Development Diaries: Every project you implement starts with an idea. The idea arises out of the need you have identified from the situation you are living or working in. But the mere identification of the idea will not lead to successful implementation unless you receive strong financial backing for it. So where will the grant come from?

We have identified three donors that are always willing to provide grants if your idea is unique, innovative, appealing and meets their objectives. An interesting element of seeking grant for your project idea is that you do not need to spend days and weeks in developing and presenting a hefty proposal. A short concept note outlining your idea is sufficient to quickly know if the donor would be interested to fund it or not. If it is ready to fund, then you can start working on the proposal.

So which are the donors that fund NGOs for proposing ideas? There are in fact many but we have listed three of them below?


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations is a remarkable funding opportunity to get your ideas funded. It invites everyone to apply from individuals to organizations to universities and to NGOs. It seeks ideas that provide solutions to address current problems and challenges in global Health.

It “focuses on 16 major global health challenges with the aim of engaging creative minds across scientific disciplines — including those who have not traditionally taken part in health research — to work on solutions that could lead to breakthrough advances for those in the developing world.”

Grand Challenges usually funds ideas through a competition and there are deadlines to apply. But the grant cycle repeats throughout the year on different topics related to global health.

Interestingly, Grand Challenges does not ask for lengthy proposals. It is a short application that anyone with a creative bent of mind can quickly fill it in a few hours.

Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is always looking for innovative ideas that advance informed and engaged communitiessupports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. It believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. It focuses on funding Media Innovation, Journalistic Excellence, Freedom of Expression.

To submit an idea for funding, you only need to fill an online application form which takes just 5 minutes. If your idea is accepted for funding, then it seeks a full proposal.


IDRC’s Research Grant Idea

The Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) typically provides funding through awards and competitions. But it also has an open grant mechanism where you can submit project ideas for possible funding.

To apply for IDRC’s Research Grant Idea, you need to submit an application form to the right program officer as IDRC has a range of topics from agricultureenvironment, health, policy and more.


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Africa-ontherise is fostering development in Africa by changing the conversations of its people. We share only positive and progressive news and stories on and about Africa, inspiring people to take positive actions towards building a better continent.

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