Tobago NGOs invited to a special 2014 T&T NGO Professionals TOBAGO Forum on March 18th!

Tobago NGO Forum 2014

Update: Don’t miss our Key Takeaways: 2014 T&T NGO Professionals TOBAGO FORUM.

The 2014 T&T NGO Professionals TOBAGO Forum will explore the role of civil society organisations in Tobago and give local organisations an opportunity to network, discuss challenges and share best practices.

Convened by Veni Apwann with the support of Environment Tobago, the 2014 TOBAGO Forum is sponsored by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust.

The Forum will be held on Tuesday, 18th March 2014, 8:00am – 4:00pm at the Division of Infrastructure & Public Utilities (Conference Room), Shaw Park, Scarborough, Tobago.

Planned panelists for the TOBAGO Forum include Dr. Eastlyn McKenzie, Former Independent Senator; Collis Hazel, Executive Director, Roxborough Police Youth Club; Juliana Antoine, Environment Tobago; Victor Hart, Former Chairman of Trinidad & Tobago Transparency Institute; and Neila Bobb-Prescott, CANARI who will share their perspectives on the role of civil society organisations in Tobago. Continue reading

Nominate your organisation for the 2014 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in T&T!

JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago

UPDATE: 2014 award recipient announced.

The nomination period for the 2014 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago has opened!

Sponsored by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust, the Award celebrates organisations that are national models of excellence, improving their communities and utilising best practices in nonprofit management.

The winning organisation will receive $5,000 US and be honored at the 2014 T&T NGO Professionals Conference, which will be held on May 14th – May 15th at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

Download a nomination form today at  The nomination deadline has been extended to Monday,  31st March 2014.

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Inter-American Development Bank Seeking Proposals from T&T NGOs

IDB Grant for NGO Trinidad TobagoThe Inter-American Development Bank invites non-profit groups in Trinidad & Tobago to submit project proposals of up to US $7,000 for funding under its Cultural Centre’s 2014 Funding Programme, a small grants programme for cultural initiatives with social and economic impact.

Deadline for online submission is 28th February 2014 – Link to ELECTRONIC FORM.

Visit for proposal guidelines or contact or (868) 822-6421 for more information.

T&T NGO News, Events & Grants (January 2014)

UNGP GEF Call for Proposals Trinidad TobagoGRANTS & FUNDING NEWS for NGOs in Trinidad & Tobago (January 2014)

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UNDP Session on T&T NGO Funding Opportunities on January 11, 2014

Message from Citizen Security Programme via Veni Apwann to T&T NGOs about a session on funding opportunities from the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme:

“The UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) embodies the very essence of sustainable development by “thinking globally acting locally.”  By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives. The UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme has been operating in T&T for over 17 years and has successfully funded over 85 projects throughout T&T.

SGP T&T is on a mission to raise awareness locally on the Programme and has embarked on an Environmental Awareness Caravan Programme. GEF SGP T&T will be visiting community organisations throughout T&T to inform organisations on available funding from GEF SGP.

The first session will be held with CSOs in North Trinidad – St. Ann’s and environs.

As such UNDP GEF SGP T&T wishes to invite organisations (1-2 people) to participate in a Community Meeting at the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project in St. Ann’s on Saturday 11th January 2014 from 10am to 12noon.”

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5 Easy Tactics for T&T NGO Media Outreach

1. Think beyond the big three – We all read the Trinidad Guardian, Trinidad & Tobago Newsday and the Trinidad Express and you probably pitch to these papers. What about extending your outreach to the other publications like The Tobago News, The Westerly and online media outlets like SouthTnT or Outlish? More details on this here: 5 “New” Media Targets for NGOs in Trinidad & Tobago.

2. Try a fresh pitch – Drop the standard organizational press release for a fresh approach like a Q&A article with your Executive Director (see this post for a link to the article — 4 Tips for T&T NGOs Pulled from Media Coverage). Or what about pitching a feature story focused on a client or committed volunteer (like this one)?  These stories have a higher human interest quotient and effectively draw the reader into the story about your organization.

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Networking Tips for NGOs in Trinidad & Tobago

1. Download our conference attendee list — Check this list for local nonprofit and civil society organisations that you may want to connect with, learn from and build relationships – 2012 T&T NGO Professionals Conference attendee list.

2. Leverage social media — Use our list of T&T NGOs on Facebook to find local NGOs on Facebook, like their pages to stay updated on their activities and build online relationships. When appropriate, share their updates on your social media networks and they’ll likely return the favour. If your organisation is on Twitter, follow other NGOs and stakeholders on Twitter and also engage with them there (link to our list of local NGOs on Twitter).

3. Network in person — Attend local/regional NGO events like our annual T&T NGO Professionals events; Participate in events hosted by the Network of NGOs of Trinidad & Tobago for the Advancement of Women or Growing Leaders’ Social Enterprise HIVES; Connect with NGOs in your niche by participating in events like Let’s Talk Eco Action started by Papa Bois Conservation to “give local environmental NGOs, individuals and the public a forum and place to meet and discuss enviro. issues and solutions.”

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Calculating the Economic Impact of your NGO’s Volunteers is a Must!

Volunteer Time Trinidad TobagoTracking volunteer hours is a useful exercise, but determining the economic impact of the total time contributed by volunteers is an important output and data point.

Here’s an easy way to calculate the economic impact of your volunteers’ time:

1. Start with an acceptable hourly wage rate; use T&T’s current minimum wage rate as a starting point — TT$12.50 per hour.

2. Divide the volunteer work and ongoing tasks into categories based on job titles/categories and assign an appropriate hourly wage to each task category based on local employment salaries.

3. Determine the total number of hours given by all volunteers performing tasks in each  “job” category and multiply each by its hourly rate. Total the figures for all the volunteer jobs to arrive at a final figure for the economic value of your organisation’s volunteers.


This information can and should be shared with organisation funders and donors, partners and other stakeholders in annual reports, grant applications, newsletters and other organisational communications/marketing materials.

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Roxborough Police Youth Club Wins the 2013 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence

The Roxborough Police Youth Club was awarded the 2013 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad & Tobago for its tireless efforts to provide meaningful educational and leisure opportunities for young people in the community.

The Tobago-based club has been instrumental in creating a safe haven for local youth, helping facilitate their growth into well-rounded, independent and disciplined adults.

The award was presented on Wednesday, May 15th at the 2013 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar, sponsored by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trusts and convened by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA).  As the winning organisation, the Roxborough Police Youth Club received a $5,000 US monetary donation.

2013 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence Recipent

Joseph Fernandes, Collis Hazel and Krystal Bascombe of the RPYC, and Luisa Fernandes  (Photo Courtesy of Foto Melange –

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Agenda: 2013 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar

The full agenda with session descriptions and speakers for the 2013 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar is available for download – 2013 TTNGO Seminar Agenda FINAL.  (The seminar will be held on Wednesday, May 15th at the Hyatt Trinidad.)

Reminder to those attending the seminar: Please complete the pre-arrival survey by clicking here.