Our approach

We approach our work through the lens of community philanthropy – i.e. practices, models and institutions that emphasize community leadership and control over resources, and that build assets, agency and trust at the local level.

Grantmaking for institutional development and field-building

A substantial part of our work is focused on strengthening the global community philanthropy field. This involves identifying, supporting, learning from and connecting what are often scattered or isolated organizations seeking to build community philanthropy around the world.

Grantmaking is an important tool through which to provide the kind of financial support for institutional development that can be hard to raise locally. We invest in these organizations so that they can strengthen their ability to serve local communities, unlock local resources and respond to local needs, rather than simply act as conduits or intermediaries to deliver specific projects. Grantmaking is also a way for the GFCF to collect data and information on the shape, size, nature of this emerging field.

We are always willing and open to engage with all kinds of organizations that are interested in exploring local asset mobilization as a strategy for locally-owned, durable development, although our own modest funding base means that sometimes we are only able to provide advice and information rather than actual grant funding. Learn more about our grantmaking approach.

Influencing development debates

In addition to investing in this growing field, we seek to be part of conversations, networks and partnerships with other actors in the philanthropy and international aid sectors who are interested in shifting power and resources closer to the ground and in supporting civil society networks and organizations’ ability to be responsive to, shaped by and rooted in the communities and constituencies they serve rather than those of external donors.

We are always interested to engage in new conversations, contribute blogs, offer advice, and make connections. Learn more about our Advisory Services or search our Knowledge Centre.