Catching up with the (previously) Unfunded: Accountability Lab

 

 

Catching Up with Accountability Lab, One of Our First Unfunded Applicants

Accountability lab is an international organization that trains, mentors, and supports promising young leaders around the world to strengthen accountability and unleash positive social and economic change. With offices in the United States, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Mali, they are making a significant impact in building a new generation of active citizens who are spearheading advocacy campaigns in their respective nations.

When Accountability Lab submitted an application to the Unfunded List in 2015, however, their operation was limited to two countries and they were looking for ideas to help facilitate their expansion. “We applied to the Unfunded List because as an organization we are genuinely interested in learning to help us improve- and it provided a great opportunity to receive feedback and learn why one of our grant proposals was not successful,” said Founder and Executive Director Blair Glencorse. “That kind of feedback is very precious for small organizations that are trying to grow.”

Comprehensive feedback from the Unfunded List evaluation committee helped the organization identify opportunities to refine their grant writing strategies “The feedback we received was very useful and it directly allowed us to shift some of the language we used in proposals and rethink some of the ways we were explaining what we do and the impact we are having.”

Ultimately, the committee gave high grades to Accountability Lab, earning them a spot on the inaugural Unfunded List.

“Accountability Lab was one of the best proposals we’ve read. This is a great program with massive potential. Putting them on the Unfunded List was an easy decision. Their proposal language just needed a few tweaks here and there and they needed to hear a few thoughtful questions – which we were happy to provide,” said Unfunded List Founder Dave Moss.

During the process, Accountability Lab made connections with several other organizations that were applying to be on the list. “It allowed us to get to know other Unfunded List organizations through meet ups/events etc; and to get the word out further about the Accountability Lab and its work. I’m sure that this has helped build recognition and support,” said Glencorse.

During the past two years, the organization has grown exponentially, Before applying to the Unfunded List, the organization had a budget of $480,000 and a staff of 13 people. Now, the budget has grown to $1.8 million and there 29 staff members currently employed.  Beyond the numbers, they’ve consolidated their programs, increased their impact, and are affecting the meaningful change they initially set out to create.  

Learn more about accountability lab: http://www.accountabilitylab.org/