What We Do
We support people, grassroots organisations and networks that are building more inclusive, equitable and just futures in the communities in which we collectively work.
We do this through three inter-connected strands of work listed below. Please click on each icon for further details.
This is our core funding work. We focus by geography, rather than by a specific thematic area. We give unrestricted grants (or other types of financing, as appropriate) and thought partnership support, where we can, to values aligned social purpose organizations and networks.
Our partners are embedded in the communities they work with, are deeply collaborative and multi-faceted in their approach. We aim to develop deep, open relationships that are based on trust, mutual respect, flexibility, learning and shared values.
We know this takes time - often years - and it is not easy. In our experience having patience and allowing the necessary time is the only way to tackle power dynamics, to fund effectively and, most importantly, to achieve our shared goals with partners.
We don’t get it right every time, and we’re learning all the time. This is what we strive for though. For more details please see the How We Work and Where We Work pages. We find partners through our networks and through referrals from existing partners. (back to top)
Connecting, Learning & Sharing
Our own experience running non-profits and the experience of our partners is that connecting, learning and sharing is a fundamental part of achieving long-term change.
As this is a key component that we look for in our partners, so we must work to embody this ourselves. We aim to do this through:
Regular blogs to openly share our learning and share insights / resources from our partners.
Funding networks and coalitions, where appropriate.
We will commission specific research in areas of interest to our partners and ourselves to contribute to shared learning. (back to top)
In special circumstances, we develop or incubate collaborative initiatives, all of which share the same overall approach and values as the other strands of Firetree Philanthropy’s work . These circumstances include:
1.When a clear gap exists in a current context we are focused upon, where we have direct applicable knowledge / experience of the problem(s) and can work with others to play a role in directly designing interventions to address these.
Tondo Community Initiative (TCI) is an example of this. TCI is an initiative in partnership with the community of Tondo, Manila and Stairway Foundation. It is a separate legal entity that receives financial and, where possible, thought partnership support from Firetree Philanthropy. TCI collaborates with stakeholders in Tondo and Metro Manila at large. You can read more about TCI here.
2. When grassroots changemakers that we know well (often through years of our partnership funding work) are seeking to explore a particular context or system further. Typically this new venture is outside their organisation's existing projects but is part of their next steps to see how they can continue to contribute to systemic change in their communities.
These changemakers are all deeply connected to or from the contexts and systems they are exploring and have a track record of working to shift them to become more inclusive, equitable and just.
The starting point usually initially involves several months of funding and, only where we can add value, thought partnership support from Firetree Philanthropy to the individual(s) involved.
We view this as a fellowship programme. The Fellowship is designed to enable changemakers to (re)map the needs and root causes, to (re)map stakeholders, identify any gaps and test their assumptions.
From this in-depth mapping and research phase, if a decision is taken to develop a collaborative initiative this may be incubated within Firetree. The aim of the fellowship though is to enable changemakers to have the time and space to learn / un-learn / re-learn as they see fit to explore what further role they could collaboratively play in a system or context.
What may or may not develop out of this is entirely dependent upon the research findings that are done. Either way, the outputs of this phase will be shared more broadly. (back to top)