Private Foundations have been long term supporters of funding to charitable organisations around the world. In 2013, their strength is being felt more than ever as for the first time private foundations have overtaken many of the world’s governments and aid bodies as the biggest donors to the non profit sector.

These Foundations are simultaneously growing in ambition and confidence as they stretch their legs beyond their traditional markets into the developing world, creating new opportunities for small, grassroots NGOs in low income countries. All of the Foundations listed work with organization’s based in the country of intervention making them important sources for new partnership opportunities for your NGO.

1. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is based in the USA and is reported to hold assets valued at more than $34.6bn. The Foundation was setup by the Gates family with profits from their ownership of technology giant Microsoft and has grown to have an annual healthcare budget bigger than the World Health Organization.

The Foundation supports innovative projects around the world that are working to solve some of the worlds most pressing healthcare problems such as HIV / AIDS, Polio and Malaria. Its plans for the future include targeting 150m of the worlds poorest farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to raise themselves out of poverty. The Foundation releases regular calls for proposals that invite NGOs to collaborate and deliver interventions.

2. Open Society Foundations fund a range of programs around the world, from public health to education to business development. Established in 1979, today the Foundations remain committed to the global struggle for open society and responding quickly to the challenges and opportunities of the future. Their stated mission is to “build vibrant and tolerant democracies where governments are accountable to citizens”.
Over the last 30 years, the Open Society Foundations had expenditures of more than $10 billion. Much of this spending has been directed at specific priority issues and regions for the Open Society Foundations.

3. The Ford Foundation was established in 1936 with an initial gift of $25,000 from Edsel Ford, whose father Henry, founded the Ford Motor Company. During its early years, the foundation operated in Michigan under the leadership of Ford family members. The founding charter of the Foundation stated that resources should be used “for scientific, educational and charitable purposes” and it is in that spirit that the organisation continues.
Today, the Foundation has is based in eleven countries around the world and supports programs in more than 50 countries. The Foundation delivers three major programs in “World Peace and the establishment of law and justice”, “Freedom and democracy” and “Advancing the economic well-being for people everywhere”.

4. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. In 2012 the Foundation had assets of more than $7bn and awarded grants totally$304,089,000. The Foundation’s current set of programs include global poverty, limiting the risk of climate change, improving education for students, improving reproductive health and rights worldwide and advancing the field of philanthropy.

5.  The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, often known as CIFF, aims to demonstrably improve the lives of children in developing countries by achieving large-scale, sustainable impact. The Foundation applies multi-faceted strategies to transform environments in which children live as a core strategy. CIFF also works with governments around the world to advocate change and put in place policies that will benefit children and mobilise affordable solutions. The Foundation focuses on four senior project areas: Climate, Education, Hunger Alleviation and Child Survival.

6. The United Nations Foundation brings nations and sectors from around the world together to tackle the most far reaching international challenges. The Foundation exists to both make grants and as a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. The Foundation works to build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilise resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress. The Foundation works with local NGOs worldwide on four key areas of focus: Energy and Climate, Global Health, the United Nations and Women and Population. The Foundation works with NGOs throughout the world and releases Calls for Proposals.

7. The John D and Catherine T Macarthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. The Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media.

The Foundation makes grants and loans to local NGOs around the world through its international program in the areas of human rights and international justice, peace and security, conservation and sustainable development girls secondary education in developing countries, migration and population and reproductive health providing grants of more than $215.2m in 2012.. The Foundation works in more than 50 countries and maintain offices in India, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia.

8. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels. We provide funds to nonprofit organizations working to “relieve the suffering, the distrssed and the destitute. Latest financial results showed that the Foundation has assets in excess of $2.2bn. The Foundation has awarded more than £1bn in grants over its lifetime including $83m in 2012. Its strategic vision is to work with locally based organisations to increase its impact in the following areas: Helping children affected by HIV / AIDS; Supporting older youth in foster care; Preventing substance abuse; and providing safe access to clean water in developing countries.

9. The Rockefeller Foundation supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health and environmental challenges. Operating around the world the Foundations has been active since its inception. From funding an unknown scholar named Albert Einstein to accelerating the impact investing industry, the Rockefeller Foundation has a long tradition of enhancing the impact of individuals, institutions and organizations working to change the world. The Foundation works with NGOs and governments around the world aimed at meetingg four equally important goals: Revalue Ecosystems; Advance Health; Secure Livelihoods; and Transform Cities.
10. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is the newest organisation on our list having been established in just 2000. The Foundation seeks to advance environmental conservation, scientific research, and patient care–around the world. The Foundation devotes some of its grantmaking to experimentation, focused innovation, and agile response to time-sensitive, high-impact opportunities in its areas of focus. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals and instead release specific calls for proposal to collaborate with NGOs and other community based organizations.