Grants types

Tilitonse Foundation uses four funding windows namely: General Open Call Window; Thematic Call Window; Community Based Organisations Call Window; and Rapid Response Call Window. For each window specific guidelines are produced.

1. General Open Call Window

The General Open Call shall support all NSAs that meet the criteria and are eligible to apply and access funding from the Foundation. Calls will be published in newspapers, radios and Tilitonse Foundation and Development Partners Websites, and will be in circulation for at least two weeks. Further outreach will be utilised to enable the Foundation to reach a wide range of potential grant partners, in particular reaching the district based NSAs. The General Open Call Window will invite submission of concept notes for projects that have potential to contribute to the achievement of at least one or more of these result areas and utilises innovative ways of influencing change: Active Citizenship; Local Governance; Gender and Social Inclusion; Economic Governance; and Rule of Law. All interested NSAs shall be encouraged to use PEA to identify the core governance problem they would like to address in any of the result areas. Upon a competitive appraisal, successful applications shall be shortlisted and invited to submit full proposals. Proposal application templates and guidelines shall be shared to the shortlisted applicants.

2. Thematic Call Window

This window shall be informed by Political Economy Analysis (PEA). Issues identified as being the best ones for influencing governance changes forms the basis for thematic funding. In-depth research and analysis will be conducted by a team of experts recruited by the Foundation to inform any interventions in the result area under the thematic call. The main objectives of the in-depth PEA for each of the identified issues is to inform the content of the thematic call for project proposal development. The analysis will indicate the suitability of the issue for the Thematic Call as well as indicating clearly the vested interests surrounding it that can either realistically be drawn into collaboration or work against the desired change. Specifically, the PEA will aim to:

  • Refine the issues to determine specific governance problems encapsulated by the issue.
  • Carry out a detailed problem analysis of the issues using the political economy approach and highlight any previous efforts to address the problem.
  • Bring out the specific institutional changes (i.e. changes in the formal and informal rules and practices) required to address the problem identified.
  • Assess the feasibility of implementing a project intervention on the issue through a detailed stakeholder analysis to clearly identify which stakeholders would be for reforms, and which ones may be opposed to the proposed reforms.
  • Provide insights on how they could be engaged through projects to achieve a positive balance for change.

These issues then will pass through a series of filters against agreed criteria to establish their consistency with the Tilitonse Foundations Theory of Change (ToC). Criteria to be used for further filtering process includes:

  1. Feasibility of the proposed project ideas, also taking into account time frame. Considering that any support from development partners to the Tilitonse Foundation has a specific timeframe, other issues require long term solutions and interventions hence might not be feasible.
  2. Ability to demonstrate results in the period of implementation. Focus shall be on quick wins for Tilitonse Foundation and grant partners.
  3. Traction with NSA influence, that is, can the NSAs easily influence or manage to influence the change, mandate etc.
  4. Looking at areas that will help consolidate the gains made by the Foundation and avoid duplication of efforts with other grant facilities and development partners.

This information is important to assist the Foundation to make an informed choice about the best issues to work with and develop the specific criteria for bid selection around each of the thematic calls. The issues together with the underpinning analysis will then be presented to the Board to approve the issues for a thematic call. Once approved, bids around a specific issue from different implementing agents will be considered and selected based on the set criteria for the thematic call, as elaborated under the application guidelines for thematic call window.

3. Rapid Response

The Rapid Response window is a flexible funding facility that is designed to facilitate a quick response to emerging strategic opportunities for influencing institutional reforms in Malawi. The on-going political dynamics in Malawi creates opportunities and entry points that would otherwise be lost if the Foundation is to respond in the normal way using its traditional grant making windows. These rely on longer application and approval processes before actual funding takes place and therefore would miss the possible tipping points within the tide of change. This window has been designed in such a way to respond to emerging issues, thereby promoting NSAs to be proactive and not only reactionary. These funds would allow the Foundation to be responsive to Non State Actors requests in relation to emerging governance issues that are on national interest and opportunities in the governance sector, and that have potential to impact the Foundation’s work.

Identification of opportunities is through requests from NSAs. The proposed activities would be such that they cannot wait for the normal call to be issued and should satisfy the Foundation’s Theory of Change. The Foundation will establish a Technical Working Group from development partners, selected NSAs and academics which will be consulted on a regular basis to gain their advice on the strategic justification for the rapid response action to be taken, and the way in which the intervention may be expected to contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the Foundation. Projects supported under this window have a duration of less than one year. Unsolicited proposals shall be received throughout the year. Detailed guidelines and eligibility criteria are available for the window.

4. Community Based Organisations

Among several funding windows that the Foundation shall use to support NSAs in Malawi, this particular funding window targets interested and qualified community-based social movements, youth clubs, farmer’s associations, cooperative associations, faith-based organisations, private-sector associations, media organisations and trader’s associations, that are able to implement projects that contribute to achievement of at least one of the Foundations result areas. The Tilitonse Foundation recognizes the high potential for delivering on its outcomes and impacts through community-based organisations. Among other features, CBOs are mostly membership-based (hence they experience the problems themselves), demonstrate a high volunteering spirit, and deliver results within their well rooted constituency bases, and hence potentially very effective agents of citizen voice and accountability.


Eligibility Criteria

Non State Actors to be funded under the Foundation should meet the following criteria;

  • Organisations applying for funding must be registered within Malawi;
  • International organisations must be registered both in Malawi and in their ‘home’ country with demonstrated well-founded partnerships to local NSAs;
  • Organisations should have a governing or management board with a clear corporate governance structure;
  • Potential grantees must be able to supply three years of audited accounts (or one year audited accounts for newly-formed organisations); if the organisation has not been audited for the past year but has letters of recommendation from the most recent funder supported with viable reasons for lack of auditing this will be considered (This would be requested from shortlisted applicants);
  • NSAs may apply singularly, in a consortium of partners with one NSAs leading, or as a network;
  • Submitted concept ideas/proposals must comply with the Tilitonse stipulated outputs.