Who We Are

The International Education Funders Group (IEFG) is the largest global network of philanthropic actors funding education. We are all passionately engaged in
local, national and international grant-making within diverse organisations, with differing priorities and individual strategies but a shared belief in the power of education and a shared drive to urgently improve the performance of education systems worldwide.

The emergence of the IEFG follows several foundations’ efforts since 2008 to informally convene foundations and donor-advised funds engaged in education grantmaking in the developing world.  The group has grown organically from 14 members in 2010 to around 90 grantmakers today.

The members of the IEFG believe that philanthropy must do more and better to achieve the fourth Sustainable Development Goal. They thoughtfully employ philanthropy to foster change. They prioritise local voices, equitable access, and innovation, working collaboratively to transform education and empower communities for a sustainable, inclusive future that respects diverse perspectives and contexts.

Being a member-inspired group, our Secretariat is purposely small and light-touch, and we adhere to the principle of form following function. The Secretariat is guided by a Steering Committee of 8 – 11 IEFG members, balanced to reflect the diversity of geographies, scale, and funding types within the wider membership.

The IEFG Steering Committee asks that each member financially contributes to the network. In keeping with previous years, members choose the amount given, with a recommended amount based upon the annual grantmaking budget of the organisation.

As of 1 July 2020, IEFG is hosted by Global Dialogue, registered as a charity (1122052) and a limited company (05775827) in England and Wales.

Our Key Activities

  • Monthly newsletters to keep up on the field curated by the Secretariat and by member recommendations. (This is one of the most valued aspects of the group for both active and quiet members).
  • Annual member meetings focused on key issues in the field, as determined and planned by the membership. We also hold ad-hoc member meet-ups, as requested, to both learn and network.
  • Convening space to tap into the international education agendas: We host the Global Partnership for Education – Private Foundations Constituency and serve as its official focal point, as well as provide opportunities for foundations to interact and feed into the UN’s 2030 SDG4 Education Steering Committee, the Global Education Monitoring Report, and bilateral and multilateral actors in the education space.
  • Formal and informal regional meet-ups around global education and/or philanthropy events.

Our Key Themes

The following is an incomplete list of issues on which IEFG members focus their grantmaking:

– Academic learning outcomes
– Capacity building
– Child protection
– Children and youth with special needs
– Disabilities
– Education and climate change
– Education in emergencies
– Education technology
– Employability
– Foundational literacy and numeracy
– Gender education
– Health education
– Holistic learning outcomes
– Human rights
– Inclusive education
– Out of school children and youth
– Peace education
– Racial justice / decolonisation
– Research and evidence use
– Research and evidence generation
– Social and emotional learning
– Social justice
– Teachers

Our Members

IEFG has around 90 member organisations around the world including foundations such as:

Asfari Foundation
The BHP Foundation
JBJ Foundation
Maitri Trust

Our People

IEFG Steering Committee

The International Education Funders Group (IEFG) is member-led, guided by a Steering Committee that reflects the broad diversity of our group. These volunteers donate their time, expertise and experience to the proceedings of the network for a term of three to four years. We welcome new members to the Steering Committee each year, and are happy to hear of your interest.

Simon Sommer

Simon Sommer
Jacobs Foundation

Faith Rose
BHP Foundation
(United States)

Casper Thulstrup

Casper Thulstrup
Hempel Foundation

Raman Sidhu
Octava Foundation

Carolyne Ng’eny
Firelight Foundation
(United States)

Guilherme Barros
Lemann Foundation

Ida Thyregod
The LEGO Foundation

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer
Queen Rania Foundation

Robert Palmer

Emilio López
Tinker Foundation
(United States)

Robert Palmer

Malakeh El Haj
Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation
(United Arab Emirates)

Robert Palmer

Raymond Chipfakacha
Higherlife Foundation

IEFG Secretariat

Secretariat support is based in Denmark, Kenya, Pakistan, Chile, and Germany.

Spings Akumah

Spings Akumah
Finance and Administration Manager

Leonora Dowley

Leonora Dowley
Senior Lead, Philanthropic Coalitions

Jo Kelcey

Barbara Hanisch-Cerda
Lead, Knowledge Curation

Gordana Kelava

Gordana Kelava
Programme and Communications Manager

Aamna Pasha

Anjali Nambiar
IEFG Fellow, Education Technology

Laura Savage

Laura Savage
Executive Director

Aamna Pasha

Aamna Pasha
Associate, Regional Education Philanthropy