Community Development Grants Program

The Community Development Grants Program is open exclusively to WMI Scholars. All graduate scholars AND student scholars who will complete their final exams by June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2023 are eligible to submit grant proposals.

The Community Development Grants Program is an opportunity for scholars to design initiatives to address community needs related to healthcare, education, the environment, women’s rights, economic development and more.  

We believe that local solutions are the best solutions. As a local leader within your community, you have a better understanding of the area’s needs and your initiative will be rooted in community partnerships, engagement and trust.

The Community Development Grant Program has this funding opportunity.

Seed Grant: A one-time grant of $100 to $1,000 USD. The seed grant is designed to help start, or significantly expand, a business, community-based organization, non-governmental organization, community service project or community event. If approved, the grant funds will generally be unrestricted and can be used for program expenses, operating expenses, materials and supplies, etc.

Successful Community Development Grant proposals are:

  • Related to graduate scholar’s academic area of study/professional background.
  • Will be implemented and managed by the graduate scholar.
  • Will be implemented in the local community in which the graduate scholar lives or works.
  • Has received the support of local partners (institutions, organizations, groups, individuals who are knowledgeable about the subject area, other WMI Scholars, etc.) .

Important Eligibility Considerations for Seed Grant: 

  • The applicant must be in their nation or have concrete plans to return to their nation for the full implementation of their proposal.
  • At this time, only graduate scholars who have studied a field of animal science or veterinary science are eligible to apply for animal-related projects.

Application Process

Applications are accepted twice a year at the start of April and October.

The Seed Grant application process is designed to empower applicants to strengthen their proposal writing skills and benefit from one-on-one coaching assistance to ensure sustainability.

  • Applicants will submit an initial round one application (written proposal, implementation timeline, and budget).
  • An in-depth review of the application will be conducted.
  • All applicants will receive personalized feedback and attend online coaching sessions. During these coaching sessions, WMI Staff will ask questions and also provide suggestions to further strengthen the final application.
  • With this feedback, applicants will have one month to continue developing their proposals by creating more detailed processes, conducting community outreach, building partnerships, revising budgets and timelines, etc.
  • A revised final application should be submitted by the deadline to remain eligible for funding.

In total, the initial application to award decision spans 10 weeks.

Application Timeline

Seed Grant: Applications are accepted twice a year at the start of April and October.

Application Cycle 1: April

  • Eligibility: All graduate scholars AND student scholars who will complete their final exams by June 30, 2023.
  • Info webinar (mandatory): Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 9am EST.

*If applying for this application cycle, the proposal idea should be scheduled to begin on or after July 15, 2023 for all expense-related activities.

  • Application submission form opens: April 1, 2023.
  • Round 1 application submission deadline: April 16.
  • Feedback provided to all applicants via email: May 15.
  • Applicants revise their applications: Throughout the month of May.
  • Online coaching session to discuss feedback and strategies to improve proposals: May 17 – 25.
  • Round 2 application deadline: June 1.
  • Award announcement: June 22.
  • Pre-funding calls with all awardees: June 26-July 7.
  • Award funds sent: Mid-July.
  • Monthly reporting will be completed by updating the M&E tracker and expense and revenue excel sheet by the first Friday of the following month.
  • Three-month reports will be due in early November 2023.
  • Six-month reports will be due in early February 2024 .
  • Nine-month reports will be due in early May 2024.
  • A one-year report will be due in early August 2024.
  • Follow-up as needed.

Application Cycle 2: October

  • Eligibility: All graduate scholars AND student scholars who will complete their final exams by December 31, 2023
  • Info webinar (mandatory): Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 9am EST

*If applying for this application cycle, the proposal idea should be scheduled to begin on or after the start of February 2024 for all expense-related activities.

  • Application submission form opens: October 1.
  • Round 1 application submission deadline: October 15.
  • Feedback provided to all applicants via email: Friday, November 17.
  • Online coaching sessions to discuss feedback and strategies to improve proposals: Monday, November 20 – Friday, December 1.
  • Applicants revise their applications: Late November.
  • Round 2 application deadline: Sunday, December 10.
  • Award announcement: Monday, January 15, 2024.
  • Pre-funding calls with all awardees: Mid-end of January
  • Award funds sent: Start of February 2024.
  • Monthly reporting will be completed by updating the M&E tracker and expense and revenue excel sheet by the first Friday of the following month.
  • Three-month reports will be due in early June 2024.
  • Six-month reports will be due in early September 2024.
  • Nine-month reports will be due in early December 2024.
  • A one-year report will be due in early March 2025.
  • Follow-up as needed.

Seed Grant

Bringing your ideas to life with a Community Development Seed Grant. If you are ready to begin your Seed Grant application, follow these five steps. If you have any questions, please write to bonnymark@wellsmountaininitiative.org.

Step 1: Review and prepare answers to the Round 1 Seed Grant Application Questions.

Step 2: Download the written proposal guidelines which best fit the initiative in which you are seeking funding for. There are three different guidelines to select from:

  1. Written Proposal Guidelines: Business or Income Generating Activity
  2. Written Proposal Guidelines: Creation or program & events – Hosted through a WMI Scholar’s Group, CBO or NGO
  3. Written Proposal Guidelines: One-time event or project – Not hosted through a WMI Scholar’s Group, CBO or NGO

If you have any doubts in selecting the correct guidelines, write to Bonny Mark.

You should create a new Word document to type your proposal and then save the document as a .pdf file. Your written proposal should read like a report. You should not convert the written proposal guidelines into a word document and type your answers in the tables.

To set your goals and objectives you will need to use the SMART Goal Setting handout.

Step 3: Download the Planning Timeline Template and Budget Templates.

Step 4: Use the two templates to create an implementation plan and also detail projected expenses and revenue sources. On both templates, an example project has been provided to assist you. Note: There are multiple tabs on the budget template. If your proposal is for an initiative that will run for more than 1 month, you will also need to complete a monthly expense and revenue budget for one year.

Step 5: Complete the Round 1 Community Development Grant: Seed Grant Application and upload your written project proposal, planning timeline, and budget template(s).

Note: All applications and supporting documents must be completed in English.

Program Benefits

The Community Development Grant program provides graduate scholars who are eager to positively impact their local communities and/or start their own entrepreneurial activities with funding and professional skill building experiences. 

Throughout the application, award and reporting process graduate scholars have access to and receive support from WMI staff who are trained in proposal development, grant writing, finance, and measurement & evaluation.

As an applicant and an awardee, graduate scholars benefit from:

  • Developing professional grant writing skills
  • Creating detailed budgets
  • Learning about financial forecasting
  • Using Excel templates and formulas to track project finances
  • Co-creating detailed strategic measurement and evaluation plans
  • Gaining experience with grant management and professional reporting standards

Previously funded initiatives have successfully grown into full-time businesses that create local job opportunities for others, vocational skills training programs that continue to work with new cohorts, registered private schools with 100s of students, and recurring local annual events.

Resources

Continued funding opportunity

Growth Grant: A one-time grant of up to $5,000 USD. The growth grant is designed to provide funding and strategic advisory support for the growth or expansion of a seed grant initiative. If approved, the grant funds will generally support one-time capital investments, the procurement of new systems, resources to increase staffing to allow for the growth of the initiative, and matching fund opportunities. To apply for a growth grant, you must be a graduate scholar and meet specific eligibility criteria. Read more…

Questions or Concerns

To seek application assistance or to learn more about this program, please contact:

Bonny Mark Alinga
Community Development Grants Coordinator
bonnymark@wellsmountaininitiative.org