Private funding of humanitarian work is changing – from having been primarily targeted at natural disaster response, in 2015, the response to the conflict in Syria received the majority of reported private funds. With most private funding channeled through non-governmental rather than governments or multi-lateral organizations, understanding current developments in private funding flows and mechanisms has become more pertinent than ever for NGOs.

The fifth session of PHAP’s and ICVA’s learning stream on humanitarian financing focused on the growing potential of private funding in the humanitarian sector. Participants were provided with an overview of the main existing private funding mechanisms, with a particular focus on emerging trends and key challenges for NGOs, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.


Charlotte Lattimer Charlotte Lattimer Senior Policy and Engagement Advisor, Development Initiatives
Annemieke Tsike-Sossah Annemieke Tsike-Sossah Head of Portfolio, Humanitarian Sector, IKEA Foundation
Rebecca Davies Rebecca Davies Global Humanitarian Fundraising Consultant, Save the Children International


Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, PHAP
Melissa Pitotti Melissa Pitotti Head of Policy, ICVA

Briefing paper

ICVA has prepared an explanatory briefing paper on the discussions during the event. You can access the document in English. The briefing paper will be soon available in also French and Arabic.

For additional resources on this topic, you can go here.

Recordings and follow-up

Session recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Closed captions available in English

Sous-titré en français

الترجمات متوفرة باللغة العربية

Session recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Session recording (audio podcast)

Introductory whiteboard video

Learning stream on humanitarian financing

As part of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, this event was the fifth of six live interactive online learning sessions that ICVA and PHAP have organized between September 2016 and March 2017 with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian financing system.

Recommended resources

Geneva Humanitarian Connector

This event was made possible through the Geneva Humanitarian Connector, an initiative of PHAP supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Learning objectives

  • Awareness of the primary factors that drive funding from the private sector to the humanitarian sector
  • Familiarity with different sources of private funding, including donations, trusts, foundations, and fundraising campaigns
  • Awareness of the main trends and challenges regarding NGO access to private funding sources
  • Knowledge of the different sources of information on private funding

Target audience and event access

The stream specifically targets NGO staff, including field, policy and HQ staff, but all live sessions are open to anyone interested in improving their understanding of humanitarian financing.

PHAP Credentialing Program

PHAP Credentialing Program

Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem

This event will help you prepare for the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem.

In particular, the event will address segment 2.6 of the certification assessment outline. It will also address some aspects of segments 1.7, and 2.5.

Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program