Our Approach

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

The Global Fund for Children finds and invests in small, locally led organizations that transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.

By providing grassroots organizations with a combination of flexible cash grants and capacity-building services, we help them achieve their goals and maximize their impact. The result: strong grassroots organizations that are transforming children’s lives, their communities, and civil society as a whole.

GFC’s model can be summarized in three steps: Find, Fund, Strengthen.


Our team of regional experts is trained to identify reputable, high-potential organizations. Thanks to our international grassroots network and our reputation as an investor in early-stage organizations, we receive more than 2,000 partnership applications each year. Once potential partners have been identified, we travel by whatever means necessary—rickshaw, canoe, bus, 12-seater plane—to witness their work in the community and assess their impact and growth potential firsthand.


Because our partners are in the early stages of development and operate primarily in developing countries, a small grant goes a long way. We make yearly, unrestricted cash grants of $5,000 to $30,000 over a 3- to 7-year period. This small yet powerful infusion of flexible capital is often just the lever needed to grow critical programs. Over the course of our partnership, we increase the size of our grants to keep pace with the organization’s growing capacity.


Our partners have the passion to change their communities, but they often lack the professional know-how to become lasting resources. To succeed, they need robust leadership, healthy organizational structures and systems, and a strong balance sheet. So we provide them with management assistance, capacity-building expertise, and networking opportunities to help them grow. We also multiply our financial support by increasing their visibility and introducing them to future donors so they can serve more children for years to come.

These strategic and targeted services, some of which are listed below, contribute greatly to our partners’ sustainability:

  • Organizational Development Awards: Designed to help our partners 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 partners. Since 2000, we have helped our partners attract more than $13.7 million in new, direct funding from other donors.
  • Knowledge Exchange Workshops: Rather than relying on external sources for guidance and expertise, we convene regional workshops that allow our partners 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.

Read About Our Impact > | Meet Our Grassroots Partnerses >