Bartercard: creating sustainable partnerships in the community
When Ian McKay, CEO of humanitarian group Noble Endeavours, wanted a grant proposal written for his organisation’s latest sustainable education project, he knew a little creativity was needed. How he turned to Bartercard to help finance the work is an innovative example of trade dollars being used effectively.
Noble Endeavours has, since 2008, helped impoverished communities in Mindanao, the Philippines. Working in the ancestral lands of the island, the project delivers sustainable agriculture, education, community and health services for villages recognised as amongst the most marginalised and poorest in the region.
Ian said poverty levels in this remote part of the Philippines are double the national average, and access to training and simple education is limited.
“Some of the major humanitarian issues faced on this part of Mindanao are water quality; poor access to education facilities; malnutrition; illiteracy; maternal mortality and child deaths under five-years-of-age.”
To date, Noble Endeavours’ work with the local community has been successful in reducing these poverty-markers significantly.
At its heart is a partnership with communities rather than a traditional charity approach, and it was this aspect that Ian was looking to convey in a proposal for a $1.25 million government grant within this area of work.
He used Bartercard to cover the cost of contracting communications experts, Madrigal Communications, to create the grant proposal.
“We knew the government was looking for specific ways we could provide economic diplomacy (where training and education in communities is made sustainable through partnerships), and we knew we had to articulate it well,” he said.
“This is where Bartercard was advantageous – it allowed us to offset the cash cost of creating a professional and strategic grant proposal.”
Tim Entwisle from Madrigal Communications said writing a successful and creative proposal was “all about understanding the target audience.
“You need to know what the government is looking for in an organisation. Usually this is a proposal that represents value for money and is low risk.”
He added that a coherent strategy for working with local communities which is replicable across most developing countries is essential,
Tips for writing an effective grant proposal
● Understand what your target audience wants
● Write around this concept
● Emphasise low risk and value for money
● Be creative
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