Spark MicroGrants’ village strengthening approach combines capacity building and a micro grant.

Grantee Profile

Founded in 2010, Spark MicroGrants proves that community-driven development can be done at scale. Through its Facilitated Community Action Process (FCAP), Spark achieves local buy-in and ownership, both in regard to the projects being developed and commitment to community organizing and change. Spark’s novel approach for launching impoverished communities into action flips big aid on its head. It shifts the aid paradigm from prescriptive to participatory and empowers citizens as the lead decision-makers on development efforts in their own communities. Of the projects backed by Spark, 94 percent are sustaining and 77 percent have launched secondary projects on their own. Spark has partnered with 139 villages across Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Spark’s partner villages have collectively launched over 275 local impact projects.

About Our Grants

In 2016, the Woodcock Foundation awarded Spark MicroGrants a $200,000 general operating grant. Spark is in conversations with the World Bank and USAID to promote the value of community-strengthening approaches like its own. Within the next several years, Spark hopes to secure significant funding from these large institutions to scale its model, as well as become a policy advisor to governments and aid agencies, a trainer of third party organizations, and a learning lab for new community-strengthening innovations.