Small Grants Scheme: Applicant Guidance for Community-Based Organisations (CBOs)

  1. Introduction

The small grants scheme for community-based Organisations (CBOs) is a component of a European Union (EU) funded project titled ‘Empowered Kambia Civil Society, Women, and Youth Influence Agricultural Production and Sustainable Income Development’ and being led by Kambia District Development and Rehabilitation Organisation (KADDRO) in Kambia. The project supports existing and new farmers in Kambia District, focusing, in particular, on engaging women and youth (18-35) who are marginalised.

The project aims to support equitable growth, poverty reduction, democratization, and long-term stability in Sierra Leone by strengthening the capacity of civil society actors to increase women and young people’s voice, influence, and contribution in agricultural production and sustainable income development and hold the district council and other government bodies to account in Kambia.

  1. What is the CBO small grants scheme?

With funding from the European Union, KADDRO will disburse small grants to selected, eligible community-based organisations in Kambia district (see sections 5 to 7 for the scheme’s eligibility criteria). The small grants will provide financial support to local grassroots Organisations to facilitate the implementation of activities that engage and promote the rights of vulnerable groups, including: women, youth, and people with disabilities (PWDs).

The purpose of the CBO small grants scheme is to support projects that contribute to women’s and youth participation in decision-making and oversight at community and district levels, leading to improved local governance.

The CBO small grants scheme will be implemented in two rounds. In each round, three applications will be selected for funding.

  1. Funding Available

The CBO small grants scheme has a portfolio of Le 815,381,264.

Eligible CBOs can apply for a minimum of Le 100,000,000 and maximum of Le 170,000,000.

The maximum amount CBOs can apply for should not be more than their total budget in the last 12 months. CBOs that are successful in the first round are not eligible to apply in the second call for applications.

  1. Project Duration

Projects submitted by CBOs should be between 8 to 12 months.

  1. Eligibility Criteria for CBOs

The CBO small grants are available for grassroots Organisations and CBOs that operate in Kambia district. CBOs must be operational in at least one of the following chiefdoms: Masungbala, Magbema, Samu, Bramaia, Khornimah, Mambolo, Dixon, Gbinleh and Tonko Limba.  Preference will be given to CBOs led by women, youths, and people living with disabilities.

CBOs applying for the grant should fulfill the below-listed eligibility criteria to be considered for award:

  • Registered as a CBO with Kambia District Council.
  • CBOs targeting and working with women, youth, and/or PWDs as their primary target group(s).
  • Have an existing staff capacity of at least three staff: programme, finance, support staff.
  • Transparent financial management capacity: CBOs must present their previous year’s financial report (Income and expenditure, cash books and reconciliation) and financial management records, such as confirmation of an existing bank account and associated bank statements.
  • Proof of experience of managing similar grants or project budgets and can provide reports from similar engagements and an accompanying reference letter (for example, from a donor or partner).
  • CBOs should have a safeguarding policy, staff and volunteer code of conduct, and conflict of interest policy, or be willing to sign similar policies of KADDRO.
  • CBOs need to have operational presence in the chiefdom in which they propose to implement their project.


  1. What work will we fund?

Below are some examples of thematic focus areas and activities that could be funded under the CBO small grants scheme. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Thematic area Focus / Activities
1.      Gender equality Women’s involvement in decision-making
Hold duty bearers to account
Exchange visits
2.      Social welfare Gender-based violence (GBV)
3.      Peacebuilding Community impact
Social action activities
4.      Child rights  

Awareness raising

5.      COVID-19
6.      Civic education
Adult literacy
  Public policy dissemination
Social accountability and social audit


  1. What type of cost will we fund?

Direct activity costs must comprise a minimum 70% of the overall grant requested. The grant will fund a maximum of 30% administrative costs.

Administrative costs can include:

  • Direct staff costs – these might include a new staff post, or contributions towards existing staff salaries to enable the implementation of the project.
  • Volunteer costs – these might include training, travel, subsistence, equipment, and volunteer support.
  • Other costs – these might include costs directly associated with the work you are delivering. For example, training materials, venue, equipment, communications, and visibility.
  • General running costs – these might include rent, utility costs, insurance, and any other costs related to the day-to-day running of the project.


  1. How and when to apply?

CBOs need to submit a written application in hard copy or soft copy. Applicants from CBOs based in the village can use any convenient method to apply either in hard copy or soft copy. Hard copies must be delivered to KADDRO’s head office at the following address:

101 Kukuna Road


Soft copies must be submitted to the following email address:

CBOs are expected to submit the following supporting documentation:

  • A minimum of one reference on the thematic area and engagement in the specific communities they are applying to implement.
  • Bank statements.
  • Financial statement.
  • Annual or project report.

Applications should be made using the template shared with the call for applications.

The timeline for the first call for applicants:

  • Call release date: 18th May 2021
  • Application deadline: 8th June, 2021
  • Project implementation start date: 1st July 2021

Timeline for the second call for applicants:

  • Call release date: September 2021 (date TBC)
  • Application deadline: September 2021 (date TBC)
  • Project implementation start date: November 2021 (date TBC)

See application documents below for download:

  1. Budget template

      2. 11-05-2021 CBOs Small Grant Applicant Guidance KADDRO CBOs +Trócaire v2.1 clean CBO small grant application form +LGCBO small grant

       3. application form +LG 11-05-2021 CBOs Small Grant Applicant Guidance KADDRO CBOs +Trócaire v2.1 clean