Our Approach

Check out this infographic to see how we put our model to work.

We find and invest in grassroots organizations that enable the most vulnerable children in their communities to thrive. Our strategic support helps our grantees achieve their vision, become sustainable, and reach even more children in need.

GFC’s model can be summarized in three steps: Scout, Support, Strengthen.


Our program officers are regional experts who put their feet on the ground, seeking out organizations that serve the most marginalized children in the world. We look for true grassroots groups—local leadership, community and youth involvement, creativity, and sustainability. A tried-and-true method for assessing a grantee: walk through the neighborhood with the director and see how many people know him or her by name.


Small amounts of money, when put in the hands of innovative leaders, go far in the developing world. We invest in undercapitalized organizations that provide critical services to vulnerable children. Our goal is to invest early, help our partners increase capacity, and leave them bigger and stronger than when we found them.  Because we strategically disburse small, flexible grants, we invest in the right place at the right time for greatest impact.


We believe that money alone is not enough—for lasting change, you need strong leadership and healthy organizational development. We support our partners through management assistance, capacity building, networking opportunities, and additional strengthening services. These strategic and targeted services, some of which are listed below, contribute greatly to our grantees’ ability to remain community resources for years to come:

  • Organizational Development Awards: Designed to help our grantees improve their effectiveness, these competitive grants support improvements in areas such as fundraising, strategic planning, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Leveraging: Using our networks in philanthropic circles and the media, we actively facilitate access to funding, awards, and visibility opportunities for our grantees. Since 1997, we have leveraged nearly $9 million in additional funds for our partners.
  • Knowledge Exchange Workshops: Rather than relying on external sources for guidance and expertise, we convene regional workshops that allow our grantees to share their collective wealth of knowledge and experience, and distill best practices for implementing effective programs for the most vulnerable children and youth. These workshops are often the first opportunity our partners have to convene with their peers.

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