Focus: Fundraising - How we got the grant - The Karuna Trust

JARROD LOVETT, programme officer, the Karuna Trust

Why did you apply to the fund? We receive most of our funds from individual donors, but in 2005 we started targeting institutional donors such as the National Lottery and the European Union. This is our first success.

Our application was tailored to the BLF priority of "improved primary education for the most disadvantaged girls and boys". The regions the project will work in suffer from isolation caused by mountainous terrain and long, freezing winters.

What did the application process involve? It took at least three weeks to prepare because the form is very detailed. I was in Delhi when we heard that we had passed to the second level. I spent a week in the Himalayas to get a sense of the issues we wanted to address.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? Karuna has a stable source of core funds from individual donors, so we did not apply for core costs. The grant will pay for 136 village schools and 18 resource centres.

Did you apply to other funders? We applied to the Gere Foundation for a similar project early in 2005, but we were unsuccessful.


The Karuna Trust project fitted the primary education priority within the BLF's International Programme. It targets people in some of the most disadvantaged regions of the Indian Himalayas, where 80 per cent of the population live below the poverty line and average literacy rates are only 3 per cent.

The project plan was sound, based on a good analysis of the local situation, and the project outcomes, targets and indicators were clear. Similarly, the budget was clearly broken down, appeared to cover all planned activities and was based on local costs.

The BLF International Programme is currently closed but will reopen with similar priorities in the spring.

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