Q&A on Aid Direct, Aid Match and Jo Cox Memorial Grants

The Bond Funding Working Group held a meeting on 9 May 2018 with MannionDaniels, the fund managers responsible for administering Aid Direct, Aid Match and Jo Cox Memorial Grants for DFID.

The event included a Q&A session with MannionDaniels for Bond members - we have collated some of this below. The Aid Direct website also has some FAQs.

Aid Direct and Jo Cox Memorial Grants 

Eligibility


Q: Will being a “collaborative partner” count towards the cap on the total number of grants you can hold?
A: No, the cap on the total number of grants held is as the lead organisation. However, we will look at your capacity to be involved in the grant as part of due diligence. This will be taken on a case-by-case basis

How does the maximum number of live grants apply to federated organisations with autonomous offices?
Autonomous offices with own their constitutions/boards etc are eligible to apply in their own right, so will not count towards the number of grants for other offices

For the current round, can we lift the restriction on no more than 40% of funding coming from DFID on existing grants? 
Yes you can apply for this funding round but we will still look into an organisation’s reliance on DFID funding 

Regarding the additional eligibility elements for Theme 1 of Jo Cox Memorial Grants – how will these be counted? Do they relate to partners?
The eligibility criteria relates to the lead organisation only, so a large organisation can be involved as a collaborative partner with a smaller organisation as the lead. This is particularly encouraged under the Jo Cox Memorial Grants and offers the potential for creating new networks and building capacity

Does an organisation have to submit 3 years of audited accounts to be eligible for the Jo Cox Memorial Grants?
This is part of the criteria but if you don’t have 3 years of audited accounts (for example if you are a new organisation) there are other ways of checking – contact MannionDaniels to discuss. 

Application


Does showing how you will use multiple approaches give an advantage or is one sufficient?
You can say you are using several approaches but this does not give an advantage. A similar thing applies with listing potential risks – including more potential risks does not penalise your application

What is the criteria for a “return on investment”?
We are trying to encourage organisations to think outside the box when it comes to DFID’s principles on value for money (the 4 Es: economy, efficiency, effectiveness, equity). We would like to see a holistic approach to return on investment, so don’t necessarily focus on matching each E. 

Match funding


Is the match/co-funding requirement for projects for the first year or for the whole project?
You need to show 25% matched funding across the whole project, but can spend that 25% whenever – there is no requirement for certain % match spend per year 

Do you need a letter of commitment for match funding?
We would expect a letter of commitment from the match funder. If the money is coming from your unrestricted funds we would need verification that you have the funds. This is looked at on a case-by-case basis

Aid Match 

Eligibility


Q: Is there a limit on the number Aid Match grants you can hold?
A: You can hold 3 live grants at one time (a live grant is one with 9 months left to run) 

Penny Mordaunt’s recent speech said that Aid Match would help small organisations but the minimum income threshold hasn’t dropped?
We are thinking about Aid Match’s approach to small organisations. But recent funding rounds have seen some small organisations successful so small organisations shouldn’t be dissuaded. There are no minimum income thresholds but organisations are expected to raise a minimum of £100,000 through their appeal. 

Budget


Does the budget allow vehicles (bought or hired)? What is meant by vehicles? 
Buying cars and vans is not allowed within the budget, but you can buy and then rent to the project and include that in the budget. Motorbikes are allowed

Are scholarships allowed? 
Scholarships are not supported. See the website for specific wording on scholarships.

Is the preference for Aid Match to fund an entire project or fund part of a wider project?
There is no preference, it is more about having a sound proposal. If Aid Match is funding part of a specific project then you will need to be able to attribute DFID funding to specific results for that part of the project

Application


Could you expand on the questions in the application form that require a graph and a diagram?
The graph should show where you are at the beginning and where you want to be at the end, showing what you want the project to achieve. We have put further information next to the questions in the application form.

There is nowhere in the application form to put risks, despite the criteria needing them?
An outline of all risks is needed at full application stage. We have revised the criteria from concept note stage to full application stage. 

Are you treating innovation and technology (theme) as synonymous?
This will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. What might be innovative in your line of work might not be in someone else’s so it is up to you to demonstrate how it’s innovative. The theme is not necessarily suggesting that the use of technology is innovative, but it often is so it will be important to demonstrate the innovation.

Will additional guidance be available for thematic areas?
We don’t want to necessarily hone in on a particular area and encourage that/discourage other areas. The themes are ones that DFID supports as part of the single departmental plan so further information is available there. Areas have also arisen out of CHOGM so research into what CHOGM commitments were made. 

Appeal and project


How soon after the appeal does the project have to start?
Within 3-6 months from the end of the appeal. 

Is there a preference for the types of audiences to reach with the appeal?
We want organisations to think about how to encourage the marginally engaged and aid-sceptical. The Narrative Project has done research into these audiences www.narrativeproject.org

How much link does there need to be between the focus of the appeal and the focus of the project?
Appeals can be broad but can’t be on something totally different. For example you could reference livelihoods in Africa and run a livelihoods project in one country in Africa, but you couldn’t run a livelihoods project South America from that appeal.