Calls for Applications

EOI: Partnership with US 501(c)(3) for Joint Innovative Financing for the SDGs

  • January 28, 2021

  • Calls for Applications


The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) invites interested 501(c)(3) organizations registered in the United States of America (USA) to provide the information requested under this notice. UNCDF is launching a request for expression of interest (REOI) process on a partnership with well-established and like-minded impact 501 (c)(3) organizations to launch joint innovative approaches and instruments for mobilizing private financing, philanthropic contributions and donations to support sustainable development, primarily in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Such a partnership would complement the ongoing technical assistance and financing activities conducted both by UNCDF and the partner 501(c)(3) institutions to unlock finance for LDC transformation.

The responsibilities of the partner organization may also include receiving funds on behalf of UNCDF from private contributors, providing tax receipts, and disbursing the collected funds to UNCDF. Qualified institutions must meet the minimum qualifications stated in this notice, including being approved by the USA Internal Revenue Federal Tax Code Section 501(c)(3) to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Responding institutions must address all requirements stated in the matrix below and should provide sufficient details and supporting documents where applicable.

Scope and objectives

The objective of the assignment is to facilitate charitable financial contributions from the private sector, including corporations, foundations, donor-advised funds (DAF), charitable trusts, and high-net-worth individuals to UNCDF and the partner’s work in financing the SDGs. The grant-making services should cover, at a minimum, the USA, but could be eventually expanded to other countries.

Although this may change depending on the information received from the expression of interest, the indicative list of the main forms of collaboration that are expected from the partner institution are:

To develop joint innovative financing initiatives to accelerate the SDGs, through:

  • Establishing a dedicated joint instrument(s) to receive contributions from private contributors to support UNCDF and partners’ programmes and investments.
  • Providing grant-making services from private sector contributions to UNCDF and the partner, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax recognition to contributors covering those donations drawn from US contributors following US tax law.
  • Conducting due diligence, including reputational risk assessment of prospective donor partners (e.g. corporates, foundations, and high net worth individuals) making financial contributions toward UNCDF and the partner’s programmes and investments in line with UNDP’s due diligence policy.
  • Proposing joint fundraising outreach strategies for suitable public and private sector entities.
  • Providing the necessary reports to contributors on funds received in line with donor requirements, including annual narrative and financial reports.
  • Proposing any additional innovative fundraising and SDG financing initiatives, or instruments, that are deemed relevant within the scope of this partnership.

In response, UNCDF will bring the following contributions to the partnership:

Contribute to the global push to accelerate the SDG financing agenda:

  • Contribution to the acceleration of the Global Goals (SDGs) through SME and localized investments in the frontier markets.
  • Joint testing of innovative and tailor-made fundraising and financing solutions for the joint fund (e.g. DAF, charitable IRA rollovers, challenge calls, incubators).
  • Association with the United Nations and the SDGs through UNCDF.
  • Engagement with a global community of institutional partners and donors.

LDC Market Intelligence and Field expertise and networks:

  • Market intelligence and knowledge of new frontier markets through identification and deployment of SDG-positive investments at the country level.
  • Collaboration with a dedicated professional team with expertise in project finance, municipal finance, SME finance, and digital finance focusing on the SDGs and the social and economic transformation of LDCs.
  • Connection with public and private decision-makers in the frontier markets.
  • Expand the network of donors and stakeholders to a joint fund focusing on SMEs.

Please note that this scope of the partnership is indicative and is only to enable interested institutions to glean a picture of the nature of the partnership as perceived by UNCDF. The scope will be improved after receiving information from the market.

Audience and conditions of participation

Prospective participants in this REOI process should be parties interested in building a successful and meaningful partnership with UNCDF focused on actively promoting innovative financing for development. Every interested party contacting UNCDF shall provide a short profile of their entity and develop their rationale for participating in this process and explain why it is a good fit with UNCDF.

In this regard, the audience and active contributors to this consultation shall meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • A mission and vision aligned with sustainable development and contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.
  • Minimum five-year of existence.
  • Properly registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in good standing with the state or obtained fiscal sponsorship with a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • A dedicated interest and focus on SME incubation and acceleration especially in the emerging and frontier economies.


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