Calling national and regional civil society organizations working in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria

TrustAfrica is pleased to announce the second fund cycle of the African Civil Society Support Initiative (ACSI) which provided support of over $US650 000 in 2022. The grant making initiative, focuses on building the resilience of Civil Society Organisation in Africa. We invite applications from suitably qualified organisations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso, working at national and regional level, to apply for capacity and core operational support grants.

This initiative seeks to provide core operational support for civil society organisations demonstrating a good record of accomplishment, especially in relation to policy advocacy and in elevating women’s voices on health and development concerns in Africa. Recognising the need for strong organisational capacity and for flexibility to deliver stellar programs and campaigns, we are proud to provide through this subaward mechanism, an ecosystem of support to promising and agile civil society organizations to sustain their operations, retain key staff, and to strengthen leadership and mission focus, administrative and management capacity, and financial stability. Civil society organisations working to advance gender justice, financial inclusion, and health equity across the continent should apply. We trust in a strong civil society that underpins a holistic space for diverse efforts which build trust and accountability between citizens and their institutions. To do that effectively, we believe this support will help civil society be more resilient, nimble, and durable.

Building Resilience, and Building forward better

The Africa Civil Society Support Initiative is a proactive support mechanism and networking platform for CSOs to increase institutional resiliency and sustain important advocacy in health and development policy and financial inclusion. The COVID19 pandemic and continually challenging economic environment has exposed African civil society’s fragility, operating in uncertain environments, and added pressure to keep operations going in a context of diminished and undiversified funding for core operations. This, combined with a trend of shrinking civic space in certain African countries, makes it a critical time to ensure a robust system of support to civil society. The African Civil Society Support Initiative is responsive to the need for investment in strengthening national and regional CSOs critical to policy advocacy, supporting local ownership over this progress, ensuring changes reflect the local context, whilst maintaining government accountability over the long-term. The African Civil Society Initiative will also nurture peer- to-peer learning exchanges and networking through this platform. The Fund is supported in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to provide more direct flexible support to civil society organizations in Africa.

The Initiative seeks to achieve three interdependent key outcomes:

  1. Strengthened operational capacity to advance organizational mandates and salience on policy issues by health and women’s rights civil society organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. Increased communication and advocacy capacity of awardee CSOs through demand-based capacity building support
  3. Multi-sectoral peer-to-peer network valued among CSOs which actively advances movement building and advocacy expertise.

Size and Use of Grants

Organisations can apply for grants up to a maximum of USD $120,000 for an eighteen (18) month period. Successful organisations will be awarded medium to large grants, ranging from $60 000 to $120 000 for core operational support needs of the organisation. Each award will comprise of two components general operating support and organizational capacity building project specific support in a ratio ranging from 60:40 operating support to capacity building support, with the latter provided to address specific organizational development gaps for example developing a strategic plan; advocacy and communications training; funding proposal development, developing internal procedures and systems such as financial management, governance mechanisms, monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) or resource mobilization strategies.


If you are a national or regional CSO in the following focus countries and regions – Kenya, Ethiopia (East Africa), Nigeria, Senegal or Burkina Faso (West Africa), have women in leadership roles, engage in national or regional policy advocacy, work centres on gender equity goals in pursuing one or more of the following thematic areas of, financial inclusion,gender justice and/or health equity, then send in your application. CSOs leading collaborative networks that work and/or campaign together are eligible to apply, clearly indicating the primary funding recipient. Applicants must qualify to the specifics below;

  • Registered African civil society organisation working at NATIONAL or REGIONAL level, have not held direct grants from BMGF.
  • Civil society organisations must be working on POLICY ADVOCACY centering on gender equity goals in at least one of the three thematic areas;
    1. Health Equity
    2. Gender justice
    3. Financial inclusion
  • Able to receive and manage funds as a legally registered organisation or through a legally registered fiscal sponsor (when an applicant does not meet essential grant funds management criteria, a fiscal sponsor can be proposed on behalf of the candidate). Possess a system, policies and procedures that controls and tracks income and expenditures
  • Experience sub-granting to other organizations is a plus

What We Cannot Fund

  • Funds for travel to the United States
  • Endowment grants Capital projects, such as the purchase or construction of buildings.
  • Partisan politics Lobbying
  • For-profit activities or enterprises

What are the Expectations?

Successful organisations will be expected to:

  • Participate in a co-creative inception workshop, capacity building workshops, learning exchanges and network building platforms.
  • Contribute learning and experiences to the Community of Practice
  • Collaborate on amplifying the civil society voice on relevant policy engagement themes and campaigns

How to Apply

Applications should be in the form of a brief Concept Note, not more than three pages or 1000 words including the following sections:

  • Summary Organizational Profile (e.g., year established, headquarters location, leadership, number of staff, focus areas, countries where you work, total annual budget, funders)
  • Primary Contact information
  • Organizational mission, approach and key achievements related to specific themes listed above (gender justice, financial inclusion, and equitable access to health)
  • Top institutional capacity building needs and goals
  • Expected outcomes; how this operational support will help you to make more of an impact in the programmatic themes
  • Existing & Past technical & financial partners
  • Budget Summary in USD (60% Operational Support –40% Capacity Building)

Assessment process : Applications will be assessed and shortlisted and invited for proposal development by TrustAfrica, with input from the African Civil Society Support Initiative Advisory Committee.

Closing date for applications : To apply for the African Civil Society Support Initiative, please complete the online application form using the following link: You can send your application in either English or French by Monday 17, July 2023 at 1700 hrs GMT.

Frequently asked questions : For any queries, send your questions to cfp@trustafrica. org by 7 July 2023.