Focus: Fundraising - How we got the grant - Riders for Health

Project: Healthcare in Rural Africa

Funder: 2006 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, the Skoll Foundation, US

Amount: $765,000 (£440,000) over three years

Liz Fredericks, funding development manager, Riders for Health

Why did you apply to this foundation? Riders works to improve the delivery of healthcare to rural communities in Africa using motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles. This was our first approach to the Skoll Foundation - it is one of the few organisations that recognises the importance of social entrepreneurship.

What did the application process involve? The process was businesslike but supportive. We initially submitted a brief request for funding with plans for the next three to five years. By the end we felt that our Skoll 'champion' had a very thorough understanding of our work, which was put before their board for consideration.

Could the application have been simpler? No.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? The award is for the general support of Riders' work, which combines training - safe riding or driving, maintenance and management of motorcycle and four-wheel vehicles - technical support and our cost-per-kilometre calculator.

Did you apply to other funders? We constantly apply for funding but also earn income from our supporters in the motorcycling community.

Why we gave the grant

Sally Osberg, president and chief executive, Skoll Foundation

Riders for Health reflects the essence of a Skoll social entrepreneur: a practical innovator who resolves social problems and builds civil society's infrastructure and effectiveness.

Each organisation in our portfolio of Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is tackling a complex social problem in order to promote healthy, sustainable communities. Riders is no exception. Husband and wife founders Andrea and Barry Coleman represent an incredibly powerful force for systemic social change.

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