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Spark Microgrants Closes $25 Million Round, Launches New Round for Growth Towards National Scale

Spark Microgrants announced successful closure of first philanthropic round securing $27MM to back ambitious 3-year strategy in Rwanda, Malawi and beyond.

I am very happy that the FCAP is driving local impact with inclusive participation, resulting in strong communities taking ownership over their own social, political, and economic futures.”
— The Honorable Assumpta Ingabire
KIGALI, RWANDA, November 28, 2023 / -- Spark Microgrants announced the successful closure of their first philanthropic round securing $27 million to back an ambitious three-year strategy in Rwanda, Malawi and beyond, exceeding their initial fundraising target of $25 million. The round was anchored by the World Bank, Comic Relief, and the Government of Rwanda and was joined with follow-on support from nearly 30 philanthropic partners.

Spark’s approach, its innovative Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), is a rapidly popularizing model for decentralizing foreign aid. It combines village grants and facilitation for rural communities in the global south, enabling each to design and launch a project or business within six months to stimulate local economic growth. It is a low cost, high impact, sustainable, and easily replicated model that accelerates rural economic growth with program gains that persist for over a decade, which is a great differentiator from traditional aid that is notorious for having benefits fall off after two to three years.

With the success of the first round, Spark Microgrants and their partner organizations are implementing four national scale pilots of their model, the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), in Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, and Ghana – reaching 100 to 500 villages in each country, layering on external evaluations with best in class third-party firms, and advancing policy work towards national uptake in one to two countries.

The FCAP has previously gained notable recognition by the Governments of Rwanda, Malawi, Ghana, and Uganda as a durable and equitable method of alleviating poverty. In addition, Rethink Priorities has projected the FCAP’s ROI to outperform other models of development. The Honorable Assumpta Ingabire, Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of Social Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) shared:

“Spark is a good partner of the Rwandan government to develop rural villages and build communities free of hunger and poverty.”

Governments have also demonstrated their trust and commitment to the FCAP by contributing their own resources toward the program. In Rwanda, the government contributed more than $187,000 or nearly 4% of the total program budget to support project implementation in 249 villages. Community members also contributed to the program with their time and energy throughout the FCAP process – estimated at more than $750,000 in Rwanda. This confidence in the FCAP by both government and community partners is important as it leads to marked improvements in durable livelihoods, including consumption, productive assets, and health care coverage for the country’s poorest citizens.

As the governments of Rwanda and Malawi push for rapid expansion of the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP) program to a national scale, Spark Microgrants is presenting two distinct opportunities to support this endeavor. Spark is seeking financial backing to expedite government adoption of the FCAP and to advocate for policy changes that will facilitate its implementation. This includes raising matching funds to secure multilateral financing and expanding the program to over 1,000 villages as the next step towards national coverage. The final commitment for the current funding round, a $5 million pledge from CRI Foundation, will be strategically utilized to advance these accelerated initiatives and unlock multilateral financing. This will pave the way for establishing the FCAP as a universal program in each country, providing annual opportunities for communities to drive positive change.

Added Ingabire: "I am very happy that the FCAP is driving local impact with inclusive participation, resulting in strong communities taking ownership over their own social, political, and economic futures."


ABOUT SPARK MICROGRANTS: Grounded in Community-Driven Development, Spark works with communities, governments and local organizations to catalyze sustained collective action in villages facing poverty by providing communities the resources and skills they need to design and implement a development project of their choosing. For more information visit

Michelle Lee
Spark Microgrants
+1 202-780-5883
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