– What are the eligible focus countries ?
For our four focus sectors, the following countries are eligible: Ecuador, Peru, Mozambique, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
For ‘Threatened Animal Species’ small grants projects, there are no country restrictions.
– Is it possible to obtain an exception for the list of the six eligible countries ?
No, we do not accept proposals for projects implemented outside these six focus countries except for ‘Threatened Animal Species’ small grants projects, for which no country restrictions apply.
– Your six intervention countries are Ecuador, Peru, Mozambique, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar but your lists of funded projects feature other countries.
The list of the Foundation’s focus countries evolves over time; we have in the past funded projects in countries that are no longer eligible.
– Do you still fund projects in West African coastal countries ?
No, we no longer fund projects in these countries.
– Can we submit a proposal for a project that will be conducted in several countries at the same time?
While highly unusual, this is possible provided that the project has a real coherence and there is a geographical or programme need for it to be implemented in several different countries. For example, an area of intervention that straddles a border, a similar context in the different geographical areas concerned, etc. In this case, at least one of the countries concerned must be one of the Foundation’s focus countries. Any proposal that makes use of this provision and which is not sufficiently convincing or well substantiated will be automatically rejected.
– Do you fund projects in France?
No, the Foundation does not fund projects in France other than small grants ‘Threatened animal species’ projects.
– Are NGOs the only bodies eligible for funding?
The Foundation can provide funding to any non-profit organization engaged in projects implementation in our focus sectors. Therefore NGOs are eligible such as associations, operating foundations, research institutes but also local authorities.
Within its impact investment strategy, the Foundation may also invest in social enterprises (see Q&A below).
– Are endowment funds eligible?
Endowment funds or foundations are eligible provided they are ‘operating foundations’, i.e. involved in project implementation, either directly themselves, or via local partners. Such involvement must be practical, not only financial.
– Can we, as a ‘Northern’ NGO, submit a proposal for a project to be implemented, for example, in Ecuador?
‘Northern’ NGOS that submit proposals for projects in one of our geographical areas of intervention are fully eligible. The NGO does not have to be based in the country where the project is to be carried out.
– Can in-kind contributions be considered as co-funding?
Yes, as long as these contributions have a measurable monetary value and correspond to a concrete contribution of goods or services. In-kind contributions must not exceed 50% of total co-funding, not counting the contribution by Fondation Ensemble. For example, if the financing plan submitted specifies a 40% contribution to the project budget from the Foundation, in-kind contributions cannot represent more than 30% of this budget.
– Is it correct that, in order to be eligible, an organization must have existed for at least three years and have a minimum annual budget of € 500 000?
Yes, the organizations that implement the projects must be capable of managing large sums of money. This requires proven experience and sound administrative and accounting tools.
These rules do not apply to ‘Threatened Animal Species’ small grants projects, which are open to any organization, irrespective of annual budget, that has been in existence for at least two years.
– Are there ceilings for the different budget lines?
No, but no budget line must be disproportionate in relation to the others. Earmarked funding should be consistent with the objectives to be achieved.
– For the “All sectors” Program Fund, you require that “Mid-term and final evaluations will have to be budgeted and carried out”. Can you provide more details ? Are these evaluations similar to monitoring trips?
Monitoring visits are carried out by Fondation Ensemble’s staff or, exceptionally, by voluntary experts. However, we expect the partner to pick us up from the closest main town (airport, bus station) and to transport us around the project area. Such costs are normally already included in regular project activities and should not require extra budgeting.
Evaluations require specific expenses. The mid-term evaluation can be “external”, i.e. conducted by an independent consultant, or “internal”, i.e. conducted by a staff member of the implementing NGO or a partner organization. However, this “internal” evaluator must be independent from the day to day implementation of the project: M&E officer, HQ program officer, etc. The final evaluation must be conducted by an independent consultant.
All evaluations must be based on Terms of Reference (ToR) agreed upon with us. Independent consultants must be selected following an open international Call for Tender referring to these ToR. Fondation Ensemble’s level of involvement in the evaluation organization (review of the ToR, opinion on the chosen consultant, review of the draft report…) is the same whether we contribute solely to the evaluation, partially, or not at all (depending on co-fundings). What matters to us is that these evaluations are conducted and are of quality, whoever funds them.
– In the case of the ‘Threatened Animal Species’ small grants projects, when you specify that ‘the funding requested must not exceed € 8,000 over one to two years’, does that mean that two installments of € 8,000 can be requested?
No, it means that you can apply for a maximum grant of € 8,000 in total for the two years.
– Does the Foundation provide funding for university research projects, theses or doctorates? Does it award scholarships?
No, the Foundation does not fund this type of project, nor does it award scholarships.
– Does the Foundation provide funding for publications, conferences, translations or exhibitions?
No, the Foundation does not fund this type of activity or project. It funds only concrete project implementation in the specified areas of intervention.
– Is it possible for you to make a contribution to specific Funds set up and managed by a foundation or an NGO?
This is not a current priority for us. We prefer to contribute directly to project funding.
– Is it possible to submit a proposal for a specific component (geographical, thematical, temporal) of a more global project, already funded by other donors?
Yes, this is possible, but should be avoided, unless there are very good reasons to do so (very distinct and separate geographical areas, very different themes, etc.). Indeed, in order to have a broad scope of a program and to ease reporting and avoid incoherences, Fondation Ensemble prefers contributing to an initiative as a whole, rather than to a few specific components. In such case, it is the objectives, the activities, and the budget of the global initiative which shall be presented in the concept note, even if Fondation Ensemble will not contribute to all components. If you have any doubts about this issue, do not hesitate to consult us prior to submitting the concept note, through our contact page. If relevant, please also read the Q&A below about project start date and duration of the proposed initiative.
– Is it possible to submit a proposal for a project which has already started ?
Yes, it is possible, the proposed start date will then correspond either to the real project start date, or to the start date of a new distinctive phase of an older initiative. This will give us a global view of the program since the beginning, and avoid time splitting (even more if it is ‘artificial’) which does not correspond to a distinctive phase of the initiative.
In such case, it is the objectives, the activities and the budget of the project since the required start date which shall be presented in the concept note, even if Fondation Ensemble will not have contributed to the previous period. However, considering the length and complexity of the selection process, and the interest of following a project over time, the requested project end date will have to be at least two years after the potential funding decision, i.e. two years after the 30th June of the application year.
– Can the Foundation contribute to a project in the form of ‘impact investment’ rather than through a grant?
Yes. Since 2017, the Foundation has been involved in impact investing, for example by becoming a joint shareholder in ATEC. All social enterprise projects are eligible, provided that they are in line with the Foundation’s focus sector and geographical priorities. In the context of the annual call for ‘all sectors’ proposals, you can submit your proposal via the ‘Submit a proposal’ page and ‘All sectors program fund’, using the concept note format. For impact investment, all the standard selection criteria apply, except for the amount of funding: the Foundation’s investment can range from EUR 100 000 to EUR 150 000 according to needs and to its interest in the project. In the narrative section of the form, please specify that you wish to submit your proposal in the framework of Impact Investment and adapt the financing plan to the funding required in the context of your funding round.
– Can we submit more than one project?
Yes, you can submit several projects but please ensure that you send in a separate application for each.
– Is it possible for an applicant to receive more than one grant per Call for Proposals?
This is highly unlikely except for a ‘Threatened animal species’ small project, coming on top of a ‘All sectors’ project. Of course, both initiatives must be different.
– Can we submit a project proposal to you directly at any point in the year?
No, Fondation Ensemble only considers project proposals received within the framework of its annual Call for Proposals, published on the Foundation’s website during the month of December. The official announcement is made on our website, and you can also receive the information directly by subscribing to our Newsletter and to our RSS news feeds.
– In what language can I send my project proposal? Can I use Spanish?
We only accept proposals written in French or in English.
– Can the concept note be more than three pages long?
In exceptional circumstances, the concept note can go up to four pages, but this is not to be recommended.
– Do I need to send any other documents with my concept note?
No, we do not require or wish to receive any other documents at this stage.