Through cooperation, collaboration, and shared resources, members strengthen their individual grantmaking and field impact, putting into practice what they often ask of their grantee partners: to collaborate, coordinate, and communicate effectively. 

benefits of membership

Why join ECFG?

As an ECFG member you can...
develop a network

Develop relationships with other like-minded funders working towards similar goals, allowing you to learn more about the broader ecosystem and share expertise within the network. 

find peer support

Find peer support with those tackling similar challenges, sharing experiences and/or collaborating to strategically solve problems.

guide field-building research

Participate in, guide, and develop learning spaces and research agendas on issues related to child rights and wellbeing, grant-craft, and philanthropy.

collaborate & learn

Access in-person and virtual spaces that support aligned thinking, collaboration, and joint action among funders in the field, as well as the sharing of resources and research.

engage in pooled funding

Engage in co-funding, aligned funding, or pooled funding with key funders in the field, leveraging resources beyond what individual funders can achieve on their own. 

influence the field

Influence the broader philanthropic and child rights and wellbeing fields, with the power and benefit of collective voice.

learn more about our activities

The Guiding Principles outline values and approaches needed to achieve our vision, and define high-level boundaries about what the network stands for. Not all ECFG members need to (or will be able to) align their work with these Principles. Rather, they provide guidance and inspiration, and enable members to advocate for these Principles within their own institutions.

Our work should always serve children and youth, and stand in solidarity with grassroots movements. We will link the analysis, visions, and dialogues of movement leaders with philanthropic funders, and ensure people with direct experience of the injustices our sector is seeking to address play an appropriate role in the process.


We should work to shift the power within our philanthropy. Participatory decision-making is essential to progress and impact.

shifting power

We should work within a rights-based framework and advance intersectional thinking – taking an inclusive approach and encouraging deeper analysis and action around how power dynamics are affected by and amplify other axes of power, including age, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, caste and ethnicity. The rights and agency of children should always be protected.

Rights Based & Intersectional

Evidence shows that investing in children and youth is a critical underpinning to achieving other sustainable development goals. To be effective, interventions should be early, cross-sectoral, address the whole child in their ecosystem, and take place during the entire lifecycle.

whole child approach

It is essential to apply a gender lens to our work, and recognise the many ways children and youth are marginalized in this context. Our work must champion gender justice and challenge patriarchy’s harmful structures and ideologies.

gender justice

Systems-change is an essential focus; we should work to transform the systems that marginalize children and youth in the first place, while also working to protect the children and youth affected by marginalization in the here and now.

systems change

Global collaboration and partnership – within our sector and beyond – is essential to progress and impact. We should focus on co-creation and work in deep collaboration and partnership across all stakeholders we engage. We recognise the many tensions that exist, and honor transparency in engaging these. We welcome difficult conversations, and seek to hold them in ways that are respectful and productive.


Working within established global frameworks (e.g. the SDGs) is needed for effective collaboration and alignment.

Common Frameworks

We should work to change the attitudes, social norms, and dominant narratives around children, particularly challenging adultism in personal and professional contexts.

Attitudes & Norms

Our support and interventions should be evidence-based; however, we are open to challenging the often WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) perceptions of what evidence is, and which evidence is credible.


Do these values align with your philanthropic work?
We would love to hear from you!

Our Guiding Principles

member commitment to

ECFG membership is on the organizational-level and participation is open to any staff person within the member organization. All members contribute financially to ECFG. Membership is open to philanthropic foundations - private, public, and operating - as well as donor advisors and donor advised funds who: 

what we're looking for

Criteria for Membership

Share a commitment to the ECFG vision and interest in working collaboratively to achieve our shared goals;

Share an aspiration to align their work with the ECFG guiding principles; 

Include child- or youth-focused grantmaking as a program, strategy, or cross-cutting focus of the organization;

Make grants (for charitable purposes) as their primary activity (i.e. grantmaking or organizational operating support to grantees constitutes at least 50% of budget). The majority of grant resources must come from non-governmental sources and grants must be open to multiple individuals or organizations.

Interested in becoming a member? Connect with us!

Send us an email to schedule a conversation with a member of our Secretariat