Checklist setting up a project abroad

Questions before setting up a project abroad

  • Are you willing to commit yourself for a long time?
  • Do you have enough of basic finances to start your NGO?
  • Do you have enough time to keep coordinating things and can you get help of the people around you?
  • Are you willing to ‘sacrifice’ your vacations the following years to visit your project?

The idea

  • Are you going to set up your own project or are you going to cooperate with an existing local project/organisation that you want to support?
  • Are you aware of the local needs and practices?
  • Do you have enough support for your idea on the local level?
  • What will you do if you want to stop after a few years and in Holland they don’t want to prolong your idea?
  • What will happen at the local level then?
  • Can the project go on without your money and efforts and where it get its financial resources from?


  • Check which organisations/persons are already active on the area of your concern or a comparable idea
  • Check which foreign organizations are active near the location of your project and/or in the area of your concern.
  • Write down what your plan is. Think about:
    • The motive and the goal
    • The activities and the target
    • What stages your project needs to pass (from the start), what you want to accomplish and the things you want to accomplish in the long run
    • The cooperation with partners
    • The budget and how you are going to finance it (where will the money come from and what is the alternative plan if a financing organization won’t pull through).
    • The evaluation and the after-care (you will have to clarify your financial spendings to grant givers or donors).

Plan your project

  • Make your organization legal (for example a foundation) or search for an existing organization, because that way it is easier to receive grants.
  • Make a protocol. You can register the protocols at the notary. The costs will be between € 350,- and 500,-. After that you have to subscribe your foundation at the commercial of the Chamber of Commerce. For that you’ll have to pay a yearly amount of € 20,- or 30,-.
  • If you would like to receive some legal advice or assistance: JoHo cooperates with an experienced legal advisor, who has monthly hours for this kind of things.

Finance your project

Money to finance your new project can come from:

  • donors: set up information activities to gain support for your organization
  • local firms: approach firms in your local network
  • grants: big NGO’s have special “grantcounters” for local initiatives, but there are also different smaller options for grants.
  • activities that bring in money: set up a tournament with your sports club, organize a benefit concert


  • Transport: transport of products will not be financed. Only NCDO potentially finances transport costs as part of a project. Transport of products often seems a good idea, because some products are cheap and plenty in our society, but often de transport costs are so high that the transport eventually is more expensive than to buy the products locally. By buying from locals the local economy is also boosted.
  • Orphanages: The financial supporting organizations are very reluctant concerning the financing of orphanages. Orphanages are an expensive way of helping orphans to have a place to sleep, because it costs a lot to build and exploitate an orphanage. You have to be able to guarantee that there is staff, money for food and education for the kids, the electricity bills can be paid etc. Furthermore, the housing of orphans in orphanages is mostly not the best way to solve the problem. (as opposed to staying with family, other inhabitants of their village etc).
  • Making movies, documentaries and books: these productions are often expensive, so it’s important to be able to answer the following questions positively if you want to ask for grants for these kind of projects: Is it clear what problem you want to show? Does the production suggest a solution? At what kind of audience does the production aim? Is the audience willing to receive the information the production will show them?
  • Once you are receiving grants from a financing organization, you sometimes can also recieve assistance with your project. The assistance contains for example trainings and workshops or sometimes the connection of your project with an existing partner of the financing organization in the local country. The assistance with projects is different for every organization. You can inform about this at the organization itself.


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Checklists for emigrants, nomads and expats - WorldSupporter Theme

Checklists for emigrants, nomads and expats - WorldSupporter Theme


You usually only emigrate once and even if you do it more often, the preparation takes quite a lot of work. JoHo has put together a handy checklist, so that you can get an idea of the arrangements that await you. The exact interpretation of each subject varies greatly from person to person. Please share your experience with your

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