Leading international technology company, HCLTech, recently launched a grant program in the Americas that will provide grant funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fighting climate change and working to restore ecosystems and biodiversity across the Americas.
The HCLTech Grant Americas program, is committing $5 million over five years to the initiative. Three NGOs with innovative and sustainable projects will be chosen through a rigorous screening process to receive $1 million in grant money. One NGO each year will receive $500,000, while the two of the finalist NGOs, will receive $250,000 each. Importantly, NGOs applying for the grant program will be added to a database to create an NGO community that will provide networking opportunities.
The HCLTech Grant program has been supporting India-based NGOs for the past eight years and expanding to the Americas will further scale their innovative climate action. Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR at HCLTech says that the grant program has been a great success when it comes to addressing sustainability issuesand this marks a significant leap in the scale of the grant.
HCLTech grant program goals
All projects selected within the purview of the HCLTech Grant in India have made a positive impact in the areas of education, health and environment. The success of the program in India was the impetus for launching the Americas Grant program. The overall program is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to goals of afforestation, biodiversity conservation, climate action, water conservation, larger community green governance, community participation and providing community-led ecosystems a clear place and recognition in the growth and developmental story of the country.
HCLTech has a strong commitment to meeting sustainability goals and becoming net zero by 2040, as well as reducing scope one and two emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Since FY20, HCLTech has reduced per capita scope one and two emissions by 22 percent.
“We are deeply committed to our sustainability goals and believe that collective effort is required to combat the challenge of climate change. Through this program, we aim to accelerate innovation in climate projects and build a sustainable planet. Our ambition is to identify organizations that are truly making an impact at the grassroots level and help them scale their unique projects,” said Dr. Pundhir.
Combating climate change in the Americas
The HCLTech grant program on climate action in America seeks innovative, scalable, replicable ideas that fuel innovative approaches of NGOs in ten countries. The program allows NGOs to not only think innovatively, but to also join a unique database where ideas and solutions that work on the ground can be found.
“We are looking at fulfilling the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, which will work at the community level across these countries, inviting the not-for-profit and communities to partner with us” said Dr. Pundhir.
Eligible NGOs from ten countries are invited to apply for the Americas grant, including: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Panama, Peru, Argentina and Colombia.
Beyond the financial incentives, the grant program works to improve cross-sector collaboration and creativity, while building human capital that works toward environmental capital through nature-based solutions. It also provides NGO networking opportunities and strengthens the governance structures of the community-led ecosystem.
NGO qualifications for the grant program
To apply, organizations must be a legally registered NGO within the country of their grant application. Furthermore, the NGO must have a track record of effectively managing grants with an average value of $125,000 or higher over the prior three years and proposed projects need to be applied for one country.
Additionally, to qualify for the grant program, applicant organizations must have finished three years of legal registration and should have a track record of engagement in purpose-driven projects. Check the FAQs section to know more.
“It’s critical that they’ve identified their project as their own purpose and the project must be designated for direct implementation by the applicant organization,” said Dr. Pundhir.
What NGOs should expect during the process
Applications are currently being accepted. Dr. Pundhir recommends that NGOs take full advantage of this opportunity to register and write their abstracts now. The portal will be open for a limited duration as HCLTech has a six-to-seven months’ cycle before announcing the winner for the year. The last date to apply for the grant is November 15, 2023.
Notably, registration and abstract submission are two different, distinct stages, Dr. Pundhir says. Even if one is not eligible, one can register and the benefits of registration are that HCLTech will be able to reach out to the NGO directly and in the futurethey will have direct communication with HCLTech. Writing an abstract is an opportunity to pin down amazing and exciting ideas that are significant to the NGO and can then become a part of the database that can help with future projects.
“When you write your abstract, put your heart into it, put your best into it,” said Dr. Pundhir. “It’s going to be a competitive process, but what I can say is that local diversity will be acknowledged and celebrated. It’s about the organic nature of the idea.”
Dr. Pundhir adds that the grant program is an opportunity for HCLTech and NGOs to collaborate and work together, and provide these ideas to a larger fraternity. Once you are in the database and your abstract is complete, there’s not just the cycle of the grant, but also improving your NGOs visibility to the world, meaning faster movement and faster work towards combating climate change.