How small foundations can punch above their weight

By Meg Stringer 28 August 2015

A storage and shop of a youth co-op in Mwaro Province, Burundi, a project supported by the King Baudouin Foundation. In 2014, KBF distributed about 9.5 million euros in grants in developing countries, with Africa taking the largest share. Photo by: Teddy Mazina / King Baudouin Foundation

When it comes to international development, the Brussels-based King Baudouin Foundation is a relatively small player. Focused on Africa, its visibility pales in comparison to big donors based in the Belgian capital, including the European Commission.

Yet as KBF Managing Director Luc Tayart de Borms explained, nongovernmental organizations and charitable bodies shouldn’t rule out working with foundations such as the KBF: If your mission or project aligns with theirs, he said, small foundations can make for great partners.

KBF runs much like a community foundation. Private citizens and corporations, mostly in Belgium, use KBF for their philanthropic investments.

“They choose us because of our knowledge, experience and administrative capacity to independently realize their philanthropic vision,” Tayart de Borms said.

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About the author

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Meg Stringer

Meg Stringer is a freelance reporter based in Brussels, Belgium. As well as reporting on EU development, she works with NGOs, think tanks and other clients on communications and fundraising. Meg's interest in development first began in Accra, Ghana, where she wrote grant applications for a community organization during her study abroad from Hamilton College in her native upstate New York. She owes her first job out of college to her experience at a Devex career fair in Boston. Later she attended Georgetown University for a Master's in Government, giving her a solid foundation in both American and European approaches to development.


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