January 2016 marked the beginning of a new process of awarding 20 organisations for the With and For Girls Collective. Building on the success of its first year, the Collective will continue to find and fund outstanding grassroots girl-led and girl-centred organisations and recognise them with an Award consisting of flexible funding and capacity building support.
We've just published our list of the referral partners who helped us compile applications for the next stages of the award in 2016.
The first part of the Award process is finding great grassroots organisations. To achieve this, we are using a proactive sourcing approach. This not only helps us in reaching grassroots organisations that we wouldn’t have heard from before but is also a way for us to ensure an efficient process where only suitable applicants participate.
The interest and enthusiasm of the referral partners we work with make for one of the most rewarding elements of this approach. This proactive sourcing methodology is a win-win partnership as most of our referral partners are looking to leverage additional funding for their grantees and nominating them to be considered for a With and For Girls Award is a good way to do so.
This is also a great networking opportunity for the Collective. We have initiated conversations with many other like-minded organisations and learned a lot from them. Through this process, many opportunities for collaboration were identified - and building partners' capacity was a strong common theme among our partners.
However, it has been challenging to work with a breadth of different organisations, from international funders to national funders or delivery organisations. We had to constantly communicate what we were looking for to ensure that all parties were aware of the criteria. This proved to be very resource intensive.
For around a month, two staff members worked almost full time to contact and liaise with the Collective’s 61 referral partners. Our biggest lesson has been to understand that referral partners might not have all the information at hand to assess an applicant’s eligibility. This is something we try and ensure in next year's process so that an even higher number of nominated organisations meet the eligibility criteria and are aware of their nominations.
So whilst we have learnt from our first year's successes, we are still learning, every day, about possible areas for improvement and real ways to achieve impact. And without a doubt, we will continue to share our findings and highlights of this year's process as it goes on, and look forward to announcing the 2016 winners later on in the year.
Photo: Marcia Chandra