

No, please only log in via one internet window, otherwise you risk losing your content.