Small Grants, Big Impacts
This policy brief (PDF) by Both ENDS shows how small grants work, why they are effective, and how governments, international institutions and donors could use them to ensure that funding comes to the right place. Development and climate financing of large international donors and financial institutions rarely flows down to the poorest and to those who are hit hardest by the consequences of climate change. Thousands of grassroots groups and organisations are working worldwide to protect and improve the environment, human rights and the living conditions of local communities. Small grants funds, which are set up locally, can form the link between large donors and these grassroots organisations. These funds, which are national or regional, and receive also funding from large donors, pass it on in smaller amounts to local organisations and groups. Small grants funds know the local situation thoroughly, as they maintain close contact with the people and groups that need support. These funds not only provide financing, but also share information and knowledge, help build networks and conduct joint lobby activities. Recipient organisations always decide for themselves what they spend the money on. While an increasing number of private donors acknowledge the role played by small grants funds, major international funds are still largely unaware of them. Bilateral and multilateral donors, too, could reach local actors more effectively if they were to make greater use of these kinds of funds.