Bernard van Leer Foundation Project Cycle
Grants and due diligence
We make grants through a six-step cycle.
Step 1: Development of a country strategy
Country level strategies are developed through a country analysis involving extensive data collection and dialogue with local partners, stakeholders and global experts. Baseline data, theories of change, and stakeholder and resource mapping feed into translating specific goals for a country into specific strategies to achieve them. The country strategies are published on our website.
Step 2: Selection of partners
The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. A preliminary selection of partners is made through: a rigorous stakeholder analysis on entities that can influence children’s lives and impact the goals we have selected; a reputational check with other donors, governmental channels and community leadership; and multiple site visits from our staff.
Step 3: Due diligence
We verify the following: evidence of registration with the Chamber of Commerce or appropriate authorities; financial policies and the capacity of the financial department to adhere to the Foundation’s Standards of Good Accounting Principles; audits from previous years; Board of Trustees; separation of powers; and accountability arrangements.
Step 4: Proposal and budget assessment
Our programme and financial departments review these internally. Accepted proposals can be approved in three ways: grants under EUR 50,000 are approved within the programme department. Grants between EUR 50,000 and 499,999 are approved by the Executive Director with notification to the Board. Grants above EUR 500,000 are submitted to the Board for approval.
Step 5: Monitoring
When a grant has been allocated, we monitor it through site visits, regular communication, statutory documents and independent audits. The country strategy is monitored through progress indicators that are identified for each country strategy goal.
Step 6: Evaluation
The required evaluation of a grant is carried out both through independent evaluation and self-evaluation. Progress on the country strategy is assessed through annual country reports, periodic independent evaluations of clusters of grants and an independent evaluation of the full programme strategy at the end of the strategic period.