What can an organisation do with a UK Aid Direct grant?

Categories: Application guidance, Funding rounds
15 February 2019

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With the latest funding round opening for Community Partnership and Impact grant applications on 4 March 2019, we thought we would share some thoughts from existing grant holders on what the funding has enabled them to do, and what it’s like to manage and implement a Department for International Development (DFID) grant.

Profile of a Community Partnership grant holder

Community Partnership grants are for small, not-for-profit organisations looking to deliver projects lasting three years or less.

Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) were successful in securing their first grant in the last UK Aid Direct funding round.

When asked why they decided to apply for a grant, Susie Weldon, a spokesperson for ARC explained how the organisation felt their proposed project fitted well with some of UK Aid Direct’s policy objectives and hoped that the Fund would be willing to try a new approach.

For them this meant working with faith organisations to address menstrual hygiene management and tackling issues like access and stigma in their ‘Dignity for girls’ project to keep more girls in education.

“This grant has enabled us to deliver our project! It has also forced us to up our game in many ways (to tighten up our internal management systems/policies etc.)”

So, what has this grant enabled them to do in terms of supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised?

“With a Community Partnership grant we have been able to develop and successfully deliver the first menstrual hygiene management programme to engage Christian and Muslim communities in Uganda. We have already reached 40% more individuals than we expected to with this project, and we still have five months to go.”

UK-based charity AbleChildAfrica, and local partner organisation Uganda Society for Disabled Children opens were grant holders of a Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF) project before receiving their current Community Partnership grant.

AbleChildAfrica sought funding from UK Aid Direct to support the realisation of disability inclusive Global Goals.

They also believed that a grant from UK Aid Direct was an important opportunity to significantly develop the capacity of their implementing partner UWEZO Youth Empowerment, in Rwanda, to effectively manage large and complex grants.

Lauren Watters, Head of Programmes for the UK-based charity had this to say:

“This UK Aid Direct grant has enabled us (and our partner organisation) to build upon innovative and effective approaches to disability inclusion. And share them through the creation of a National Youth Disability Network to begin delivering youth-led sustainable policy change, for youth and children with disabilities in Rwanda.”

“Critically, it has allowed AbleChildAfrica and UWEZO to join the Rwanda Government on a journey towards ensuring youth with disabilities have a voice. It has also created a significant step-change in UWEZO, not only by creating an active network of youth advocates in line with the organisation’s mission, but also in terms of an internal shift in organisational capability and capacity to effectively deliver and manage this UK Aid Direct grant.”

Grant holders Food for the Hungry UK (FH-UK) Director, Paul Cornelius tells us about their grant: “We have some great opportunities to work with and help extremely poor, marginalised communities.”

“Our recent grant has enabled us to build on our current community transformation programme and provide us with resources and training to assist the community in getting closer to self-reliance.”

And what has been the result of this for the beneficiaries?

“… We have been able to subsidise improved facilities for subsistence farmers to store their crops (in Uganda) and to reduce the high level of crop wastage.”

“Additional benefits include safer and more wholesome staple food for the family, an enhanced income from crop trading, reduced use of pesticides, and changed food preparation practices releasing women from many hours of labour.”

Profile of an Impact grant holder

Impact grants are for medium sized organisations looking for support to deliver projects of between three and five years.

Seasoned Impact grant holders Send a Cow have been granted five UK Aid Direct grants to date.

Group of women in brightly coloured clothes. Photo credit: Send a CowRichard Granville, Programme Funding Contracts Manager explained how the UK Aid Direct funding stream closely aligns with Send a Cow’s programmatic priorities.

“UK Aid Direct provides foundational funding to support the strategic, long-term development of Send a Cow country programmes.”

“With an Impact grant our organisation has been able to develop our processes for data collection and analysis, allowing us to better demonstrate the impact of our work.

“We can apply sector-wide standards to the delivery and measurement of projects to ensure that they are SMART and sustainable, and it supports the development and application of effective models of full cost recovery.”

Did you know…?

From UK Aid Direct Round 2 (also for Community Partnership and Impact grants):

  • 52% of the successful organisations were new to DFID funding.
  • 16 projects were funded for Community Partnership grants out of 186 applications received.
  • 21 projects were funded for Impact grants out of 440 applications received.

The statistics for UK Aid Direct Round 3 will be available online shortly.


You can find out more about this funding round and a timeline for guidance events and applications by visiting our announcement page.

The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is another UK Aid Direct fund, designed to support small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations involved in international development.

SCCF is a rolling fund with applications reviewed on a six-monthly basis, with the next review date 28 March. Find out by visiting the dedicated Small Charities apply page.