Almost without exception, most funders and donors will expect you to be properly set up organisationally, with an approved constitution, bank account and trustees, charity registration and, for international projects, a partnership agreement detailing clear decision-making, accountability, roles and responsibilities between the partners in Wales and the South. This is why these elements are fundamental to the progression criteria within the UN Gold Star Award Framework for good practise, which underpins the whole Wales Africa Community Links programme.
For international activities, the Charity Commission may require you to demonstrate that appropriate measures are in place to ensure funds do not cause harm through contributing to money laundering, corruption or terrorism; and in particular for projects involving young people, that appropriate child protection policies are in place. You can get support and advice on these issues from your local County Voluntary Council.
Who Where What When?
Funding streams can be diverse, ranging from statutory schemes to trusts and foundations with a specific interest in international development. Before making applications, careful consideration must be given to which sources offer the best fit with your - and your southern partners’ - aims and objectives.
You should think carefully about time, effort and accountability expectations of different funders, and your capacity to manage these. Applications to large funders, such as DfID or the EU, often require:
• many hundreds of hours of detailed project planning and application writing (to funding pots which are massively oversubscribed);
• professional project management to the funders' (not your) requirements, over the lifetime of the project;
• legally binding financial and reporting accountability, for which your organization will be primarily liable (you will usually carry liability for checking overseas partners);
• funds are usually restricted, so cannot be spent on anything other than the purpose originally applied for.
You may be able to raise more (and less restricted) funds, and engage more people, by channeling the same time and effort into community fundraising. Think about it.
For your projects to be sustainable, you should avoid reliance on just one form of income. Your balance of funding sources might come from:
• Individuals and Community
• Business or Company Sponsorship
• Statutory / Government Funds
• Big Lottery & Comic Relief
• Charitable Trusts & Foundations