Our Purpose & Operating Models 

In fast changing times, with Europe facing increasingly complex social challenges, strategic collaboration through pooled funding is even more relevant for foundations.

Pooling funds- pooling strengths

Rationally designed, pooled funding maximizes funding for an issue. It also yields additional benefits. By joining a pooled fund, foundations can explore new issues. They minimize the risks (or investment required) to venture into unchartered territories.

By pooling their strengths and social capital, foundations also improve their knowledge on the issue and accelerate the transfer of good practices and innovation. Finally, they build the voice of the philanthropic community on the issue, increasing its influence.

NEF collaborative projects are open to foundations interested in partnering on issues of interest to increase their impact.

Our operating models

When entering a project into its portfolio, NEF can undertake two different roles:

  • Hosting platform’, where NEF provides purely administrative and financial support to hosted projects;
  • Cultivation hub’, where NEF plays a more extensive role aligned with the NEF moto of ‘partnering for impact’ and projects aligned around field building.

Collaboration is at the heart of NEF’s purpose. As a cultivator, NEF provides strategic and programmatic support to its ‘nurtured’ projects, as well as access to a community of projects, while ensuring that hosting functions are also delivered.

Most of the current NEF portfolio is constituted by projects ‘cultivated’ through NEF.

NEF ‘Cultivated donor collaboratives’ are about

Supporting partnership building

Through the set-up of a donor collaborative project at NEF, foundation partners agree on common goals and on ways of working together

NEF functions as a neutral platform where all partners come together on equal footing

NEF identifies and provides structure to the right project staff

NEF brings its programme management expertise (roll out of calls for proposals…)

NEF brings its programme management expertise (roll out of calls for proposals…)

Aiming at strengthening a field

NEF funding targets small or under-funded organisations in the civil society sector

NEF aims at strengthening the capacity of its partners’ organisations by offering tailored support and fostering exchanges between peers – its ‘Funding Plus’ approach

NEF believes in the ‘learning by doing’ approach, in the value of experimentation

NEF fosters synergies and intersections across its portfolio of projects

NEF offers a flexible canvas: the collaborative projects can adapt NEF’s operating models to their needs, within the parameters of NEF’s operational framework.

In a nutshell, NEF’s role of advisor, support and legal responsibility of the donor collaborative is streamlined in the:

Financial Management

Grants Management

HR Management

Project Relations

Testimonials from our partners