Grant Making Policy

Last updated: 15th of March 2024

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles, criteria and processes that govern how the Charity makes grants. A grant is defined as a financial award the Charity makes from its funds to support charitable activities, to charities and non-governmental organisations in Burundi.

2. Introduction

The Charity objects are:

the relief of poverty, sickness, hardship and distress and education of children, in particular but not exclusively orphans, street children and underprivileged children, living in Burundi by providing accommodation, shelter, food clothing, medical treatment and supplementary classes teaching English and helping with homework.

It is governed by a board of trustees. The trustees ensure proper governance of the Charity’s grant-making in three ways.

  1. Through grant-making principles which ensure that, even where there is donor or funding partner involvement, decisions are ultimately made by the Charity’s trustees.
  2. Through published grant-making criteria which set out the activities the trustees wish to support in furtherance of the Charity’s charitable objectives. The criteria also include activities which the trustees do not wish to support because they do not consider them to be in line with the Charity’s purpose. The trustees accept that they will on some occasions make grants outside published criteria but that in all such cases the activity supported will be charitable in law.
  3. Through grant-making processes which set out how decisions are reached for awarding grants from different types of funds at the Charity.

3. Grant-making principles

The principles which underpin the trustees’ governance of the Charity’s grant-making take into account the scale and range of its grants and strike a balance between proper oversight of decision-making and responsive customer service for both applicants and donors.

The principles are as follows.

  • The Board of trustees has ultimate collective responsibility for all grant-making decisions in line with the Charity’s charitable purposes and any restrictions agreed with donors and funding partners.
  • Trustees may assign certain decision-making responsibilities to its sub-committees
  • Board members or staff within its scheme of delegation. Such delegated decisions are subject to scrutiny and review from time to time.
  • Trustees reserve the right to apply conditions to any grant.
  • Trustees also reserve the right not to approve any recommendation or nomination if they (or those acting with their delegated authority) determine that the resulting grant would not be charitable, or would conflict with the Charity’s stated policies or damage its reputation.

4. Grant-making criteria

The Charity’s published guidance on criteria for applications from organisations is set out in Appendix 1 of this policy.

As a registered charity, we can only make grants to support activity which is charitable in law. Organisations do not have to be registered charities to apply, but the Charity will only make general running cost or unrestricted grants to charities. Grants to other types of organisation will always be restricted for a specific charitable purpose.

Trustees expect that grants will normally support one or more of the following outcomes:

Financial aid to assist in the provision of a school for education, healthcare, accommodation and relieve poverty of orphans and other children living in Burundi.

Grants which the trustees will not support are:

  1. Contributions to general appeals or circulars;
  2. Public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations;
  3. Activities which have already taken place;
  4. Grant-making by other organisations.
  5. Privately owned and profit-distributing companies or limited partnerships.

To ensure the Charity’s resources are used solely to further its charitable objectives, and it can report on the impact of grants, trustees normally expect that all grants will have one to three measurable objectives agreed at the beginning of the funding period as part of the grant offer.

The minimum grant in response to an external request is £100.0 (one hundred pounds). The minimum for a donor-nominated grant is £100.0 (one hundred pounds). There is no upper limit, but applicants should be mindful of the Charity’s average grant size.

5. Grant-making processes

Trustees aim for the Charity’s grant-making processes to be transparent and to address the interests of applicants and the wishes of donors and funding partners. To this end, all eligible external grant requests go through a four-stage process as follows:

Allocation to available funds according to their availability and criteria. Requests that cannot be allocated to live funds are rejected.

Assessment to determine whether the request/recommendation should be shortlisted for support.

Requests not shortlisted are rejected, unless a donor/partner wishes to review them.

Review of the assessment and recommendation by a fund advisor, panel, the Board, or by a person acting with the delegated authority of the Board. Grants not recommended are rejected, unless allocated to another fund.

Ratification of the recommendation by the Board or a person/committee acting with its delegated authority.

The process for donor-nominated grants is:

  1. A fund advisor nominates a grant to a registered charity, or a similarly regulated organisation for the charitable purposes specified.
  2. For organisations, due diligence on governance and finance is conducted by staff to confirm the nomination can be supported.
  3. The nomination is ratified by the Board or the person/committee acting with its delegated authority.

In addition to responding to external grant requests and donor nominations, the trustees may at their discretion invite or commission proposals, or provide funding in collaboration with others or by combining fund contributions, where doing so would meet the Charity’s strategy and priorities for its unrestricted and discretionary funds.

Recommendations to approve high-risk and unusual grants of any type are not delegated and must be referred to the Board. Examples include where:

  • there is a question as to whether the grant would be for a charitable purpose;
  • there are risks around an organisation’s long-term liquidity or solvency;
  • the grant is for unusually large sum, or for a type of organisation, activity or area of benefit not usually supported;
  • one or more trustees or senior staff have a conflict of interest;
  • there is a risk of damage to the Charity’s reputation;
  • or there is a potential conflict with the Charity’s policies.

6. Variations to this policy

The Board of trustees may vary the terms of this policy from time to time.