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Global Grant Best Practices

Rotary Foundation Global Grants are holistic, long-term projects with sustainable, measurable outcomes.  They must align with one of Rotary’s six Areas of Focus, and they represent a long-term (several year) partnership between two Rotary Clubs in two different countries.  To be successful, your application must:
· Be sustainable and include plans for long-term success after the grant funds have been spent
· Include measurable goals
· Align with one of Rotary’s six Areas of Focus
· Respond to real community needs
· Actively involve Rotarians and community members
· Meet the eligibility requirement of the Global Grant terms and conditions
The devil is in the details.  Read on:
Getting Started:
· Build a relationship with another Rotary Club in the country and District of your proposed project.  The success of your project will hinge on this relationship.
· Remember that both your club and the host club in-country need to be “qualified” – and this includes being up-to-date on reporting of any previous grants.  The best way to find out if your partner club is qualified is to ask them, and to confirm via Dalit Wolfe.  Understand that the partner club could be up-to-date on reporting at the beginning of the grant application process, but fall behind while the application is being reviewed.  Therefore, it is best to know up-front the status of any other grants they may be involved in, so that the partner club can be finishing up old paperwork while the application process for your grant is underway.  
· There are no application deadlines for Global Grants, but the application process can be lengthy.  If your grant includes travel, it is highly recommended that you do NOT schedule that travel until after the grant application is approved.
· Make sure that your proposed project falls within the eligibility requirements of the appropriate Area of Focus.  Read carefully the “Areas of Focus Policy Statements” (Tab G) which provides good examples of what does/does not fall under each Area of Focus.  While there is no rule against a Global Grant being part of two (or even three) Areas of Focus, this doubles (or triples) the requirements your grant application will need to fulfill.  
· Contact our District Global Grants Coordinator, Dalit Wolfe, and share your grant idea.  She has extensive international knowledge as well as experience working with Rotary Foundation grants; she is a significant resource at the start of the grant process – not just to make sure the application is filled in properly.  Use her! 
· Download the Grants Management Manual , available online: file:///C:/Users/marty/Downloads/Grant_Management_Manual_en.pdf
  This is your “Bible” to walk you through the process!
Community Needs Assessment:
· Start with a needs assessment rather than a project plan.  Collect information about resources as well as needs, whether and how issues are being addressed, and what actions will most likely improve the community.  Keep these general assessment principles in mind:
Talk to everyone. Gather perspectives from a broad cross-section of the community, involving those who will plan, participate in, and benefit from the project.
Trust local knowledge. Identify needs that community members are passionate about tackling.
Use available human assets. Financial resources available for any project will be limited. Ask all those involved how they can contribute to improving their community. All participants can and should provide valuable contributions to the effort.
Think long term. Involve community members in identifying long-term goals for maintaining the project outcomes on their own after the grant funds are spent. 
· Remember that our cultural biases may color our assessment of what a community needs.  For example, an example of a BAD assessment is to notice that students are sitting on the ground and assume that these children need desks. An example of a GOOD assessment would be to survey students, teachers, and parents, and ask what the kids need to help them succeed in school.
· The needs assessment must include baseline metrics, so that later evaluation is possible.  Think in terms of SMART Metrics, that is, metrics that are:
Specific: Specific metrics are clear and well-defined and it is clear what is expected. 
Measurable: Progress toward metrics is monitored while work is underway. 
Achievable: Achievable metrics ensure that everything is in place to meet the metric. 
Realistic: Metrics should be realistic. 
Timely: Descriptions of metrics should include timelines, showing what is required, when. 
· The solution must be impactful (solve a problem), not just chip away at it.  Some of our most iconic Rotary projects – Gift of Life, Rotaplast -- involve repetitive trips to address an ongoing issue.  While this is great Rotary service, these projects do not make good Global Grants because they do not resolve the problem.  Rethink your annual service trip into a three- or four-year holistic program that will make sustainable change.  This could involve a Vocational Training Team and must include knowledge transfer (teach the local people to do the work).
· Sustainability involves materials, funding, and knowledge transfer.  To test the sustainability of your project, ask yourself the question:  What will happen to the project after the Rotarians go away?   Review the Six Steps to Sustainability (Tab G).  Sustainable projects can take many forms, yet all display the following characteristics:
· Community needs and strengths: Sustainable projects are well-planned, involve collaboration of multiple project participants, and complement the needs and values of beneficiaries. Grant sponsors should:
Demonstrate how feedback from beneficiaries has been collected
Identify local organizations, community groups, or government agencies involved in coordinating project activities
Materials and Technology: Sustainable projects use durable material that is accessible, ready to use, and environmentally sound.
Project materials should be  purchased from local sources
Spare parts must be readily available 
• Funding: Sustainable projects ensure that a reliable source of funding exists to continue project outcomes after the grant is complete. Sponsors should:
Introduce practices that help communities generate income for ongoing project funding
Demonstrate the presence of preexisting sources of consistent project funding 
Knowl edge:Sustainable projects increase capacity by helping communities acquire new skills, knowledge and behaviors.  To do this, your project must have a capacity-building or train-the-trainer component. You must: 
Ensure that new initiatives are coordinated with training, education, or community outreach campaigns
Demonstrate how new skills will be passed on to future beneficiaries 
Motivation: Sustainable projects provide tangible incentives for community ownership of project activities and outcomes. Sponsors should
Confirm that beneficiaries have a well-defined role in carrying out project goals 
Identify individuals in leadership positions to monitor outcomes and ensure continuity
· Sustainability probably requires us to take a multi-year approach in order to build capacity in-country to solve the problem.   A bad solution, for example, is to import wheelchairs.  A good solution is to build a wheelchair factory in-country.  
Draft the Application:
· Now that the community needs assessment has produced a solution, and you have worked with your partner to make that solution sustainable, it is time to draft the application. 
· Grants are drafted and submitted online:  The Grants Application Tool is NOT downloadable, and it requires data entry in a prescribed order.  This is just one more reason to get your project lined up ahead of time before starting to fill out the form!
· Be sure to answer the questions!  This may sound simplistic, but it’s human nature to talk around a tough question rather than answer it directly. If the question asks how the project will help the beneficiaries, be specific.  Provide bullet points but don’t describe the beneficiaries’ general poverty and lack of opportunities. 
Project plan:  Provide a detailed project plan, and include the beneficiaries in the plan wherever possible. After all, they will need to “own” the project.
Rotarian involvement:  Provide a detailed list of tasks for both Host (in-country) and international Rotarians.  Remember that “involvement” requires more than fundraising.
Budget:  Provide a detailed budget.  For sustainability reasons, materials should be locally sourced; explain how vendors were selected. 
Training:  For sustainability reasons, part of your grant must include a train-the-trainer or capacity-building component.  Be sure to include detailed information for each training opportunity, including frequency, curriculum, target audience, trainer, and expected outcomes.
· Remember that your Rotary Foundation Global Grant application will be approved and funded, as long as it meets the criteria.  So stick to the needs assessment, sustainability, project plan and measurable evaluation, and you will have a winner.   
Cooperating Organization
· Many Global Grants involve cooperating organizations, that is, non-Rotary organizations or academic institutions that provide expertise, infrastructure, advocacy, training  and education or other support for the duration of the grant.
· Cooperating organizations should not be confused with beneficiaries, which are the groups or community that will receive the benefits of the grant. Nor should cooperating organizations be confused with vendors, which supply materials for the grant.
· Cooperating organizations must sign a Memorandum of Understanding to be included with the grant application.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Sustainable projects are designed to ensure clear and measurable outcomes,  and those outcomes are tied to the community needs assessment that started off the project.   In your application. be sure you: 
Establish clear project goals and relevant baseline data
Identify critical project measures and the method for collecting this information
Questions specific to projects in each of the six Areas of Focus are available in Rotary’s Global Grant Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Supplement.  Be sure that your evaluation can provide this data.
Updated July 2015