Indigo Trust: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: Indigo Trust supports technology-driven projects that narrow the income gap and digital divide in Africa.

IP TAKE: Indigo is an excellent resource for grassroots organizations and those just starting out.

PROFILE: An autonomous member of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust, the Indigo Trust is a U.K.-based foundation that seeks to create a "world of active, informed citizens and responsive, accountable governments that together drive positive change in society."

Indigo's grantmaking supports projects with "low operating costs or sustainable business models and which use appropriate technology that is widely adopted locally." Indigo strongly prefers funding organizations based in Sub-Saharan Africa, as opposed to those that simply work there. Indigo ultimately believes that technology can reduce the digital divide that persists between developed and least-developed countries.  

Indigo makes grants to two types of concerns:

  • Projects and organisations that leverage the power of mobile and web technologies to foster active, informed citizens and accountable governments. 
  • Technology innovation hubs and civic tech communities "that use information communication technologies for positive social change." This page contains more information on how the fund works and allows you to see if you are eligible to participate.

Grantseekers should make certain that their proposals reflect a "strong potential for replicability and sustainability," tackle unmet needs through deep research, and full transparency.

Indigo grants are generally limited to £10,000 (around $11,000USD); however, Indigo has previously awarded grants up to about £30,000, or roughly $33,000 USD. For an idea of the types of technology-driven projects the trust supports, explore its list of grants awarded.

The trust does not outline specific areas of technological focus in its grantmaking, and thus appears receptive to various ideas. Indigo no longer awards grants for health, education or agriculture projects. It also does not offer grants to support infrastructure, equipment costs or generic information communication technology training. Beyond this, Indigo is a very approachable funder that accepts brief letters of inquiry throughout the year.

PEOPLE:

  • Fran Perrin, Founder and Director
  • Loren Treisman, Executive Director
  • Matt O’Reilly, Program Manager 

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