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Asfari Foundation’s 2020 Open Call for Applications

Asfari Foundation’s 2020 Open Call for Applications


Deadline: 20 March 2020

The Asfari Foundation is a British grant-making charity set up by Ayman and Sawsan Asfari in 2006. The Foundation focuses its efforts in the Levant and UK, with particular attention to the situation of the Syrian diaspora.

10+ Funders for Agriculture, Food and Nutrition
10+ Global Donors for Improving Lives of Children in Poor Countries
10+ Donors that believe in building NGO capacities for Civil Society Development
15+ Donors for Saving the Planet: Grants for Environment, Conservation and Wildlife

To enable the development of a resilient, effective and accountable civil society by developing the sustainability, productivity and scalable impact of high-potential civil society organisations (CSOs).
To create non-traditional learning and economic opportunities by providing innovative support to young entrepreneurs to help them build sustainable enterprises and tackle social challenges.
To empower partners to transform their organisations, increase their impact, and strengthen learning and collaboration – locally, regionally and globally – through community-led, localised knowledge-sharing.
The Foundation does this through its two main grant-making programmes:

The Civil Society Programme (CSP): invests in the organisational development of civil society organisations (CSOs) to increase their resilience, sustainability, impact, and ability to tackle the chronic challenges facing the region.
The Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (YLEAP): provides funding and wider support to organisations which enable young entrepreneurs to be supported from ideation to impact investment, innovating to solve social and economic challenges faced by their communities.
Together with its valued partners, the Foundation will continue to contribute to real change for young people and civil society from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and the UK.

20+ Donors standing up for Human Rights and Equality
10+ International Donors seeking to improve Access to Water, Hygiene and Sanitation
20+ Global Donors for Empowering Women and Girls
25+ Donors for the Empowerment of Youth
Focus Areas

Civil Society Programme (CSP)

Concept notes must address at least one of the following areas:
Strengthening governance; e.g.
Strengthening the governance of CSOs.
Nurturing young leaders.
Sharing good governance practices.
Working to hold authorities and those in power accountable.
Safeguarding local or international civil society space.
Promoting active citizenship; e.g.
Enabling individuals in the Foundation’s target countries to access their social, political and economic rights.
Ensuring freedom of association.
Supporting the participation of young people and marginalized groups.
Providing platforms for marginalized voices in home or hosting countries.
Development of independent, high-quality media; e.g.
Informing the public with credible, reliable and objective news and analysis of the situation in the Foundation’s target countries.
Contributing, and inviting the public, to debate solutions to tackle chronic problems facing the region.
Investing in building the capacity and skills of media staff, other media channels and workers.
Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (YLEAP)

Concept notes must address at least one of the following areas:
Ecosystem building in Lebanon; e.g.
Innovating to strengthen collaboration between existing ecosystem stakeholders to help achieve impact at scale.
Improving the pipeline supporting young entrepreneurs and innovators, from ideation to impact investment.
Democratising access to knowledge and information for young entrepreneurs.
Solutions to challenges; e.g.
Innovating solutions to challenges shared by young entrepreneurs and their supporting ecosystem in Lebanon and the Levant.
Contextualising and applying global innovations and solutions to fit ecosystems in Lebanon and the Levant.
Innovating to solve issues restricting young entrepreneurs in Lebanon from growing their enterprises and achieving impact at scale.
De-risking youth to become investment-ready, increasing their access to finance and markets.
Building on the Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation (ACSI)
Pitchworthy, in partnership with the Asfari Foundation, are running a pilot accelerator/challenge prize in Lebanon for young entrepreneurs. The structure of this pilot will follow accelerator programming and will be done primarily online.
Pitchworthy is an innovative organisation working to overcome the barriers of geographies and limited mobility that excludes many from entrepreneurship and innovation programming. Their online platform is packed with innovations that is based on praxis – learning by doing, maximising one’s strengths, growth mindset and more.
Applications to YLEAP are welcome to build on the Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation pilot, offering opportunities and pathways to graduates of the programme.
Funding Information

Civil Society Programme (CSP): Six flexible grants of up to £225,000 each are available in total (dispensed over up to three years in equal instalments of up to £75,000 each year).
Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (YLEAP): Flexible grants of up to £75,000 for a maximum of one year initially. As this is a pilot programme, up to two further grants may be offered to the organisation from 2021 onwards (e.g. where innovations show promise).
Eligibility Criteria

Civil Society Programme (CSP)
Organisations wishing to apply:
Must be registered with the appropriate local authorities (and able to provide proof of registration).
Must be:
Syrian-led CSOs serving Syrians living in Lebanon; or
Syrian-led CSOs working on global issues that affect all Syrians; or
Lebanese or Syrian-led CSOs based in Lebanon and serving the Lebanese, Syrian and/or Palestinian communities in Lebanon.
Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (YLEAP)
Applicant organisations:
May be located anywhere in the world.
Must be registered with the appropriate local authorities (and able to provide proof of registration).
Must address social impact.
Must serve Lebanese, Syrian and/or Palestinian communities in Lebanon.
May be:
Local not-for profit organisations (e.g. civil society, community-based, and Nongovernmental organisations); or
Social enterprises and/or stakeholders from global entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems; or
Private companies with a clear social impact business model.
How to Apply

Sample Proposals
Concept notes must be submitted using the online form located on the Asfari Foundation website.
Applications must be submitted in English. Unfortunately, they cannot accept applications in Arabic at this time. They will endeavour to enable this for future calls.
For more information, visit https://www.asfarifoundation.org.uk/2020-open-call/

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