OECD netFWD | One size does not fit all: Strong strategies on flexible financing


In a shift away from financing specific projects, some foundations are providing untied general-support funding to their grantees. Yet flexible funding, which supports the entire work of a grantee and not a specific line of work, remains uncommon.

The 2024 annual meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) is convening a panel to discusses how foundations provide a combination of general support and earmarked funding to their grantees, to understand the trade-offs between flexibility and accountability in resource allocation.

This open discussion takes place on 4 March 2024, the first day of the annual OECD netFWD meeting in Paris.

OECD, Château de la Muette, Paris
15h00 - 16h30
Watch livestream


Kimberly Bayer

Deputy vice president, International programmes, Ford Foundation

Pascale de la Fregonniere

Strategic advisor, Cartier Philanthropy

Masego Madzwamuse

Environment director, Oak Foundation

Anjlee Prakash

Chairperson, Learning Links Foundation

Nader Iskandar Diab

Senior policy and operations officer, Community Jameel



With representatives from

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About the event

netFWD convenes leaders in philanthropy and connects them with policy makers and OECD experts to address the world's most pressing development challenges at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

While some philanthropic funders have pledged to increase their flexible funding, others have expressed scepticism towards this approach, questioning its feasibility, scope of applicability and effectiveness. Furthermore, given the diversity of donors and grantees in terms of their size, legal structure, focus areas, geographies and internal structures, the grant-making methodology appropriate to one donor-grantee relationship may not be ideal for another.

In this context, discussions will delve into the nuanced dynamics of philanthropic funding approaches and seek to better understand financing flexibility: Who gives flexible financing? Who receives it? What factors influence a foundation’s choice to tighten or loosen their control over the grants they provide?

The 2024 netFWD annual meeting will also discuss the trade-offs donors face when exercising, or letting go of their control on the funding they provide to their grantees. Centring voices of philanthropies and grantees, the event will discuss the ways in which foundations have been innovating in how they partner with grantees, from core flexible support to joining pooled funds. Trust-based philanthropy, the role of intermediary funds, opportunities for co-funding and how these dynamics affect the funding cycles of grantees will be at the centre of discussions.

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