The Global Fund for Children

Summary of opportunity

  • We find. We research, explore, and identify innovative groups working with children and youth around the world.
  • We fund. We invest wisely, funding our partners’ life-changing programs for children and youth and keeping a watchful eye on how those funds are put to use.
  • Together we strengthen. We advise, mentor, and guide our partners. We build mutual trust, accountability, and enduring relationships. We provide tools for self-assessment. We support and help our partners grow.
  • We build networks. We connect our partners to each other and to national and regional networks. We bring together brilliant minds to share knowledge, fuel advocacy, and build movements of social change.
  • And when our partners graduate, we stand proud. Our greatest joy comes from knowing that we played a part in helping our partners grow strong enough to continue their important work for children without us.

Eligibility criteria

Prospective grassroots partners must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for our support.

  • LOCAL LEADERSHIP. Prospective grassroots partners must be led by individuals who live and work in the community, and we prioritize organizations whose leaders were born and raised in the community. We do not fund the local offices or affiliates of national or international organizations.
  • APPROPRIATE SIZE AND STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. Our aim is to identify organizations that are at a relatively early stage in their development and that have not received funding from other large domestic or international institutions. With rare exceptions, a prospective grassroots partner’s annual budget should not exceed $200,000. In most cases, new partners have budgets in the $25,000 to $100,000 range.
  • DIRECT INVOLVEMENT WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH. Working directly with children and youth should be the centerpiece of a prospective partners’ work. We do not support groups engaged exclusively in advocacy or research. (We do, however, support organizations that may conduct research and advocacy as a complement to their direct services.)
  • CAPABLE MANAGEMENT. Prospective grassroots partners must have systems and processes for ensuring responsible management of funds. At a minimum, an organization needs to have basic accounting and reporting systems as well as phone and email access.
  • LEGAL STATUS. In most cases, nonprofit registration with the local or national government is required. If the political context makes legal registration unfeasible, the organization must demonstrate nonprofit equivalency. We do not provide start-up funding for the creation of new organizations.

Selection Guidelines
Beyond our basic eligibility criteria, we use the following selection guidelines to identify grassroots organizations that are truly exceptional.

  • A FOCUS ON THE MOST VULNERABLE. Our grassroots partners reach the children of the “last mile”—those who are economically and socially outside the reach of mainstream services and support, including street children, child laborers, AIDS orphans, children engaged in commercial sex, hard-to-reach rural populations, and other vulnerable or marginalized groups.
  • COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. We prioritize organizations that are rooted in their community and operate with community input, involvement, and investment, embracing the community as an integral part of their success.
  • EFFECTIVENESS. We prioritize organizations that can demonstrate sustained, meaningful improvement in the lives of the children and youth they serve.
  • EMPOWERMENT. We prioritize organizations that engage children and youth as active participants in their own growth and development, rather than as passive recipients of services.
  • INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY. We prioritize organizations that tackle old problems in new ways, demonstrating innovation and creativity in their program strategies and approaches.
  • STRONG LEADERSHIP. We prioritize organizations that have committed, respected, and dynamic leadership with a vision for change.
  • ADAPTABILITY. We prioritize organizations that generate models, methodologies, and practices that can be adapted and applied to similar issues and challenges in other communities.
  • POTENTIAL FOR SUSTAINABILITY. We prioritize organizations that have a strategy for ensuring the long-term sustainability of their programs, through donor diversification, mobilization of government funding, community investment, income-generating activities, and other creative measures.
  • REPUTATION. We prioritize organizations that are recognized and trusted in their communities.

How to apply

Organizations that believe they meet these criteria can submit an organizational profile at any time. If an organization falls within our priorities, criteria, and funding availability, we will follow up with the organization to solicit a full proposal. (Due to the volume of inquiries, we cannot respond individually to those not selected for further consideration.)

The Global Fund for Children