FAQs about SABI grants

Following information sessions held across the country on SABI’s call for grant applications, we have developed this Frequently Asked Questions page to provide further clarification on the application process and respond to common questions that have been raised.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch by emailing SABIgrants@christian-aid.org

1. Can organisations apply for the SABI grant if they partially meet the eligibility criteria?  

Yes, we recognise that we need to be somewhat flexible on this. We will consider your proposal if you meet most of the partner eligibility criteria and all the GESI minimum standards.

2. What registration is acceptable? 

Registration with SLANGO, MoFeD, the Corporate Affairs Commission or your district council. It is also acceptable if you have a registration from last year, and have evidence of having paid for this year’s registration but because of bureaucratic delays, are yet to receive your documentation.

3. Do applicants need to have audited accounts? 

Christian Aid – the international development agency which manages SABI – believes that audited accounts are very important evidence of sound financial management and accountability. However, we understand that for many smaller organisations, you may not have audited accounts. We are willing to consider applications which are supported by a positive reference letter from a reputable donor.

4. What if applicants have no Grant Letter from donors? 

If you do not have a letter from your donors stating its grant award to you, other verifiable evidence of income for your previous financial year is acceptable. If you have documentation, such as a donor agreement, which is bulky, you may scan the page showing the amount of grant award and the signature page/s only.

5. Can the grant be used for capacity-building of local CBOs? 

No. This is not one of the objectives of the SABI Grants Fund.

6. What if organisations have only just started up? 

Then you are not eligible to apply. We require a two-year track record of delivering results and timely reports. 

7. Should we include all of our staff costs (such as NASSIT payments and end-of-service benefits)? 

Yes. It is necessary for you to comply with all the legal requirements of Sierra Leone.  

8. What % of salary/office running costs/programme activity costs is acceptable? 

Christian Aid is not being prescriptive about this. We understand that in many governance projects, there is a higher % staff costs because of the nature of the work. 

9. What does the 40% requirement mean? 

This means that if you are applying for a grant of Le 150m, you must have had an income of at least Le 60m in the past financial year. If you are applying for a grant of Le 250m, then you must have had an income of at least Le 100m in the past financial year. However, we are also willing to consider your application if you have this level of income in this financial year, and can provide verifiable evidence of this.

10. Will there be a ratio for grants allocated to each region? 

No. However, the Grant Selection Committee will ensure that the SABI Grants Fund will deliver nationwide coverage. This is interpreted as not less than one grant in every province for each call, but not necessarily every district. Additionally, we will be favouring locations which are hard-to-reach or underserved. 

11. Are joint proposals by more than one organisation permissable? 

Yes. We will expect the lead partner to meet the eligibility criteria. However, we will take into account the funding and competencies of all members of the consortium when evaluating the proposal. Please note that the upper limit of Le 250m remains. Also, a signed MOU by all organisations involved must be included as part of your supporting documentation. 

12. How much donor funding must organisations have had? 

To be eligible, we expect you to have received a grant within the past three years equivalent to (or commensurate with) the size of the grant for which you are applying. (That is, for a single grant, not cumulative for the past three years.)   

13. Can applicants submit a proposal to work in more than one district or to work in more than one sector, such as in both health and education? 

Yes, but what is most important is that your activities are sufficient to deliver on the objectives of your project. We advise that you do not overstretch yourselves. The upper limit for grants remains at Le 250m. 

14. Can applicants exceed the upper limit? 

No. This is set out in our Grants Briefing Pack and has been agreed by the SABI donor UK aid. 

15. Will applicants be informed if they are not successful? 

Yes. At whichever stage of the evaluation process you are not successful (after the first screening, after the Grant Selection Committee or after the due diligence process), Christian Aid will inform you, and will outline the reason(s) why you have been unsuccessful. Please note that this is a small grants fund. It will be highly competitive, and many good proposals are likely to be unsuccessful. 

16. Can organisations implement a project outside of SABI’s operational areas? 

No. To be a part of SABI, your project needs to strengthen and complement the work we are already doing with our local partners. You can find all the wards, chiefdoms and communities where we are working under the Who Can Apply? section of our Grants page.