The Commonwealth Foundation's COVID-19 special grants call

The Commonwealth Foundation’s COVID-19 special grants call is now open for applications. The Foundation’s Grants Programme supports innovative project ideas and approaches that seek to strengthen the ability of civic voices to engage with governments to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation. In lieu of their annual grants call, they are launching a special grants call in response to the COVID–19 pandemic. Submit your applications for the COVID-19 Grant Call.

The purpose of the special grants call is to enable the Commonwealth Foundation to deliver support to Commonwealth civil society organisations in response to COVID-19 quickly, efficiently and in a way that both reflects and advances our broader mission. To that end, the focus will be on supporting national initiatives that aim to engage constructively with the government in strengthening relevant institutions, policies and practices as communities and countries seek to recover and rebuild. The Foundation is also aware that the pandemic has created a novel and urgent priorities for civil society action and engagement: from the emergence of acute vulnerability among certain groups to the need for insight into how new laws and policies are impacting on different groups of people. Proposals should address such priorities through the lens of participatory governance.

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Applications should relate to one or more aspects of the COVID-19 situation and response. Possible focus areas of the COVID-19 Grant might include:

  1. Research into, and monitoring of, government and civil society responses to the pandemic that aim to identify gaps, weaknesses and good practices that could be used to inform current practice and future policy: including the impact of laws and policies in general, or in relation to specific groups such as women; workers in the informal economy; migrants and refugees or specific issues such as, for example, gender-based violence and access to treatment
  2. Support to civil society organisations, networks and coalitions to enable more effective engagement with government on development and implementation of policies and plans to address the pandemic in the longer term, or respond to new health emergencies
  3. Promotion of civil society engagement with the national government, private sector, and academic institutions to innovate and develop quality products for vulnerable groups that reduce risks associated with pandemics
  4. Facilitating multi-stakeholder discussions or bodies (e.g. taskforce) to review and suggest reforms to policies and programs that can better protect: vulnerable populations; informal workers; and frontline staff during and after the pandemic
  5. Awareness raising and other forms of community engagement aimed at improving social and other protections, especially for vulnerable groups in collaboration with national government
  6. Convening and/or participating in discussions with the national government aimed at improving transparency and strengthening institutions, policies, and practices.


Grants of £10,000 – £30,000 will be awarded for a maximum 12-month duration.


To be eligible for a grant, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) are registered not-for-profit civil society organisations (CSOs).
  • The applicant must be registered in an eligible Commonwealth Member State, and, the project should take place in the country of registration. Partner(s) must also be registered in a Commonwealth Member State. A list of countries eligible under this call will be available later on the website.
  • The application is for funding between £10,000 and £30,000 per annum;
  • The applicant is applying for funding for a maximum of one year.
  • The average of the applicant’s total income over the last two years is less than £3m.
  • The project must address one or more of the project areas listed (see Guidelines).
Eligible Regions: Commonwealth Member States

Application Process

  • Apply through the given link.
  • To apply you will first need to login into your SurveyMonkey Apply account and complete and submit an online application form. The Commonwealth Foundation will only accept applications that have been submitted using the online application system.
  • Please read through their document on How to fill in your application form for detailed guidance on how to create an account.
  • The applicant will provide the following documents as part of the application:
    • a completed logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template.
    • a completed project plan using the Commonwealth Foundation template.
    • a completed budget busing the Commonwealth Foundation template.
    • a copy of the organisation’s registration certificate (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned).
    • a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organisations (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned).
    • a copy of the organisations most recent annual accounts or audited accounts for grant applications from £10,000 up to £14,999: or
    • a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited accounts for grants from £15,000 up to £30,000.

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Application Deadline: September 18, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

Do you have any questions? Please view their frequently asked questions and send any further questions you have to [email protected]
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