Local NGO in Malawi - Mangochi District

Hello :smiley:

I have just started working as a coordinator for a local NGO in Malawi, and will be moving there at the start of February.

There are 4 main projects that we implement in the Mangochi district; although this could expand if we were to secure more funds. In short, we have teaching, medical support (from primary care, general medical awareness, and a maternity ward), and a crop diversification project (my personal favourite). The organisation started of by charging volunteers money to come out, and money has always gone straight back into the projects; the main goal of the projects in the long run is to bring in sustainable income for the villages, especially the farming project. The director has always sought to avoid the voluntourism stigma though and is very selective of who he sends out, for example he sends a lot of professional nurses or teachers out who are either retired or need experience abroad. However, as projects have expanded, the organisation has shifted more towards a fully fledged NGO which requires more funding, hopefully through bigger donors.

I was wondering if the community had any information at all on attracting more funds into the organisation?

More than happy to talk about this over Skype, WhatsApp or something too! :slight_smile:


Hello @ChrisC!

Thank you for posting here and for being engaged in projects to make the world a better place!

I think the two topics of A) potentials and pitfalls of “volunteerism” and connected stigmata as well as B) how to scale and finance NGO projects are very relevant.

One good way to get more people engaged i the discussion and as such also potentially get in more ideas for how to attract funding would be if you could write a post elaborating a bit more on those points for people to react to or some more examples of the projects you are involved in to be able to discuss concretely.

We could also think about connecting that to a open zoom room call we could set up with you, where comunity members as well as people you or them invite could join, with you preparing a 15 min presentation of you projects and problems to discuss. The post could prepare an gauge the direction and interests regarding such a open call event. A potentil date could be the 4th of February in the evening 18:00 to 19:00 Brussels time. How do you feel about that?



Thanks very much for your reply!

Sorry for my late response! We’ve had some power cuts lately and some maintenance issues which have taken some time to fix.

Here is a link to our charity foundation with all of our projects: Naturally Africa Foundation Our Appeals - Naturally Africa Foundation

The foundation is setup more like a typical NGO seeking donor funding for the projects we run. On the link provided above, you’ll have access to a full list with descriptions of what each program entails, and what it seeks to deliver in the long run.

Below is the volunteer branch of the foundation which is broadly based along “voluntourism” lines to bring in some additional funds; although we are very careful of who we send out.


I’d be more than happy to settle a date for an open zoom call, to see what ideas people may have!



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I think our main objective this year is to try and find a grant which will cover the “core costs” of the organisation! This would really give the charity the financial boost which it needs!

@ChrisC how about the 18th of Feb 18:00 to 19:00?

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Hello Maria,

Thanks for getting back to me!

Yes that would be great! That would be 19:00-20:00 here in Malawi so I will be free.

How many people in the EdgeRyder community would be interested? Also, do any members have experience with funding grants for local NGOs?


Chris :slight_smile:

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That is a very good question @ChrisC ! I do not know how many people will be interested. I can ping a few people who have written about similar things.

And you can invite some people from your network as well and maybe a speaker or presentation that could be a draw :slight_smile:

ping @johncoate

Definitely interested, but I can’t make it from Feb 16 through March 1. Traveling.

My cousin runs a nonprofit in Burkina Faso that helps local people develop salable crafts. She knows a lot about what does and doesn’t work for funding.

Thanks again for your quick responses!

We have a network here in Malawi, but it is primarily with local authority structures such as CBOs and Chiefs. Thus, no one who speaks English and could participate. As for me, I don’t have a strong enough personal network to really invite anyone…

If we could wait and see who could possibly be interested, or see if anyone on the forum has knowledge of small scale core cost grants for local international NGOs, that’d maybe be better.

I have found some info online such as this: https://www.foma.org.uk/grants/

Also, if anyone has some spare time and would like to help us draft some grant proposals, that would be awesome! I am the only British member of staff here in Malawi, and the local staff don’t really posses the English/I.T skills to draft things quickly enough; they are also occupied with other things as well.


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Hey @johncoate, I can wait until you get back! Some insights would be really appreciated!

Does your cousin have an email address?


@ChrisC, I would suggest that you put the drafts for your proposals as you have them now on this platform here and use them concretle to ask for help openly. This way people can comment, help and we can also build a knowledge base for people to tap in with new projects and proposals :slight_smile: and everyone can submit just as much time as able :slight_smile:

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She does. Let me check with her to see if I am at liberty to share it with you.
As I recall last time I mentioned someone interested in NGO/nonprofit work in Africa, she said above all else that you need to be a tireless champion of your cause and your work and not let anything get you down as you pursue it.

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This will tell you more about what she does:

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Thanks very much John! This looks really good too! We’re also considering a tailoring project here in Nkope (our main work base in Malawi), it’s either that or a beekeeping project.

Thanks for the info :slight_smile:

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Hey Maria,

Yeah that’s a great idea! I’ll do that once I’ve sorted through all the grants we’re eligible for!



@MariaEuler What part of the forum should I use to explicitly ask for help with grant proposals?

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Using the forum like this has been a topic we discussed a lot the last few weeks and we have quite a few relevant discussions already all across the platform.

I took this now as a opportunity to make a space to bring all of this together in this new category:


(there are no so many posts in there yet, but I will soon move some there and direct other to share into the discussions, work and to post their own drafts)

It would be great if you would post your drafts there and we will start connecting people :).