F.1.Great Grants: The Benefits & Best Practice of Grant Making with capacity building
I Chipofya, M Ng'ambi, C M Osborne, Save the Children US, Umoyo Network
Objectives and Scope: Since 1999 Save the Children Umoyo Network has awarded many sub-grants through a competitive process to Malawian NGOs. These ranged from $40,000 to $600,000 per year for capacity building of the NGO and service delivery. Save the Children Umoyo Networks approach to grant making is to ally it with capacity building support in financial administration to assure accountability of funds and effective financial management.
Methodology: Based on the pre-award assessments which look at financial and administrative issues, Umoyo Network’s finance and grants unit provides ongoing technical assistance in financial management and setting up financial systems. The finance staff organize training courses on issues such as bookkeeping, accounting, developing budgets, financial systems and internal controls, planning, cash flow, USAID grant compliance, procurement, cost savings and resource mobilization and provide monthly on-site mentoring. Technical Assistance is also provided to the NGOs in Strategic planning and proposal writing
Results and Conclusions: Through this combination of grant making and technical assistance, the following outcomes have been realized:
all NGOs are able to comply with USAID regulations, which have been adopted as part of good management practice in the organizations, all NGOs can plan for their future funding needs based on strategic planning and budgeting,
many NGOs have diversified their funding base, applying to other donors for extra funds for service delivery or to replace the current funding from USAID,
all NGOs can comply with the requirements of the NGO Act and submit accurate transparent financial accounts that could be published to win the confidence of the general public.
A grant making model should incorporate elements of Technical assistance/capacity building through training, mentoring and monitoring, to ensure the accountable transfer and use of funds.