Grants and Partnerships FAQ
Please read our granting criteria and the following FAQs if your organization is thinking about applying for a grant through ODW.
What does ODW's granting process look like and what is the timeline from start to finish?
The first step is to register a profile and then submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) here. There is no deadline for submitting LOIs. Please have the start date of the project no sooner than eight months from the LOI submission to allow for internal processing and fundraising. All projects must be completed within one year of receiving funding. With the exception of a micro-match project, all project budgets must be under $30,000 or 30% of the organization’s annual operating budget (whichever is smaller).
We will send you a response within four weeks to let you know if your LOI has been approved.
If we approve your LOI, you have a maximum timeframe of two months to submit a completed grant application along with three letters of reference.
You will receive our final decision within three months of submitting a grant application (assuming we receive all necessary information in your application).
If your grant application is approved, the time it takes for funds to be disbursed depends on what type of grant our Board of Directors has approved. For Full Grants, funds will be disbursed within two weeks of us receiving a signed MoU. For Matching Grants & Micro-match Grants, funds will be disbursed two weeks after the full project amount is raised through the online campaign. The campaign page for Matching Grants is open for three months, but some have been funded in as little as one week, and the campaigns for micro-match Grants last for one week.
What do we look for in a proposal?
The details we look for in LOIs include: the quality of the LOI, engagement with the community, past experience or expertise in the project area, justification or rationale for the project, organizational efficiency, alignment with our values, and our current funding priorities.
What are the different types of grants that ODW gives?
There are three main types of ODW grants:
Full Grants: These grants are lump-sum grants given at the discretion of the ODW Board of Directors. These are almost exclusively reserved for small CBOs based in the countries of operation.
Matching Grants: Matching Grants are larger and more extensive fundraising campaigns where ODW matches a portion of the funds raised for your project. These grants are typically broken up as 50/50 grants, meaning ODW matches the first half of the proposal amount that is raised. The majority of our grants matching grants.
Micro-match: ODW matches the first $2,500 raised during a week-long fundraising campaign hosted on our site for your project.
How do I know which kind of grant my organization qualifies to receive?
In short, you don’t. If you have a preference, please mention that in your grant application. Ultimately, our Board of Directors will decide which grant to issue; the size of your organization, your comments in your grant application, and your donor engagement are major factors in our decision. As mentioned above, the majority of our grants are Matching Grants.
Once my grant has been disbursed, how long do I have to submit proof of usage (including photos, videos, and written documentation of project progress) to ODW?
Although projects must have a timeline of completion no longer than one year post-funding, we ask for a 12-month post-funding update and a 24-month post-funding update. A reporting template will be provided with the grant application to ensure your organization's ability to meet our requirements. Our reporting requirements include a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions, along with requirements for photos, beneficiary stories, and budget actuals.
If my LOI or grant application is not approved, why is that and what can I do next?
Some reasons include, but are not limited to, the following explanations: not meeting our project criteria, the quality of the LOI or grant application submitted, or our funding priorities in particular areas of focus or regions. After receiving notification of a deny, we ask that organizations wait at least six months before submitting a new LOI to restart the process.
If I have already received a grant from ODW, how long do I have to wait to apply for another grant?
You are welcome to submit a new LOI after you submit your one year follow-up report from the first project.