Ember Call-Out 2024: Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Jul 09, 2024

Ember Call-Out 2024: Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Ember is calling for applications from community-based mental health initiatives working in low- and middle-income countries who would like to partner with us. Successful initiatives will be offered a 12-month partnership with Ember, customised to support and strengthen the sustainability and growth of the organisation based on their needs.

You can fill out the application form in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

You can also download this information.

Eligibility Criteria

What kinds of organisations does Ember support?

Ember supports community-based mental health initiatives working in low- and middle-income countries (check this list if unsure).

What does Ember mean by ‘community-based initiatives’?

We take a wide definition of this term. By ‘community-based’ we mean initiatives that are created and implemented by and/or with members of the community they serve; have deep engagement with the people in those communities; and have local leadership teams.

What does Ember mean by ‘mental health initiative’?

By ‘mental health initiative’ we mean any initiative that contributes to the mental and emotional wellbeing of the people they serve, whether they are defined as beneficiaries, participants, service users or members. We take a broad definition of what it means to work in this field – we’re not only looking for those who explicitly provide mental health services, because we know that mental health intersects with many dimensions of life. Our previous cohorts have included a diverse range of approaches to and definitions of mental health.

What kind of organisations is Ember less likely to support?

We are less likely to partner with advocacy organisations, political organisations, government services or think-tanks.

I am the only person in my team who speaks English, Spanish or Arabic. Are we eligible?

Yes, you are eligible. We welcome opportunities to work with multiple people in the team, across different levels of their work, as we think this leads to particularly strong outcomes. However, we understand this isn’t always possible, so it should not be a barrier to applying.

I have an idea for a new project, and I need support to implement it. Would I be eligible for a partnership with Ember?

If the project is not yet up and running, unfortunately we don’t believe Ember is the right partner for you, as we’re looking for partners who have already had some impact.

Our team needs support to get technical training in particular areas of mental health service provision. Could Ember provide such support?

No, Ember does not provide training in mental health or mental health care. While our main focus in the partnership will be on other priorities, there may be opportunities for Ember to connect you with support through our broader network.

I am conducting a research-based project that is not tied to any ongoing community organisations or work. Would I be eligible for a partnership with Ember?

Unfortunately, Ember would not be the right partner for you as we’re looking to support community-based initiatives with direct community impact.

Can we apply if our initiative is part of a larger organisation?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

Can we apply if our initiative is part of an organisation based in a country not listed as a low- or middle-income country?

If your initiative is locally led in a low- or middle-income country, i.e. the team is based in the low- or middle-income country where the initiative works, we encourage you to apply.

What types of mental health initiatives are you specifically looking for?

We are open to a wide variety of approaches and models and do not have strict criteria for the type of initiatives we seek. We are always on the lookout for innovative models and ideas we haven’t encountered before, as this open approach helps us discover valuable initiatives. However, we are less likely to partner with advocacy organisations, political groups, government services, or think tanks.

How many initiatives will be selected for the 2025 cohort?

We aim to select in the range of 8 to 12 initiatives.

Can organisations that have previously applied and were not selected reapply this year?

Yes, organisations that were not selected in previous Ember call-outs are welcome to apply if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Is it necessary for the organisation to have an online presence or website to apply?

No, it is not necessary.

Application And Selection Process

I want to make sure I have time to work on my answers, but the online application form doesn't allow me to save them progress. What can I do?

You can use this document to draft your answers offline. Then, fill in the responses in this online application form when you are ready to submit.

I have applied through the questionnaire. When will I receive feedback?

If you have successfully submitted your application, you should have received a confirmation email and seen this page:

In that case, the Ember team will review applications on a rolling basis, and feedback to all applicants will be provided by 19th September, 2024. Please regularly check the inbox for the email address that you provided, including spam folders, to ensure you don’t miss an email from us. If you have not seen the page above, your application has not been submitted. Please submit again and if you are still facing difficulties, write to us at calloutsupport@embermentalhealth.org

I can’t submit my application through the online questionnaire, what do I do?

Please check if you have properly filled all the answers, especially those marked with an asterisk, and that the email address and telephone number are in the correct format. If you have properly filled everything and still can’t submit your application, please contact us at the email address: calloutsupport@embermentalhealth.org

I have applied but I haven’t received any confirmation. Did my submission go through?

If you have successfully submitted your application, you should have received a confirmation email and seen this page:

If you filled everything properly and still didn't receive a confirmation, please contact us at the e-mail address: calloutsupport@embermentalhealth.org

What is the best way to get in touch with Ember if we have further questions during the application process?

To receive support regarding your application, please contact us at the e-mail address: calloutsupport@embermentalhealth.org

What happens if our application is unsuccessful?

If your application isn't successful, we understand it can be disappointing. We provide feedback to all applicants, at each stage of the selection process.

  • If you submit an application, but don't move to the second round (a 45-minute interview), you'll receive feedback by September 19th. At this stage, we do not provide specific feedback, but we invite you to carefully review our eligibility criteria as our decision at this stage is informed by them.
  • If you're invited to a 45-minute interview but then don't proceed to the longer interview with the Ember team, you'll get feedback by mid-October. While at this stage we aim to provide specific feedback to help you understand our decision, please bear with us as we review all applications carefully.
  • Final decisions, following the longer interview with the Ember team, will be communicated by mid-December. If you're unsuccessful then, you'll receive detailed feedback on your application.

It's important to know that if your application isn't successful at any stage, it doesn't reflect on the value of your work. We recognise that our understanding of your organisation is limited to the information we gather during our interactions. Our goal is to assess whether Ember can effectively partner with your organisation to tackle specific challenges and support your goals, based on our experience, model of support, and previous work with community-based organisations.

Lastly, while you may not be selected this time, we encourage you to consider reapplying in the future. Additionally, you can stay in touch with Ember for other opportunities and updates.

What criteria does Ember use to make selection decisions?

Ember support model centers around eight core areas of an organisation: vision, model, impact, storytelling, network, wellbeing, organisational structure, and finance. The selection process is a two-way decision. It's not only about assessing the organisation's strengths and growth opportunities in these areas but also about determining if Ember is the right partner to effectively support and enhance them. This involves considering how well our expertise, resources, and approach align with the specific needs and context of the organisation. By ensuring a mutual fit, we can provide tailored support that not only addresses immediate challenges but also can build the foundations for long-term resilience and growth.

During The Partnership

If successful, will we be required to travel abroad and/or work in Ember’s office?

No, we work remotely via tools like WhatsApp and Zoom. We spend an average of 1-2 hours per week working together directly through calls, online workshops, creative sessions, etc.

Does the Ember team visit selected partners?

If possible, the Ember team will make a visit to the partner, and this is mutually decided during the course of the partnership.

If selected, how soon will we start receiving support from Ember?

The partnerships with the selected initiatives will formally begin in January 2025 and end in December 2025.

What level of involvement is expected from our team during the partnership?

The partnership with Ember is a full-fledged collaboration where both partners commit to invest time and resources and to build a strong relationship of care, trust and honesty. We anticipate that organisations need to dedicate approximately 3 hours per week over 12 months to the partnership. This includes time working directly with Ember in online sessions and time devoted to working together internally as a team.

Are there any specific reporting requirements during or after the partnership?

No, we do not require our partners to report during or after the partnership. However, we will invite you to participate in an evaluation to assess strengths and areas for improvement for the Ember programme. Participation in this evaluation is not mandatory and opting out will not impact your partnership with us.

How flexible are the financial stipend payments? Can we request adjustments?

The stipend amount is fixed and not negotiable. Payments will be made in two instalments. We are open to discussing specific challenges on a case-by-case basis.

Can we choose which aspects of support we want to prioritise during the partnership?

Yes. The support package from Ember is co-designed with you to effectively meet your specific needs, so sharing your priorities is crucial to this collaborative approach. However, our model is different from skill-building organisations that focus solely on addressing specific gaps or needs. We view an organisation’s challenges—whether in fundraising, capturing impact, or team wellbeing—as interrelated. We identify areas where Ember’s skills can help you achieve maximum impact and what can support the organisation to build a sustainable model. So, drawing from this and our expertise in supporting similar organisations, we co-create the support package to not only overcome immediate obstacles but also to develop strategies for building a resilient foundation to thrive in the future.

Are there any restrictions on how we can use the financial stipend provided by Ember?

No, the stipend is unrestricted. The Ember stipend aims to recognise the time, energy, and commitment required for our partnership. Our intention is to provide support that allows you to dedicate the necessary time and resources to our collaboration. Based on our experience, the stipend has proven highly beneficial when used to prioritise core costs and offer wellbeing support for the team.

Can we expect to collaborate with other organisations in Ember’s network?

Certainly! We encourage collaboration among organisations within Ember's network and will actively assist you in making new connections if it aligns with your needs. We are also committed to creating opportunities like events where organisations can meet.

What happens after the 12-month partnership ends?

At the conclusion of the 12-month partnership, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation to assess the impact and outcomes achieved through our collaborations with each organisation. This evaluation allows us to deeply reflect on our journey together, understand the future trajectory of your organisation’s vision and plans, and identify opportunities for extended collaboration with Ember.

Based on these insights, we, together with the Ember Working Group and the SHM Foundation board, select a number of initiatives where investment from Ember can generate substantial positive impact and effect meaningful change over an extended period.