Request for Proposal (RFP) Number: 012, CO-002
RFP Title: Fundraising Support
Innovator: EarthEnable
Support Category: Fundraising/Investment Readiness/Financial Systems, Strategic Advisory
Q&A Responses: https://tinyurl.com/yaww92vc
Date of Issuance: July 23, 2020
Closing Date for Questions: July 30, 2020 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time
Response to Questions: August 6, 2020 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time
Closing Date for Submission Proposal: August 13, 2020 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time

Fundraising Support for EarthEnable 

Background and Context
Many social enterprises and entrepreneurs face common challenges in their efforts to grow and scale their businesses and their impact. Access to capital, though a widespread challenge, is not the only barrier inhibiting growth.  To address these challenges, Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), through its Venture Assistance Program, supports grantees to address core organizational challenges in order to grow and scale their organizations, focusing on maximizing impact and long-term sustainability.

About DIV  
DIV (https://www.usaid.gov/div) is USAID’s open innovation competition that supports breakthrough solutions to the world’s most intractable development challenges—interventions that could change millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost.  DIV seeks to bring in new ideas for solving problems facing millions around the world – delivering more impact, for less money, with greater potential for sustainable scale. Inspired by the venture capital experience, DIV uses a tiered, evidence-based funding model to test ideas, gather evidence of what works, find failures quickly and cheaply, without long-term commitments, and continue to support only proven solutions.

DIV is relentlessly focused on three evaluation criteria: rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and pathway to scale through the private or public sectors. DIV accepts proposals, across three stages, year-round from any type of organization, in any sector and country in which USAID operates:

Stage 1:            Proof of Concept / Initial Testing (up to $200,000)
Stage 2:            Testing and Positioning for Scale (up to $1,500,000)
Stage 3:            Transitioning Proven Solutions to Scale (up to $5,000,000)
Evidence:         Support for research and evaluations that generate rigorous evidence of an innovation’s impact per dollar and potential for expansion (up to $1,500,000)

Grantee Overview:
Nearly 80% of Rwandans live in homes with dirt floors, which are a major cause of negative health outcomes including infectious disease, respiratory illness, malnutrition, and vector-borne diseases. Replacing a dirt floor with a clean floor has been shown to reduce diarrhea by 50% and parasites by 80%.

EarthEnable is a Rwandan social enterprise that provides an affordable, healthy, natural alternative floor to dirt floors. EarthEnable manufacturers a proprietary drying oil that when applied to earthen floors makes them abrasion-resistant and waterproof. EarthEnable’s product allows Rwandan households to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of a clean floor at a fraction of the price and environmental impact of traditional concrete floors.

Organizational Challenge
EarthEnable intends to operate as a market-oriented, demand-driven enterprise. In the near to medium term, they see grant funding as a means to scale and stepping stone toward becoming a financially self-sustaining enterprise. While individual franchises are profitable, Earth Enable still relies on donor funding to break even.  In order to scale, EarthEnable is looking to access patient capital, with an eye toward grants from donors who are aligned with EarthEnable’s focus on the most vulnerable populations. While the company has received several smaller grants, it is interested in building a pipeline of higher-value opportunities (i.e. $750,000 – 1.5m) in order to limit the overhead dedicated to fundraising and free up management bandwidth to focus on operational growth and productivity.

EarthEnable intends to hire an early- to mid-career professional to be its Business Development Manager (BDM). In the near-term, the BDM will focus on building and managing a pipeline of grant -funded opportunities, and transition to a market-oriented business development role as the company “graduates” from donor funding in the longer-term. EarthEnable requires support to develop a fundraising strategy for the near-term and to equip the BDM to pursue grant funding effectively.

EarthEnable seeks a service provider that will work with the new BDM to develop a near- to medium-term strategy for attracting grant funding, including building a pipeline of potential, high value grant opportunities. The service provider will train and empower the BDM to independently identify targeted funding streams, manage a pipeline of funding opportunities from start to finish, and respond to the opportunities. This includes opening the doors to key funders and developing the skills and resources, including business development materials, to equip the BDM to operate independently post-implementation.

To that end, the service provider should be able to leverage a network of funders, building an initial opportunity pipeline while training the BDM to continue doing so independently. The service provider should be able to open doors to key funders and develop the skills and materials to allow the BDM to secure enough patient capital to fund operations for the next several years.

To apply, download the RFP and templates via the following link.



This call for submissions does not obligate USAID to make and award.