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Private sector collaboration

Increasing international impact by working with businesses
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Collaboration between funders, NGOs and the private sector can bring a range of benefits for international development projects.

  • For businesses, it can improve brand image and customer loyalty.
  • For NGOs, it can increase funding for programme extension to further help beneficiaries.
  • For funders, it can provide leverage for greater impact and help cross-sectoral influence.

Our research highlights how funders, NGOs and the public and private sector could work together more effectively. Our full report is available under Publications below.

Changing focusThere has been a move towards impact on a macro level, supporting fewer NGOs but in more depth

Parts of the private sector are moving towards a model which creates social value as well as business value. There has been a move away from traditional models of philanthropy. Key themes for businesses can now include:

  • employee engagement
  • public relations
  • creating sustainable supply chains.

Recognising these areas can help NGOs and funders develop programmes that provide mutual benefit.

Increasing private sector engagement

Our research suggests possible avenues to increase the private sector’s involvement in funding international programmes:

  • high level strategic collaborations -
    a high level advisory group of leaders could consider opportunities for joint workingThere needs to be clear mutual benefit
  • funding streams to encourage collaborations -
    matched funding from the private sector could increase collaborations between funders, NGOs, the public sector and private sector
  • relationship building -
    funders could help broker relationships between private, public and NGO sectors
  • encouraging good practice and learning -
    sharing information helps us learn from each other. This is no different for international funding opportunities
  • social investment as a vehicle -
    a social investment model could provide a combination of loan and grant finance to charities and businesses delivering social and business value.

More about the research

Bally Sappal, a Clore Social Fellow, carried out our study in 2012. It addressed the question: ‘How can the Big Lottery Fund and other funders work collaboratively with the private sector to increase international impact?’

The full report is available below. It contains a possible framework for successful collaborations between funders and the private sector to support international development NGOs.


Private sector collaborations report