How we work

Funding process

We look for opportunities to fund projects and organisations that align with our strategy in the countries where we work. We identify potential partners through our own research and input from our global network. Currently, we do not accept unsolicited applications. 

We provide different types and sizes of funding, including core, unrestricted funding. We select the most appropriate, additive, and impactful approach for each opportunity, and this flexibility has helped us build an exciting and diverse group of partners

Below, we’ve outlined the four funding stages we typically follow. 

Introductory discussions

• Request information from partner 

• Arrange first meeting 

• Assess alignment with our strategy

• Discuss opportunity internally

Due diligence

• Complete deeper assessment 

• Request additional documentation 

• Carry out financial and legal verification 

• Draft funding package 

Funding decision

• Hold decision meeting (may involve virtual or in-person presentation by prospective partner)

• Discuss remaining structuring and reporting points

Approval and agreement

• Complete final internal legal review

• Review and sign funding agreement 

• Start partnership 

Stage 1: Introductory discussions

Once we have identified an opportunity, we will ask for more information from the prospective partner and arrange a meeting so we can better understand the organisation or project. If we see alignment with our strategy, we will discuss the opportunity internally, and then move to Stage 2. We try to put forward only those proposals which align strongly with our strategy, but approval at this stage is not guaranteed.

Stage 2: Due diligence

We will conduct a deeper assessment of the opportunity, including speaking to the prospective partner’s staff, funders, and other relevant third parties. We will also request additional documentation for due diligence purposes. The extent and duration of this stage will depend on the size and type of grant, together with how well we know the organisation and sector.

Next, we will draft a funding package for our review internally. This package will contain further detail on the organisation’s operational model, governance, and team, together with legal and financial analysis. It will also include proposed ways of measuring performance and impact.

Stage 3: Funding decision

Once we have completed our due diligence process and assessment, the decision will go through an internal approval process. For large or complex transactions, we will hold a Funding Committee meeting. The Funding Committee may include members of our Leadership Team, including our CEO; in some cases, we also include external advisers or our Board. At the meeting, we may ask directors or employees of the prospective partner to present an overview of the opportunity and to answer questions.

If our team approves the opportunity, we move to Stage 4. 

Stage 4: Approval and agreement 

Before finalising approval, we will consult our finance and legal teams, as well as any other relevant experts such as external counsel. Once we have finalised approvals and the terms of funding, including agreeing on structure and reporting requirements with the organisation, our legal team will draft a funding agreement. We may also involve external counsel in this. We will send the agreement to the partner for their review and signature – after that, the partnership can begin.

Approval is not guaranteed at any stage. If the opportunity is not approved, we will always try to explain why, providing clear and constructive feedback.

What happens next?

We encourage open communication from all sides throughout a partnership. During the funding process, we may have already agreed certain areas where we can be of assistance. Once a partnership begins, our programmatic teams schedule regular catch-up meetings with their partners.

Partner Support programme

We help cultivate resilient, healthy, inclusive, and well-networked organisations through our Partner Support programme. This may involve non-financial support. Common areas of support include:

  • Board and governance issues
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Fundraising
  • Leadership and management training
  • Networking
  • Holistic security
  • Organisational wellbeing

Occasionally this programme will provide financial support too, such as small, restricted ‘wellbeing’ stipends.