Uncovering Innovative Ideas

How we helped a foundation find impactful programs to fund

A US-based foundation was in a rapid expansion phase. The organization had already defined their strategy and priority issues, and were eager to begin granting, but were not yet fully staffed. They needed help in further exploring nine issue areas and sourcing opportunities for investment in each. Additionally, the foundation was interested in expanding its geographic focus and was looking for innovative, impactful programs around the world.

The solution

With the foundation’s input, we created a list of criteria that would guide the opportunity identification process, including factors like grant size, grantee experience level, target geographies, and program time spans.

Through this initial process, we helped them clarify their grant objectives and determine what would make for exciting opportunities.

Once we had a clear sense of the types of programs the foundation was looking to fund, the team working on this client assignment reached out to Geneva Global’s entire staff to tap into our collective expertise, as well as our extensive global network.

Our work across various international development sectors was important, given that the client’s nine issue areas spanned various sectors, including community health, orphan care, and girls’ education.

As we gathered a vast array of potential ideas and implementing partners from around the world, our team screened them against the determined criteria, applied our own expertise to determine what looked to be smart and impactful investment opportunities, and then reached out to potential grantees to learn more about their work.

The results

For each of the nine issue areas, we produced a briefing outlining major trends in the sector and suggesting granting opportunities at different funding levels.

Each opportunity included details about the program, context on the implementing organization, and a target grant size and timeline. In certain cases, we also provided a list of other opportunities that didn’t fit the current criteria, yet were interesting to consider in the future.

In total, we generated 37 opportunities across various sectors and geographies, helping the foundation to quickly assess creative and effective international development programs. Our analysis and recommendations supported the foundation to place over $30 million in grants over 12 months and, in the process, expand their network of partners and reach more beneficiaries around the world.