ENCA has contributed to a range of environmental projects over the last 20 years through very small grants of cash or donations of materials, summarised below. To make it clearer for our supporters in Britain and the NGOs in Central America with whom we collaborate, this section explains our criteria for agreeing to fund or contribute to projects.

ENCA takes a holistic view in promoting sustainable human development, poverty reduction and political empowerment of grass-roots communities and civil society. However, we only support development activities which include a clear environmental component. This might involve supporting groups in their educational or campaigning work, or helping them to obtain equipment or materials to meet their needs more sustainably. While we make decisions on what kind of project we can support on a case-by-case basis, we use the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability as a guide. These are described below, but in no particular order of importance.

Our ideal project would:

Protect or enhance an important species or habitat; reduce pollution; and reduce dependence on non-renewable resources


Encourage education, self-sustaining capacity, harmony and cooperation in the community


Provide a self-sustaining income to keep the initiative going without depending on continual external finance


Empower local communities to exercise control over their lives

Our minimum standard would:

Make a small environmental improvement without damaging any threatened species or habitats; create no pollution: and not increase dependence on non-renewable resources


Be approved by the local community and not create division at the grass-roots level


Not lead to an ongoing, unrealistic, financial dependency on external bodies to maintain itself


Not reduce local communities’ ability to exercise control over their lives

Applying to ENCA for support

We request a short written application (in Spanish or English) which explains:

  • For what purpose do you need the funds or materials?
  • Who will benefit and how?
  • Might anybody be disadvantaged or excluded from benefitting?
  • A breakdown of the budget (state currency used) for immediate and any on-going costs
  • Who will administer the funds and related activities and who is accountable?
  • Are you requesting a contribution from ENCA or relying on us for the full costs?
  • What environmental and social impacts do you hope to achieve and how will you measure these?
  • How will you demonstrate the environmental concepts and benefits to the local community and/or wider audience in your region or country?

Please note: ENCA can only make very modest funding contributions – our average donation value is less than US$500.

After we agree to a request for support, ENCA requires the following:

  • A receipt confirming that the money or materials have been received
  • A short report on progress (within 6-9 months)

Please let us know as soon as possible of any problems in using the funds or materials, or changes in your plans for using these.