How we are funded
At the moment, Well Grounded receives a large proportion of its funding from the UK Department for International Development, which has generously supported us during our start-up and development phases. We also receive a small proportion of our funding from national organisations in Africa that pay us for our services. However, we hope that, with time, the proportion of our income from national organisations will increase, changing the balance between grant and fee funding.
In this sense, we envisage that, in the longer term, our income will include a more balanced combination of grant funding and fees paid for our services. We anticipate that grant funding will provide set-up costs, development costs and seed funding for innovative initiatives and work with new organisations, while fees for services will cover our core operating costs.
The reason for this approach is that we want to try to reverse the usual model of funding, in which Northern-based groups access funding and pass it on to African organisations. Instead, Well Grounded supports national civil society organisations so that they are able to direct and fund their own work; in the long run, this will ideally include paying for support for their own internal development.
Because of this approach, we use the word ‘client.’ Our clients are African civil society organisations that approach us because they want support to improve or change how they are working. We consider them our clients because it is to them that we are primarily accountable, regardless of how our work with them is financed.
This means that the quality of the services provided by Well Grounded will be a crucial element of our success (or failure). Organisations hiring Well Grounded for its services will only continue to demand these services if they help organisations to achieve their objectives. These organisations will only continue to obtain funding as long as they can meet funding requirements to a high standard. And they will only continue to have support from their community base if they continue to maintain mutual trust and respect with that base and can demonstrate some palpable impacts. Well Grounded’s services are designed to reinforce organisations in their delivery on all of these aspects.
At present, some 90% of our income is from grant funding and 10% is from payments received for organisation development services, paid for either directly by clients themselves or by one or more of their international partners. In the future, we hope that this balance will start to change as national organisations become stronger and so are better able to pay for our services themselves. We anticipate that grant funding will then be dedicated to the development of new ideas and initiatives, and for investment in young organisations and in mentoring African organisation development practitioners.
Sources of financing
Well Grounded is currently receiving financing from the UK Department for International Development under its Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Programme, which seeks to ‘benefit poor people by putting in place the governance and market reforms that reduce illegal logging and deforestation, building on past high impact work on this issue.’ More information about this project can be found on the departement's website.