how do we select our CBO grantee-partners?


With the expertise of our African team and almost 20 years of experience, Firelight uses local networks and referrals to seek out organizations that are community-based and community-driven in service of children and the communities in which they live – local changemaker organizations that want to help communities change lives for children and youth. We find them by working with a variety of local stakeholders such as community leaders, former Firelight grantee-partners, policy makers, and civil society.

We look for organizations that have or are actively building:

  1. Relevant knowledge and experience in community-driven change

    • Experience in a program area that we are funding OR

    • If they do not have previous experience in the area we are funding, they have experience with the problem at hand and a well-founded desire to work to solve it

    • Deep community roots

    • Genuine connectedness to and trust of the community

    • Good understanding of local needs and available resources

    • Track record of working in partnership with and listening to the communities they serve

    • Sense of the problem they are trying to solve

    • Social capital to put plans into action

  2. Organizational values and practices that are child- and community-centered

    • Respect for children’s rights

    • Fundamental commitment to servant leadership and shared community empowerment

    • Commitment to looking at the root cause of a problem

    • Holistic approach to their work

    • Commitment to long-term, sustainable solutions

    • Deep aspirations for the next generation of children and youth

  3.  Strong organizational principles

    • Honesty, integrity, and transparency

    • Entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative spirit

    • Culture of learning and adapting

    • Commitment to data, monitoring, and evaluation

    • Solid focus on programmatic quality

    • Commitment to sharing ideas, solutions, and lessons learned with others

    • Willingness to actively collaborate with others