Answers to commonly asked questions about applying for an RSWR grant.
Guidelines for Proposals
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What is Right Sharing of World Resources?
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) is a Quaker organization supported primarily by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States. RSWR has two main goals:
- Provide grants for women in the developing world to begin small income-generating businesses so that they may help themselves and their families out of poverty.
- Help Quakers in the United States learn about the negative effects of poverty in the developing world and the negative effects of materialism in North America.
What types of projects does RSWR support?
RSWR supports income-generating, self-employment projects for poor women who are members of a self help group. The project must include a savings and a revolving loan component. We believe that small scale income-generating projects offer a means of establishing self sufficiency to very poor people. By requiring that the project include a revolving loan program, we can multiple the impact of our grant as the funds are revolved many times to many different women within the community.
Why do we call our grant recipients “Project Partners”?
Burdens of materialism and poverty affect all peoples, in the developing and developed world. The projects RSWR supports in the developing world build awareness and capacity in the beneficiaries as well as assisting them by providing employment alternatives so that they can move out of poverty. Likewise, RSWR strives to provide awareness building and alternatives for lifestyle changes for Quakers in the United States as we seek God’s leading in our lives. RSWR believes that we have much to learn from one another as we work together in partnership.
Who may apply?
We strive to help newer, smaller organizations whose budgets may not allow them to receive grants from other sources. NGOs must be less than 20 years old and have annual budgets of less than $16,500.
Where does RSWR provide grants?
Because of staff and fiscal limitations, RSWR focuses its funding in south India (Tamil Nadu and the districts of Chittoor, Cuddapah, Anantapur, and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh), Kenya, and Sierra Leone.
What size grants does RSWR provide?
Up to $5,500 for a one year project. NGO’s in India, where different groups of women are supported by each grant, may receive up to 5 grants, but only one grant per year. In Kenya and Sierra Leone, where the women’s groups themselves apply for the grant, each group may receive only one grant. Exceptions can be made to this only if it is clearly shown that a second grant will support a different group of women.
How do we apply for RSWR grants?
You must write up a proposal describing your project. Be sure to follow the guidelines below so that your proposal fits RSWR criteria. RSWR has two funding cycles. There is a deadline for each cycle, June 30 and December 31. We strongly recommend that proposals be received by us at least a month in advance of these deadlines. If we receive a proposal after the deadline, we cannot consider the proposal until the next funding cycle. Make your proposal as short as possible but respond to all the items on the enclosed check-list. In addition to your proposal, send your detailed project budget and your organization's last annual financial report. Please note that we require the most recent annual financial report for your entire organization, not just one section or one project.
What does RSWR look for in a project?
- A clearly described proposal for an income generating activity which will improve the quality of life for project participants. An income generating activity proposal must include the following:
- Number of participants. An optimal project will serve between 20 and 75 women.
- Anticipated income and expenses of the business or businesses the women will undertake. It is expected that the women will be able to earn a net income of at least $1.25 per day from their businesses.
- Loan repayment plan for the repayment of the seed money for each participant (including interest charged and monthly repayment amount). RSWR will not accept projects that charge more than 2% per month in interest.
- A savings plan to encourage the beneficiaries to begin the discipline of saving some money each month for family emergency needs.
- An explanation of how the work can become self-supporting or can find local sources of support after RSWR funding ends.
- An understanding that the project is compatible with the three principles which guide RSWR:
- Local Self-Reliance – Businesses should be locally-based. Production should be geared toward local consumption and should serve the local community.
- Sustainability – Economies should be sustainable in a number of ways including environmental, fiscal, social, political, and cultural.
- Mutual Support and Accountability – Beneficiaries must be part of a group which offers support and accountability to its members.
- A brief description of the experience and background of the NGO’s director or project coordinator.
- The project beneficiaries must be only women and the beneficiaries themselves must be involved in designing the project, choosing the businesses, and setting the repayment terms and interest rate.
- Budget categories must be outlined clearly and within the following guidelines: at least 60% for seed money, no more than 20% for staff, no more than 15% for training, no more than 5% for travel, no more than 15% for administration.
Where should we send our proposal?
Proposals can be sent by postal mail to: Sarah Northrop, Program Director, Right Sharing of World Resources, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before sending in a proposal, download the proposal checklist and ensure no details are missing. Proposals with insufficient information may be rejected.
Download the Proposal Checklist here.
Mrs. Selvi received two loans through the Rural Women Development Organization (RWDO): one in March 2016 and another in August 2017 after she repaid the first (RWDO received an RSWR grant in Spring 2016). She runs a textile business and has been able to triple her monthly income – from $25 to $77! Her family now has a sustainable livelihood, and they were able to install a household toilet.