Digital Transformation Grant 2021

***UPDATE – 27/10/21***

Congratulations to all our successful applicants – you will have been contacted already by our Programme Managers on the next steps. Those organisations that didn’t get selected – don’t be disheartened! We will be offering new opportunities in the near future, and you will be very welcome to apply again. Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for the latest updates 🙂

***UPDATE – 2/8/21***

We are still assessing your applications. We aim to be in touch with the shortlisted applicants over the next few weeks to invite them for a virtual interview, before submitting the shortlist to our Board of Trustees to make the final selection. Thank you for your patience!

***UPDATE – 2/7/21***

Applications are now closed! If you have not submitted your application by 23:59 (London) on 1/7/21, it will not be considered. Thanks to everyone who submitted applications on time – we had a great response! We will update applicants in due course as per the timeline below.

Background Information

We are very pleased to announce that applications for our Digital Transformation Grants 2021 are open! After a successful pilot in 2020, we are now publicly offering these grants in 2021. The aim of this grant is to support organisations to enhance their digital presence and delivery, enabling them to grow their impact and sustainability.

The Foundation will provide up to 10 grants (one-off) of £7,000 each. For all the information you need about the grant, please read the headings below.

(note: you will automatically be taken to the application form if you pass the eligibility quiz and click ‘submit’)

Introductory Q&A Webinar

Below is the recording of the Q&A Webinar held on 23 June 2021 for prospective applicants. Our Civil Society Programme Manager (Anas Darkaoui) answers questions about the DTG 2021 application process, eligibility, and areas of focus, amongst many other topics.

Why Are We Launching This New Type Of Grant?

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the existing global trend towards increased digitisation and mainstreaming of innovative online collaboration, delivery and learning technologies – areas in which our sector has traditionally lagged. We firmly believe that enabling this shift is critical, not just for adapting how our sector continues to deliver impact in the short-term in a world of lockdowns and social distancing, but also ensuring organisations are able to thrive in the medium to long-term, leveraging technology to become more agile, more resilient, and even more impactful.

What Do We Mean By ‘Digital Transformation’?

Digital transformation can mean different things to different organisations. There is no right or wrong definitions, and no ideal or desirable state to attain. What we mean by digital transformation is the organisational journey towards a stronger presence and delivery online. We understand this cultural change to be about three things in particular:

  • Programme delivery.
  • Processes and systems.
  • Digital communications and online presence.

We like to quote one of our partners who said, “to be successful today, the organisation needs to be 100% functional physically and 100% functional online”. However, we realise that not all organisations need to be 100% functional digitally.

We welcome applications from organisations who are just starting this journey, as well as those who are more established. We would like to understand where you are on that journey, and where our grant would take you.

Is This The Only ‘Call For Applications’ From The Asfari Foundation This Year?

Yes. This will be the only call for applications in 2021. We are committed to supporting civil society organisations and social enterprises in our target countries, and we are exploring the best ways to do this in future. We will review our resources and priorities for 2022 in line with global developments and will come back with additional information for potential candidates and partners.

Is My Organisation Eligible For Digital Transformation Grant Funding?

Applicant organisations:

  • Should be registered organisations working in the youth and civil society sectors on the following themes: media, governance, innovation, entrepreneurship, citizenship, and education/learning.
  • Should be non-profits and/or social enterprises with a social mission. We will prioritise small and medium-sized organisations, but all organisations are welcome to apply, regardless of their annual budget.
  • Should already have plans in place (and have taken steps) towards developing their digital presence and delivery.
  • Should be founded by Syrians, Lebanese, or Palestinians and working in Lebanon (or be Syrian-founded and based anywhere), focused on supporting those in the Levant region.
  • Should not be current partners of the Foundation.

We particularly welcome applications from new organisations founded by young people, and organisations headed by women.

When Can My Organisation Apply For A Grant?

Application timeline:

  • 10 June: applications are open!
  • 23 June: Q&A webinar with Asfari Foundation team (see joining details at top of this page).
  • 1 July: application submission deadline!
  • By end of July:
    • Unsuccessful applicants informed of outcome by email.
    • Shortlisted applicants invited to a virtual interview.
  • By end of August:
    • Shortlisted applicants reviewed by the Asfari Foundation Board of Trustees for a final decision.
    • Shortlisted applicants informed of the Board decision via email.
  • September:  
    • Grant Agreement is finalised/signed and process of fund transfer begins.
    • An online seminar held for grant recipients with our technical partner covering ‘Digital transformation inside the organisation: planning, priorities and impact.’
  • Early October:
    • Implementation begins with an advice session (1.5 hours) with our technical partner to discuss organisation’s needs and priorities.
  • October 2021 – March 2022:
    • Advise session 2: with our technical partner.
    • Check-in call/visit with programme manager.
    • Interaction with other partners on the Asfari Portal: ‘MIDAN.’
  • End March 2022: progress report submitted.

We will notify applicants, when relevant, if this timeline changes at any point.

Can My Organisation Apply In Arabic?

In 2021 we are unfortunately not able to accept any applications in Arabic. Please complete and submit your application in English.

When Will My Organisation Know If Our Application Has Been Shortlisted?

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the application by email by the end of July 2021.

What Are The Chances My Organisation Will Be Selected For Funding?

There are up to 10 of these grants available, and we expect the level of competition to be extremely high, so please bear this in mind when making your decision to apply. To help save potential applicants time, we have included an eligibility quiz to ensure you are taken to the application only if you meet the eligibility criteria.

How Does The Grant Payment Process Work?

If you have been awarded a grant – congratulations! You will be informed that your application was successful via email. You will then need to:

  • Finalise a Budget and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework with the Asfari Foundation Programme Manager.
  • Confirm your Bank details (including IBAN code) and currency preference.
  • Sign a Grant Agreement, including the Terms and Conditions and Payment Schedule.

Once the Grant Agreement has been signed by your organisation and the Foundation, the full payment can be released.

What Restrictions Are Placed On The Funding?

This is a one-off grant of up to £7000, to be invested in one or more of the following areas to help the organisation achieve a cultural shift during its digital transformation journey:

  1. Digital communications tools (e.g. video conferencing).
  2. New digital productivity systems (e.g. MEAL).
  3. Relevant e-trainings.
  4. Transitioning your programmes toward e-delivery models (e.g. new platforms or consultants etc).
  5. Preserving your institutional memories online.
  6. Convening and facilitating e-meetings/e-conferences.
  7. Badging and certification of online training.
  8. Social media strategies and resources (e.g. software, staff, consultant).

The Foundation expects the following from all grant recipients:

  1. To produce one progress report at the end of the grant period, including full narrative and financial sections, with a short video explaining your key learnings during this part of your digital transformation journey.
  2. To actively engage with the network of Asfari Foundation partners on our online portal: ‘MIDAN’, including attending webinars, e-convenings, sharing best practices etc.

My Organisation Has Received Funding From The Asfari Foundation In The Past. Can We Apply Again?

Yes – if your organisation is not currently being funded by the Asfari Foundation, you are welcome to apply for the Digital Transformation Grant.

How can I get in touch to ask further questions?

You are always welcome to send questions about the grant to: