Guidance for applying for a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant (SCCF)

1. Financial guidelines

  • Principles of reporting

    This document presents the basic guidelines for financial reporting covering the UK Aid Direct fund, including:

    • The financial obligations of the grant holder
    • Timing of transactions
    • Financial and reporting years
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  • Budget classification and budgeting

    This guide explains the classification system of UK Aid Direct budgets, and the methodologies used in calculating the expenditure of grants. It covers:

    • Budget structure
    • Budget headings
    • Budget management
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  • Exchange rates

    This document presents operational guidelines on the treatment of foreign currency denominated transactions and appropriate methodologies for the budgeting, recording, and management of exchange rate fluctuations. It covers:

    • Setting appropriate exchange rates
    • Mitigating against fluctuations
    • Underspends and overspends
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  • Due diligence requirements

    This document informs applicants about due diligence and how the process will be conducted.

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2. Application guidance

  • a) Results framework guidance

    This guidance for a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant aims

    • to increase applicants understanding of their programme’s goals and objectives
    • to define the relationships between the factors that are key to implementation
    • to articulate the internal and external elements that could affect their programme’s success
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  • b) Results framework template

    This template should be used to record:

    • outcome indicators
    • output activities
    • milestones
    • means of verification
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  • c) Budget and workplan template

    Download this template to complete your budget and workplan for SCCF.

    Updated on site 18 September, 2018

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  • d) Example of a good application

    We’re often asked by applicants what makes a good SCCF application.
    There’s no single answer to this, but we have produced a document which features some examples of quality answers to some of the key questions in the form. These answers are intended as a guide only. They have been taken, with permission from an application submitted by new SCCF grant holder Carers Worldwide.

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3. Further printable guidance

  • Value for money case study from grant holder

    This case study looks at a highly rated, completed UK Aid Direct supported project and specifically, at what Women for Women International (WfWI) did that demonstrates excellent value for money.

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  • A guide to value for money

    This guide explains:

    • What Value for Money is
    • Why it is a useful tool
    • How to use it
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  • A guide to beneficiary feedback mechanisms

    This guide explains:

    • What a beneficiary feedback mechanism is
    • Why they are useful
    • How they can be used during project implementation
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  • A guide to sustainability

    This guide explains:

    • What sustainability is
    • How to address it within your project documentation
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  • A guide to gender equality

    This guide explains:

    • Why gender equality should be considered at all stages of the project life cycle
    • How it can be considered
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  • Defining 'marginalised'

    This guidance seeks to explore the term ‘marginalised’, what it means for projects, and to explain DFID’s pledge to leave no one behind.

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  • Top tips for applicants

    This guidance is designed specifically with small organisations in mind and provides top tips for applicants regarding prospective project designs, results, and finance in particular.

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  • What does having a DFID grant entail?

    This guidance is designed to outline the processes we recommend you have in place, in order to be able to fully manage a DFID grant.

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  • A guide to logframes

    This guide explains:

    • What a logframe is
    • Their purpose
    • How to develop and use them
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  • A guide to developing a Theory of Change

    This guide explains:

    • What a Theory of Change is
    • Its purpose
    • How to develop one


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  • A guide to disability inclusion

    This guide explains:

    • What disability inclusion is
    • How to address it within project documentation
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4. Presentations

  • a) Small Charities Challenge Fund: guidance webinar

    A new recording of a webinar aimed at supporting potential applicants of the Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF).

    Click on the box above.

    Recorded on 30 January 2019 and presented by Karen Stephenson, Fund Director and David Bailes, Head of Fiduciary Risk for UK Aid Direct.

  • b) Small Charities Challenge Fund: presentation to download

    This PowerPoint presentation was used to accompany the Small Charities Challenge Fund webinar (recorded 30 January 2019).

  • c) How to measure disability

    This is the first publication in the User Guide series, a learning resource compiled in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Washington Group.

    The User Guide is a narrated video on the UK Aid Direct Youtube channel, which provides information and advice on how groups can improve reporting on disability.

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5. Lessons learnt

  • Review 1: UK Aid Direct Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) applications and the lessons learnt

    The UK Aid Direct technical team has compiled a summary of their general observations regarding the applications submitted for SCCF grants.

    We hope this is helpful for organisations considering applying for a UK Aid Direct grant in the future.

    February 2018

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