Our Approach



Genuine partnership is fundamental to our approach. Partnership is also a widely overused term. For us, we think of it as an equal and mutually supportive relationship.


A true partnership is based on equality and reciprocity, not a one-directional transaction or unequal power dynamic. In the context of our work, we believe we have become true partners when:

  • Each party is a vital source of honest, valued feedback and critical thinking for the other(s)

  • Each party acts as a thought partner and trusted advisor to the other(s)

  • Total trust and openness to sharing learning, ‘failures’ and developments exists


We know that achieving this takes time – often years - to build and we invest significant time and resources in building open and trusted relationships with our partners.


We don’t get it right every time. This level of relationship is what we aspire to though because we believe it is a vital component to achieving our collective responsibility of lasting positive change in the communities we work with and for.



We take a ‘place-based’ approach, meaning that we focus upon specific geographic contexts and communities, rather than focusing upon specific thematic areas. You can read more about our rationale for this here.


We support work in Thailand, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Nepal as well as in the Philippines. However, we have made – for the time being at least - the explicit choice to strongly focus upon organizations working in Tondo and Metro Manila in particular.



We fund flexibly and each partnership is based upon the needs and context of that partner. As working principles, our funding is unrestricted and we expect there to be learning, iteration and development.


We see our role as supporting achieving shared outcomes in communities, rather than contracting specific services.


Our approach is evolving as we learn and get feedback from our partners. Some of the principles that we seek to hold ourselves to account on and that guide us when we build new partnerships are:

  • Genuinely shared values, mindset and organisational culture

  • A genuine commitment of learning, openness and collaborative working

  • Being deeply embedded in a community and placing people at the centre of all work

  • An in-depth awareness of needs, assets and root causes driving the current situation in a community – and how these interconnect

  • Knowledge of the multiple stakeholders in a community

  • A solid understanding of the different opportunities for change in a community – and which ones they are best-placed to work on

  • A clear sense of the role their intervention plays in improving outcomes in communities collaboratively



You can read much more about our approach and our current learning in our blogs here

Copyright 2020, Firetree PTC Limited.