What We Do

What We Do 2017-10-18T15:00:30+00:00

Our philosophy of funding is rooted in deep respect and admiration of our grantee partners. We strive to be advocates of their work and partners in their struggle for social justice. We call this model Active Partnership.

We develop long-term relationships—supporting the whole organization, not just projects—led by our team on the ground in East Africa. Our community improves our partners’ ability to design the most effective, locally appropriate solutions to poverty in their communities.

Components of our Active Partnership model include:


Flexible Funding

We offer restricted or unrestricted funds based on our partners’ needs. We believe that unrestricted funding is vital for an organization’s health and growth, though sometimes earmarked funding can help an organization address a previously overlooked area of need.


Unburdensome Reporting

We require one annual report from each partner which focuses on overall organizational health and a set of mutually agreed-upon milestones. Milestones give our partners clear, measurable goals, and allow us to better follow progress and understand how partners operate. We strive to make our reporting streamlined and efficient so partners aren’t spending more time on reporting than implementing.


Celebration & Promotion

We want to celebrate our partners’ remarkable work and also give them a platform for promotion to new networks and funders. We do this through social media shout-outs, blogs about our partners’ work, and the celebratory nature of our events.


Building Community

Both in the US and in Africa, we bring together our family of partners—grassroots NGOs, service providers, and donors—to build relationships and create synergies. We also create networking opportunities for our partners through technical training workshops, informal happy hours, and our conference-style annual meeting. Partners receive year-round support—including resources, funding opportunities, and trend information—through country and sector networks.


Capacity Building & Resources

We provide all of our partners with access to capacity-building resources to strengthen their organizational health, adding value beyond just our grantmaking dollars. Select partners are invited to participate in Targeted Capacity Support (TCS), an intensive capacity-building program designed to leverage our resources and launch our best partners to the next level of impact.


Influencing Philanthropy

We engage in different networks with like-minded funders to learn from each other, partner together to support the best organizations, and advocate for better practices in grantmaking. We encourage collaboration not just within our portfolio, but also within the philanthropy sector.

Featured Partners