KL Felicitas Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: KL Felicitas focuses its grantmaking and impact investments on a broad range of market-based approaches to improve the lives and livelihoods of underserved and marginalized populations around the world.

IP TAKE: This funder favors groups that take a holistic, bottom-up or grassroots approach to their work, rather than those that apply a top-down method.

PROFILE: The KL Felicitas Foundation was established in 2000 by Charly and Lisa Kleissner, who funded the nonprofit with $10 million. The foundation's mission is to “enable social entrepreneurs and enterprises worldwide to develop and grow sustainably, with an emphasis on rural communities and families.”

Grantmaking is only one component of the foundation’s giving strategy, which also includes impact investing. Their grantmaking and impact investing has broad objectives, including expanding delivery of "affordable, critical services and products such as health, water, and electricity to the poor through market-based approaches,” and support for social entrepreneurs in their capacity and skills-building efforts.

Grant amounts are on the modest side, generally coming in at $10,000 to $50,000. In the past, the foundation has awarded grants to the D.C.-based Grassroots Business Fund, which helps businesses in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Another grantee is Equal Access Market, a nonprofit dedicated to creating “positive social change for millions of underserved people across the developing world.”

KL Felicitas does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.

PEOPLE:

  • Lisa Kleissner, President
  • Alex Kleissner, Vice President
  • Will Morgan, Senior Consultant

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