What do donors want? Why are we not getting funding?

This is a very common question for many hospices and palliative care associations in Africa. The reverse is also true, donors and partners have questions too; why more hospices and palliative care projects are not submitting proposals and in some cases, why the proposals do not comply with the requirements.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund is one of the organizations supporting hospices and palliative care in Africa, and the team attending the Africa Palliative Care Association meeting in Namibia made a very informative presentation.

The presentation largely addressed issues that donors are looking for and the ingridients of a winning proposal. In short, for the proposal to win, it should have proper messaging, capacity, evidence, resources, monitoring and evaluation.

The Diana Memorial Fund is already supporting hospices and palliative care programs in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and the funding will go on till 2012, so there is still an opportunity.


In developing the proposal, the organization should strategically position its message in line with the global agenda, this involves knowing the global debates and how the organization would fit in. You can say that we ned to know which issues will provide more traction.

Collaboration seems to be the key word in oder to influence national governments, and donors; for instance, the alliance for access to palliative care in South Africa
is made up of donors, national government and hospices, who advocate and ensure that the voices are heard.


The organization must ensure credibility in prividing effective pall care
robust orga; soundf planning, budgeting planning , leadership and shared vision, systems and budget, financial management
agree on common approacges
flexibility to respond to acheivemebts


The organization needs to show why palliative care is needed and is an effective response to the problems at hand. The organization can collect good data; dont leave it to researchers, and it will be accepted.

For many organizations, monitoring and evaluation may not form a large part of the duties but for funders to take you seriously, it is important to show what is happening and the impact the work has had.

Here is a run down of some things you should do:

• Budget within the funding limits, work within the guidenline
• Show right currency and exchange rates
• Item out each activity the unity quantity and costs
• Budget notes help to explain to the donor how you reached the figure
• Send the applications on time

What not to do

Ignore the question- provide requested info such as project summary, not history of organization, keep it concise

Ignore guidelines- if asked about inf, dont give short answers

Ignore requirements- if they ask for docs u dont have, explain

Rush- take time, ask someone to read it, spell check

Submit late- keep time

Create your own template- if a template is given, stick to it, give information required

Final checklist…

✓ Link to your strategic plan
✓ Budget for everything
✓ Sell yourself at every level
✓ show firsthand info
✓ collect as much feedback as possible
✓ Why are you in a position to do it
✓ what is in it for the donor

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