Global development is one of the oldest areas of modern philanthropy, but it now attracts unprecedented resources like never before as new, major funders move forwards. Funders are addressing an array of multifaceted dimensions of development. As expected, much competition exists in this development area, so it is crucial that grant seeker's projects value in a crowded field.
We are closely tracking what global development funders are doing, and our learning is captured in this guide. All the profiles of funders and program officers here are updated regularly.
This corporate funder focuses on education, sustainable agricultural development, and increased community engagement in its grantmaking.
Global development grants from the software company's charitable arm go mostly toward economic security and employment, with an emphasis on technology.
AMB is an approachable funder that makes modest grants for health, education, economic development, and indigenous populations; however, while it does not specify a geographic focus, it often supports work in South America.
The Ann Campana Judge Foundation supports organizations that work toward developing community water supplies and community sanitation in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua.
A donor-advised fund at the Boston Foundation, it tends to favor groups working in Nepal and Haiti, which empower vulnerable populations from the bottom-up.
Argosy's stated funding interests include communities in need and human rights advocacy, but it's open to global development grantseekers working in other areas.
This is a relatively small NGO that awards grants to organizations working in developing countries in the areas of women’s empowerment and mobility solutions for the disabled.
Atkinson restricts its global development grantmaking to southern Mexico and Central America, with an emphasis on supporting grassroots organizations.
An approachable funder that supports diverse efforts in areas of exploitation, poverty alleviation, and social injustice. Tends to award one-year grants, easing entry for new applicants.
This funder's work in the global development space includes a number of relatively modest grants for poverty alleviation and children's well-being in least-developed countries.
Global development grants mostly fund access to education, particularly for children and girls in Africa and South Asia.
Philanthropic arm of Becton Dickinson supports widespread global health programs like immunization campaigns and education about pandemics including AIDS, malaria, diabetes and others.
This group-advised fund supports gender equality, women’s rights, and women's and girls’ empowerment.
The Blossom Fund prioritizes giving to organizations that address women's economic justice, and development in Central America and Mexico. Prioritizes local/grassroots groups that may have a hard time obtaining grants elsewhere.
Supports organizations working within the crosscutting global development fields of local economic development and environmental sustainability.
Major grantmaking areas of interest involve access to quality K-12 education and early learning programs, economic growth and improving access to healthcare.
This collaborative funder prioritizes public health, poverty alleviation and economic stability.
Modest funder supports poverty alleviation, social justice in developing countries, health and clean water issues, and has shown a keen interest in Africa.
This is a relatively new funder that supports vocational, educational, and arts programs that focus on children living in vulnerable communities around the world.
Camphill awards modest grants to groups that build and restore schools in an effort to improve access to quality education in developing countries.
Cargill funds organizations that address hunger, improving nutrition, and increasing agricultural productivity.
The Caterpillar Foundation’s global development grantmaking centers on improving access to water and sanitation and has funded big WASH players like charity:water and Water.org over the years.
The philanthropic arm of the famed fashion house prioritizes grantmaking on economic resources, women, health and social protection, leadership, culture and sport, and emergencies.
Hughes does not have a separate global development program. Instead, it makes its global development related grants more generally to organizations that address development and environmental rights or justice.
Mott is particularly supportive of organizations working on civil society in developing countries, and of groups that foster a balance between economic and environmental imperatives.
Child Health seeks to prevent pervasive childhood illnesses around the world. Current funding priorities include malnutrition, enteric diseases related to water and sanitation, and respiratory diseases.
The foundation’s grantmaking priorities include education, healthcare, child survival, and nutrition. Most of CIFFs grantmaking revolves around helping children in the developing world.
Somewhat inaccessible funder prioritizes climate change, environmental sustainability, conflict avoidance/reconciliation, culture and youth, and sustainable development.
Works with organizations advocating for equitable land and sea rights of indigenous people living in the fund’s geographic regions of focus.
Modest development grants often go to hard-to-fund projects in poverty alleviation, shelter, healthcare, water and other areas.
The philanthropic arm of the global engineering firm focuses grantmaking on access to safe drinking water and access to transportation in developing countries.
Cisco awards grants to NGOs that foster economic development in marginalized communities around the world. It also supports education, economic empowerment, and critical human needs.
A difficult funder for newcomers and smaller organizations, Citi's global development grantmaking supports financial inclusion efforts and those related to increasing economic opportunities for young people.
The foundation heavily emphasizes global development projects related to women's empowerment, youth empowerment, clean water access, and conservation.
This U.K.-based funder supports global groups that address the root problems that contribute to the generational cycle of poverty.
The philanthropic arm of the travel company, this funder focuses on getting kids food and other basic needs, particularly education. It seeks new local/grassroots outfits to support each year.
The foundation's global development grantmaking supports the work of Catholic sisters around the world, safe water, and disaster relief.
The philanthropic arm of the global power company makes grants to empower marginalized and underprivileged populations around the world.
Dalio largely focuses on supporting orphans in China, but has also supported other global problems, which include polio eradication, microfinance, disaster relief, and conflict areas.
Practices a venture philanthropy model of investing in nonprofits and social enterprises serving the global poor. Areas of interest include education, health, and livelihoods with a focus on helping young people.
This funder primarily supports women's empowerment and poverty alleviation. It might be tough for first-timers to get in the door as Debley tends to support existing grantees year after year.
This modest grantmaker concentrates on Guatemala and Latin America. Its major focus seems to be education, but also funds health and economic security projects.
The Marshall Family Foundation is dedicated to supporting education and related research projects in developing countries. It also focuses on factors that impact educational outcomes, such as food and water.
Draper focuses on early-stage NGOs, and seeks grantees whose work has the potential to create effective, scalable solutions to pressing social problems in the U.S. and abroad.
This funder tends to award modest grants to larger INGOs operating poverty alleviation efforts. It also supports groups working in food security, access to education and sustainable agriculture.
A relatively small funder that tends to support large international organizations that take a broad-based approach to development issues.
ECOM is concerned with helping rural farming communities gain access to social services, education, healthcare, and sustainable agricultural practices.
ELMA awards grants to groups focusing on the health and well-being of Africa’s children. Main areas of funding interest include education, healthcare, and basic needs.
EMpower supports groups that are working to improve the lives of at-risk youth ages 10 to 24 in emerging market countries by funding projects related to education, health, well-being, and improving livelihoods.
FEMSA largely supports water projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. It works on watershed conservation, disaster response, and projects related to safe water and sanitation.
Small, Texas-based foundation mostly supports large INGOs predominately in humanitarian aid, poverty alleviation and food for children.
Works to advance the development of indigenous communities while maintaining their cultural heritage. An accessible funder, but only funds projects led or initiated by local indigenous communities.
This foundation, endowed with Hewlett money, awards limited grants to support a broad spectrum of work in developing countries, mainly in Africa and Haiti.
An approachable funder that supports basic human needs and local community development, but only in places where the parent company operates.
Ford makes grants to global development projects with an eye on empowering marginalized populations, mainly in developing nations. Ford has restructured its grantmaking to focus on global inequality in all forms.
Mulder's global development grantmaking support projects that address poverty alleviation and institutional frameworks that perpetuate poverty cycles.
The Frees Foundation supports international aid groups in developing countries. Main areas of grantmaking focus include health, education, housing, and community services.
The Gates Foundation is a large, multi-faceted funder. It awards many grants annually to organizations that work on a range of social, economic, and health issues in the developing world.
Approachable family funder established by Target's founder supports a few major organizations, but tends to prioritize smaller and grassroots organizations that address poverty alleviation and clean water in developing countries.
GM’s global development predominately funds projects that address low-income groups.
GHR supports children and families, Catholic sisters, and seeks to strengthen communities and religious leadership. Most of its often sizable grants are awarded to religious-based groups.
Global Catalyst makes tech-heavy grants to groups working in the fields of poverty alleviation, social tolerance, and diversity projects around the world.
The Global Fund for Children approaches global development matters from a grassroots perspective as they relate to the world’s most vulnerable children.
The philanthropic arm of tech giant Google is an active global grantmaker. It tends to prioritize organizations that use innovative approaches to solve some of the world’s most pressing development challenges.
This funder's reach encompasses most of the globe and focuses on schools and education, small and micro-enterprise, health and safety. It largely supports small/grassroots organizations, but occasionally supports larger organizations.
Supports global health and development efforts revolving around access to healthcare, education, poverty alleviation, and sustainable activities that create self-sufficient communities.
Formerly the Apex Foundation, this philanthropic arm of a tech company is a small, but approachable funder. It supports NGOs that help vulnerable groups facing challenges related to poverty, disability, and discrimination.
Halloran focuses its global development on energy and water, education, community innovation, entrepreneurship, health, and business innovation.
The Simmons Foundation focuses its global development-related grantmaking on health, healthcare concerns, female empowerment and human rights.
Helmsley's global health grantmaking is limited to select African countries, and focuses on food security, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, and neglected tropical diseases.
Primary areas of international grantmaking at the Henry E. Niles Foundation includes education, economic self-sufficiency, access to healthcare, public health, and sanitation.
Hewlett’s top funding priorities in the global development space are women’s empowerment, pushing for greater government transparency and accountability, and more effective policymaking processes.
Goldsmith’s grants in this space tend to focus on global poverty alleviation. Grants are awarded to groups working in developing countries, but Goldsmith appears to favor Africa in its grantmaking.
Buffett backs global projects in conflict mitigation and agriculture-related food security programs. Grants often support groups working in Africa and Latin America.
Focuses its grantmaking efforts on empowering women, economic development, and climate change as it relates to the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
IDP awards grants to groups combating widespread, pressing global health and development problems including poverty, social justice, and access to quality education.
Supports technology-driven projects to narrow the income gap and digital divide in Africa. Indigo often supports small organizations, which makes it an excellent funder for newer and grassroots organizations.
U.K.-based Innocent Foundation funds programs that address food insecurity and severe acute child malnutrition. Supports only U.K.-registered organizations.
An approachable funder that focuses its global development grantmaking on health, education and economic security. However, its giving features specific geographic limitations.
A great funder for grassroots groups. Among other areas, IAP focuses its giving on microfinance, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and education.
Isora supports organizations promoting improved health, education and economic development. Isora also supports groups advocating for social justice.
Jackman does not identify specific areas of global development grantmaking. However, it seems to prioritize intersecting concerns such as healthcare and extreme poverty.
This funder supports women's empowerment and rights abroad.
This U.K.-based funder supports organizations working in the fields of population control, education, and health.
This U.K.-based funder's primary goal is to address the root causes of poverty, with a geographic focus on Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa.
Though many of its investments are domestic, the foundation still makes international grants every year in the areas of disaster relief, agricultural education, and agricultural technology as a means to reduce hunger.
Dewan awards grants to groups working in the fields of education, job creation and economic development. Generally focuses giving on developing countries, but prioritizes Central America.
Internationally, Johnson & Johnson's philanthropy focuses on projects related to women and children's empowerment, disease prevention, and strengthening the global healthcare workforce.
This funder's global development grantmaking centers on financial stability and workforce readiness. It tends to support major organizations, but has also funded smaller groups.
Funds education and poverty alleviation projects that focus on least developed countries.
Approachable, U.K.-based funder concentrates on education and other basic needs to benefit vulnerable children and families. Prioritizes giving to grassroots organizations that can accomplish a lot with a small amount of money.
Grants and impact investments by Felicitas back market-based approaches to help underserved and marginalized people worldwide. Favors bottom-up/grassroots approaches.
Broad interests, with extra focus on schools and education in low-income countries, particularly in Asia. This funder makes grants for general operating support, and may therefore be of special interest to small/grassroots groups.
Support is usually modest, going to small and grassroots groups that provide health and education programs for women and children around the world.
Mainly funds efforts in poverty alleviation and healthcare, with a smaller number of grants to disaster relief.
Addresses various sustainability-themed projects such as mass transit in urban areas and recycling. The foundation makes investments in the 31 countries where its corporate arm conducts business.
Created by inventor Jerome Lemelson, the foundation invests in social entrepreneurs taking innovative approaches to challenges faced by the vulnerable and marginalized.
This small family foundation focuses its grantmaking on empowering women and young people, as well as protecting women, children, and youth from physical and emotional abuse.
MacDonald supports diverse global development causes, but poverty alleviation appears to be a priority. Often supports large international development organizations.
Mai awards grants toward poverty alleviation efforts in poor countries. The foundation also makes program-related investments, which can be substantial.
This is a grassroots funder that supports the social, physical, and economic well-being of women in North America, Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Based in Canada, Tidlund focuses its grantmaking attentions on education and poverty alleviation projects in developing countries with a heavy focus on women and children.
Entirely independent from the credit card company, the MasterCard Foundation focuses its global development grantmaking on financial inclusion, education, and youth livelihoods.
Grantmaking priorities for the venerable toymaker are children’s health, literacy, and after-school programs. The foundation awards grants to NGOs working in the approximately 150 countries where Mattel has an operational presence.
McConnell's global funding interests are divided between peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Nepal, water, sustainable livelihoods, and improving justice systems in Laos.
This funder's global development giving goes to a variety of larger INGOs and smaller groups around the world.
The MetLife Foundation supports programs that alleviate poverty, empower women, and foster financial inclusion. It also seeks to increase kids' financial understanding.
Dell awards grants to organizations that address poverty, improve health care, expand educational opportunities, and increase family economic stability in India and South Africa.
McDaniel tends to support large INGOs that address poverty alleviation in least-developed countries, but grants are fairly modest.
Aims to improve the livelihoods of local communities in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America with a heavy emphasis on natural resources and agriculture.
Global development funding here supports work on access to technology in finance, healthcare, payment systems, education, and agriculture.
This funder's sole grantmaking focus helps vulnerable and disadvantaged children gain access to education and learning resources.
Global grantmaking by the philanthropic arm of the financial research company focuses largely on microfinance and workforce development.
The philanthropic arm of the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations focuses global development giving on helping kids through access to quality healthcare, education and job skills.
This small family foundation supports mainly educational organizations working with vulnerable and marginalized groups in the U.S. and abroad.
The philanthropic arm of the fertilizer company, this funder heavily focuses on improving food security in developing countries by helping smallholder farmers increase crop yields.
The foundation operates like a philanthropic venture philanthropy fund to support early-stage organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit, working to help the rural poor by taking proven solutions to scale.
The Redwood City, California-based Namaste Foundation focuses global development grants on human rights, education and water. Supports groups of all sizes.
Nduna is a small funder that is keenly focused on helping children, particularly in risky conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa. It has invested in work on education, food security, human rights, and health.
This low-key funder strives to bring transformative change in rural female farmer populations in Africa by advocating for greater access to capital, increased land rights, and freedom from violence.
Invests in development projects, including microloans, schools and clean water to benefit marginalized populations in both developing and developed nations.
NDP centers its global development grantmaking on peacebuilding and economic development within the nine Niger Delta region states.
NoVo's global grantmaking largely revolves around female empowerment and ending violence against adolescent girls and women.
The Omidyar Network works on a range of global issues with an eye toward economic and political empowerment. Omidyar engages in both traditional grantmaking and impact investing.
Open Meadows provides modest grants to nonprofits advocating for gender and racial equality as well as economic justice.
Global development grants from this low-profile Texas-based foundation mostly go to larger international groups. Grants are modest, though usually multiyear.
The Osprey Foundation's interests are broad, but united by spirituality and a vision of “a world of equality, tolerance, and equanimity.” Global grants are largely focused on water and sanitation issues in developing countries.
Paperseed supports education for children and young people in low-income communities around the world, mostly in the Global South; however, it sometimes supports programs in wealthier countries.
PB & K is a low-profile funder that supports a variety of different causes.
The Peery Foundation invests in poverty relief efforts around the world, focusing its grantmaking on sustainable entrepreneurship, education, youth crime and violence, maternal health care, and WASH.
This corporate funder focuses on food, water and education in developing countries.
PenWel supports health and education projects in least-developed countries with an emphasis on its benefits to women and children.
Pepsi supports a number of global development challenges in underserved communities around the world including access to water, sustainable agriculture, job readiness, and women’s empowerment.
Pernell focuses on poverty alleviation, mainly in Africa. It also supports global health groups working in least-developed countries around the world. Grants are modest, but the funder accepts unsolicited requests year-round.
Approachable funder supports programs for youth, especially education, in vulnerable and marginalized communities in Panama and throughout Central America.
The Pershing Square Foundation is keenly interested in backing transformative and sustainable development approaches. This funder likes to be on the cutting edge, and its global giving is growing.
This hard-to-approach funder does not specify areas of grantmaking interest, but it does largely support overseas projects, particularly those that link global health and development.
The philanthropic arm of the investment management firm is dedicated to empowering women and girls, and funds programs that address the disproportionate burden of poverty on women globally.
U.K.-based funder that focuses on education, STEM subjects, and teacher training in southern African countries.
This foundation focuses its global development grantmaking largely on water and sanitation projects in the world's least-developed countries and other select regions.
This U.K.-based funder awards modest grants to local groups that can accomplish much with limited funds. Interests include farming, healthcare, education and water.
This foundation of a hedge fund billionaire is low profile and difficult to access, but supports a range of global health and development projects, often with substantial funding.
Rockdale supports education, leadership, and children and youth projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Prioritizes groups working in Sierra Leone.
This well-known major grantmaker invests in NGOs working on various facets of international economic development, including agriculture, energy, and youth unemployment.
Roth's global giving focuses on economic development. It tends to back small/grassroots groups, but does not define funding interests, or accept unsolicited requests.
This low-profile funder backs efforts in global development, with grants of diverse amounts.
Sall concentrates its global development-related grantmaking on lifting smallholder farmers out of poverty. The foundation also supports large international health organizations that work in developing countries.
The philanthropic vehicle of finance couple Muneer Satter and Kristen Hertel, this under-the-radar funder supports education, health, and health policy groups in developing countries.
Gives mostly small grants for economic development, access to healthcare, education, and lifting up poor and vulnerable populations within the global communities in which the company operates.
Philanthropic arm of the global chemical company supports job and microenterprise training and education, and occasionally healthcare. Funds U.K.-registered NGOs or groups with which it is familiar.
The foundation seeks to improve the lives of at-risk youth, women, and indigenous peoples. It also addresses youth sexual and reproductive health project through its Central America & Mexico Youth Fund (CAMY Fund).
Focuses the majority of its grantmaking on African-led grassroots outfits working in the fields of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, youth development, education, and skills building.
Shell focuses on sustainable solutions that can lift BOP populations and the ultra-poor out of poverty. Supports projects that address energy access, sustainable job creation, sustainable supply chains and innovative business incubators.
Supports education reform in Philadelphia, and globally, supports livelihood opportunities, education, food and water access, and agricultural projects in Africa, India, and Central America.
Skees concentrates global development grants on poverty alleviation, with a focus on education and job creation. Doesn't accept unsolicited funding requests, but grants are unrestricted.
Skoll largely focuses on social entrepreneurs working in one of its areas of interest, which includes education, economic opportunity, health, environmental sustainability, peace-building and sustainable markets.
Priority areas include fostering job opportunities for young people, water, sanitation and hygiene, and local community development.
Provides funding for a wide range of pressing development challenges including education and health care.
The majority of global development funding from this U.K.-based foundation goes to WASH initiatives, but some funds also support adult mental health and disadvantaged youth projects.
Summit focuses on adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights, but also considers gender equality.
This approachable foundation supports global development efforts in Latin America. It focuses on giving to projects that support democratic governance, education, and sustainable resources management.
This low-profile funder awards grants to groups engaged in different facets of international development. Though Tosa gives to grassroots outfits, its major development dollars tend to support to larger organizations.
This foundation uses a broad approach toward its global development grantmaking. It prioritizes rural economic development, education, vocational training, and social entrepreneurship projects that are sustainable,
This corporate funder awards grants to groups improving children’s health and protecting them from abuse. UBS also supports groups that work to expand access to quality education.
This grantmaker is still new, with a broad mandate to reduce poverty in developing countries. It is receptive to backing smaller, grassroots organizations.
Areas of grantmaking focus include nutrition, health, water, agriculture, economic development, education and arts. Vibrant Village awards grants to groups working in Latin American, Africa, Asia, and the U.S.
The trust awards grants to groups focusing on economic development, reproductive health, women’s welfare, peacebuilding, microfinance, social entrepreneurship, and education in specific countries in the Middle East.
Dedicated to grassroots women’s empowerment organizations that are led by women. This is a great funder for small groups or those just starting out.
The Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation dedicates its international grantmaking to both health and educational causes located in developing countries.
Approachable funder that makes good-sized grants for access to education and youth development, community building, leadership development, small farmer training and resource development.
Philanthropic arm of the Vitol energy and commodities group funds work in economic security, children's education, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Supports global development organizations that are applying mobile tech solutions to improve the lives of underserved and marginalized populations around the world.
Approachable U.K.-based funder concentrates on social justice and rights of vulnerable populations. It comprises two grantmaking entities, but both work for the "socially disempowered" in the U.K. and southern Africa.
Established by the founder of the first hybrid seed company, Wallace's global development grants revolve around sustainable agriculture, food security and economic security.
Global development out of Wasserman is diverse, but an underlying current is poverty alleviation. Often backs large global development outfits, and may be a tough sell for smaller organizations.
Waterloo regularly gives grants to NGOs that expanding access to WASH and quality education, which it believes supports and improves economic development.
Weeden focuses its grantmaking on family planning and reproductive health programs, and on the link between overpopulation and environmental stress. Latin America is a geographic priority.
Western Union awards global development grants related to economic empowerment, financial inclusion and disaster relief. It also provides in-kind donations to ongoing disaster relief efforts around the world.
Awards a modest number of mid-sized grants annually, but does not specify interests. Its giving reflects a tendency to support education, leadership development, poverty alleviation and economic security.
An approachable foundation that focuses global funding on women and girls, and prefers small NGOs that can demonstrate their impact.
Whole Planet focuses its development grantmaking on microlending. Though Whole Planet isn’t a huge player, it has partnered with some pretty big MFI players like Grameen and the Aga Khan Foundation.
Seeks to lessen economic and social disparities in Nicaragua. It is also interested in programs for women, the rural poor, indigenous people, education.
The charitable arm of the chewing gum company focuses on oral health, with some attention to overall health issues as they relate to education and poverty alleviation.
Makes global development grants for women's social and economic empowerment and education. Tends to support the same outfits year after year, so it may be difficult for newcomers to secure funding.