The mission of Elevate Children Funders Group is to advance philanthropy that supports children facing adversity in order to elevate the holistic children’s agenda in philanthropy. ECFG focuses on the full lifespan of children and youth affected by adversity, from birth to adolescence with a focus on children facing the threats of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
Elevate Children Funders Group’s overarching goal is to elevate the importance of investing in children and youth as a primary means of achieving sustainable human, social and economic development, all of which are critical to furthering global human rights, peace and security.
ECFG works under the assumption that international policies and programs, and the funding that supports them, need to continue to keep up with the evidence that stresses the critical importance of investing early, holistically and during the entire lifecycle. In order to elevate the entire field, ECFG engages foundations that address diverse segments within the full lifecycle of children and youth affected by adversity. Forging stronger linkages between various issues in the protection of children across all the stages of their growth is ECFG’s fundamental goal.
Our Strategic Objectives
Within this new mission, ECFG has set for itself a series of strategic objectives, which will guide its work over the upcoming three years. Ultimately, these objectives will translate into a portfolio of programs and services offered to members and others.
2017-2019 Strategic Objectives:
Strengthened grantcraft and effectiveness of ECFG’s member community of philanthropic foundations
Increased and more effective philanthropy that targets children facing adversity
Enhanced profile of ECFG among stakeholders working to support children facing adversity
In 2009, the Oak Foundation convened a group of nearly 20 philanthropic foundations to discuss the possibility of convening a private donor collaborative on child protection. These conversations led to the creation of the Children and Violence Evaluation Challenge Fund in 2010, a pooled funding initiative of several of those foundations. In 2010, the Oak Foundation hosted another foundation meeting – The Partnership for Children: Reducing Reliance on Residential Institutions. The objective of the meeting was to convene a donor collaborative on de-institutionalization. It was agreed not to form a collective focused entirely on de-institutionalization but to continue the discussions on broader child protection related issues. These discussions led to the formation of the Child Protection Funders Group in 2011. In 2014, the group changed its name to Elevate Children Funders Group (ECFG) in an effort to see the field more broadly than just being about child protection. At the root of the name change lay a clear mission intention – to elevate the place of children in all conversations about development and sustainability and to elevate the roles and effectiveness of foundations working to benefit children around the globe.
In 2016, ECFG’s embarked on a strategic review process to refine key elements of its work and to increase its relevance to the philanthropic field during its next chapter. This process resulted in a three-year strategic plan to be implemented between 2017 and 2019. Over the next three years, ECFG will use its collective convening power to respond to the shifting global political landscapes and to support advocacy efforts around policy and build bridges to policymakers to forge strategic alliances and ensure that children and youth’s issues are elevated.
What is a funders group or network?
The Council of Foundations defines funder networks (or groups) as organizations founded by grantmakers who have common interests. The first funder networks were formed in the early 1980s and provide opportunities for grantmakers with common interests to meet each other, share knowledge and encourage collaborative funding. Some funder networks are formed around the identity of the population served. Some are formed around particular grant issue areas and others are formed around position and function.
Elevate Children Funders Group (ECFG) was formed around an issue area and has an international focus. As a funders group, ECFG general oversight is provided by a Steering Committee and operated by a Secretariat.
What issues do ECFG members fund or engage around?
ECFG members fund or engage around children and youth affected by adversity, from birth to adolescence with a focus on children facing the threats of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
Who can apply to join?
Membership in ECFG is open to philanthropic foundations, private, public and operating, as well as donor advisors and donor advised funds who meet the following criteria:
- Must be committed to supporting children and youth affected by adversity, from birth to adolescence with a focus on children facing the threats of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
- Primary activity must be grantmaking in that greater than 50% of the annual budget is allocated to grantmaking activities.
- The majority of grant resources must come from non-governmental sources.
ECFG membership, including meetings and activities, are only available to staff whose primary function is grantmaking at such institutions. Fundraising or development staff are not eligible for participation in ECFG activities and programs.
You can contact the Secretariat staff directly to learn about how you can apply to join ECFG.
Is there a fee to join?
While ECFG has not had a membership fee between 2011-2017, the Steering Committee has agreed to instate a membership fee in 2018. Annual membership dues are on a sliding scale, based on your organization’s overall grantmaking budget. More information about the fee structure will be provided in the coming months.
How do I join or register for ECFG events?
ECFG events are open to ECFG members and invited foundation representatives. If you are a foundation representative (that meets ECFG membership criteria) and interested in attending an event or learning more about joining ECFG, please contact the Secretariat.
What are the benefits of ECFG membership?
By coming together as a group of funders, ECFG members strengthen their individual grantmaking, putting into practice what they require their partners to do: collaborate, coordinate and communicate effectively. Benefits for individual members include:
- Discounted registration for the annual general meeting
- Members-only in-person learning events, funders roundtable discussions, and meetings to strategize and align priorities
- Members-only virtual discussions via webinars, teleconferences and online communities of practice
- Digital networking and learning resources, including access to: ECFG monthly newsletter, members-only section of the ECFG website; and exclusive resources such as webinar recordings, funding analyses and white papers
- Login credentials to the member-only portal where you can connect to philanthropic peers and find potential funding collaborators via our internal funding mapping tool
- Opportunities to promote your events, job opportunities, and news via the ECFG website, online portal or newsletter
- Peer support, learning about content and strategy from other member’s work
- Participating and chairing members-only working groups
- Engaging in opportunities for co-funding, aligned funding, pooled funding and joint activities
- Attending, voting at and hosting the AGM
- Representing ECFG in coordination with the Secretariat, in public events or partnership initiatives
Is ECFG a grantmaking organization?
No, ECFG is not a grantmaking organization. While our members may pool funds to support a specific research or advocacy initiative, as an entity, ECFG does not distribute grants.
Can ECFG staff connect grantseekers to grantmakers?
No, ECFG staff are unable to connect grantseekers to grantmakers. ECFG is a fundraising free space for foundations to share information, learn and collaborate. The staff would like to maintain this safe space for open collaboration, which our members value. While we receive a lot of requests from potential grantseekers, we are not in a position to connect individuals to or share concept notes with our members. We recommend that you visit our members individual websites for information about their grantmaking cycles and practices.
ECFG offers a portfolio of services to our members and the broader field. As a platform for raising the philanthropic field through shared best practices, elevated grantcraft and pooled efforts, ECFG will work on the premise that it is “better together” and that the sum of the parts can drive greater sustainable change than the work of individual foundations in any given field.
The following services will be implemented through member collaboration around research and education, convenings, working groups and incubated initiatives:
Our Steering Committee represents the diversity of ECFG members topical and geographic interests and grantmaking institutions working in the field of children and youth affected by adversity. The Steering Committee provides overall guidance on ECFG’s strategy, services and programs.
Ken GoodyFoundation Executive, Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation
Maureen Greenwood-BaskenInterim Director, Children Rights Program, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Mark GuySenior Program Officer, GHR Foundation (Chair)
Emma StevensonHead of Learning & Strategy, Comic Relief
Martial ParisManaging Partner, WISE Philanthropy Advisors
Senior Program Officer, GHR Foundation (Chair)
Mark is a Senior Program Officer for GHR Foundation’s global development program where he focuses on leveraging child protection interventions that strengthen families, respond to children outside of family care and drive further evidence of innovative, pro-family approaches. He also supports global and domestic early childhood development programs for Better Way Foundation.
Mark previously served as the Africa regional coordinator for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program at PATH, a global health non-profit organization based in Seattle. His primary responsibilities included managing a portfolio of WASH initiatives in multiple East African countries, expanding the reach of WASH innovations into additional geographies. His experience includes business development cultivation, strategic planning, proposal development, international program management and evaluation and global market landscaping and analysis. Guy’s non-profit career began with his volunteer service as a math and physical science teacher for WorldTeach at a junior secondary boarding school outside of Gobabis, Namibia.
Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from St. Olaf College.
Head of Learning & Strategy, Comic Relief
Emma joined Comic Relief in 2016, where she is Senior Investment & Funding Partner. She is responsible for developing new and innovative global funding opportunities, as well as leading the organisations’ Social Change strategy. Exploring how best to engage stakeholders and influence behaviours and policy on big global issues to greatest effect.
Emma has almost 20 years’ experience of working in the public and NGO sector, developing strategy and policy on a range of issues including child sexual exploitation and safeguarding, gender based violence and child & adolescent mental health. She is passionate about effective engagement and participation and has co-designed programmes with young people on a range of issues ensuring young people are listened to and their voices heard.
Managing Partner, WISE Philanthropy Advisors
Martial advises individuals and foundations in the areas of projects identification, strategic planning, grants management and impact evaluation. Martial draws on a broad and multifaceted experience in the social development field, and has visited or contributed to over 150 projects in close to 20 countries in South East Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. Previously, Martial managed projects in the field, including projects for local economic development and human rights in South East Europe and in the Caucasus. He lectures on project management and impact assessment to several Swiss non-profit organizations.
ECFG staff was established to operationalize and implement ECFG’s services, functions and activities. The Staff operates under the guidance and direction of the Steering Committee.
Heather HamiltonExecutive Director
Heather joined ECFG as Executive Director in June 2020. Heather brings more than two decades of social change leadership experience to the position. She most recently served as Deputy Executive Director and Interim Executive Director at Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 1,200 organizations in over 95 countries working to end child marriage and achieve gender equality. Previously, she worked at the UNICEF Asia-Pacific Regional Office on the Public Finance for Children Initiative; as Executive Director of the Connect U.S. Fund, a multi-foundation grant-making initiative supporting more responsible U.S. foreign policy; and as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at Citizens for Global Solutions, a U.S. national membership organization. She holds an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University.
Nancy joined ECFG as Associate in a part-time role in May 2020. She most recently served as the Learning Coordinator for the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a donor collaborative that sought to catalyze innovation and systemic change around access to quality and relevant secondary education. In this role, she helped to coordinate knowledge sharing and collaboration among PSIPSE donors as well as grantee partners working in eight countries. Nancy also draws from diverse experiences, including internships with Wellspring Philanthropic Fund supporting their Global Children Rights and Education programs, USAID Nigeria supporting their HIV/AIDS & TB and Program Offices, and with an early childhood education non-profit in the Philippines. She serves on the Operational Board of Reclaim Childhood, a non-profit organization that creates safe and inclusive spaces for refugee and local girls in Jordan to thrive by playing sports, working with coaches, and building community.
Nancy received her B.A. from Williams College in Political Science with a focus on Comparative Politics and spent a period abroad studying Urbanization and Rural Development in Madagascar with the School for International Training (SIT).
Our members consist of philanthropic foundations, private and public, as well as donor advisors and donor advised funds. Our current membership includes the following:
* A few ECFG members wish to remain anonymous.