Leading Global Foundations Join Bilateral Donors in Commitment to Locally Led Global Development

At UN General Assembly, 15 Grantmakers Endorse USAID Statement

Alongside the United States Agency for International Development at the United Nations General Assembly today, 15 global grantmakers joined with bilateral donors from around the world in endorsing a donor statement on committing to locally led development.

The statement, introduced at the 2022 Effective Development Cooperation Summit and originally endorsed by bilateral government donors, calls on funders to channel more resources directly to local actors leading development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding programs. It also urges them to simplify reporting requirements, value local knowledge, and make funding decisions in partnership with local actors. 

Given the role foundations play in supporting global development, an aligned commitment to more locally led development reflects the reality that communities and local organizations are critical partners in achieving development outcomes. The Council on Foundations and its partners have convened leaders and created tools in recent years to move the field toward letting go of power and building trust with local partners. 

The Council, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and David and Lucile Packard Foundation, as leaders of a new Leadership Circle on Locally Led Development, celebrate the commitments from these foundations to embrace better models for global grantmaking. 

“Given that locally led development is both more equitable and effective, we are proud to work alongside our members to increase the US philanthropy that goes directly to local organizations around the world,” said Kathleen Enright, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “In this effort, foundation champions of locally led development will adjust to their own giving practices, support one another and advocate for others in philanthropy and the public sector to join the growing movement to increase support for locally led development. After all, local leaders know best what their communities need.”
Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a co-chair of the leadership circle, agreed. “Local communities best understand the challenges they face, and the solutions needed to address them,” he said. “Philanthropy has a responsibility to increase its direct funding to local organizations, and we are proud to be collaborating with our peers and other partners to support greater locally led development. True change must start at home, and that is why the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is committing to give at least 25% of our international grantmaking directly to local organizations this year.”
Nancy Lindborg, president and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and co-chair of the leadership circle, noted that "locally led development has long been recognized by both government and philanthropy as necessary for durable, equitable development. Unfortunately, progress has fallen short, so this pledge reenergizes our collective focus on strengthening local systems and supporting the leadership of local communities. The Packard Foundation is committed to partner with philanthropy and governments to meet and hopefully exceed the 25 percent commitment."

The 15 funders who have signed on to commit to shift and share power, do more direct grantmaking to global civil society organizations, and publicly advocate for locally led development practices are:

  1. Fundación Avina
  2. Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 
  3. Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  4. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  5. Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
  6. Ford Foundation
  7. GHR Foundation
  8. Humanity United
  9. Imaginable Futures 
  10. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  11. McKnight Foundation
  12. The Rockefeller Foundation 
  13. Segal Family Foundation
  14. Skoll Foundation
  15. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

For more information on locally led development, see:

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Nicole Bronzan

Vice President, Communications and Content