Three perspectives on private sector humanitarian funding in learning session

Private funding of humanitarian work is changing – from having been primarily targeted at natural disaster response, the response to the conflict in Syria received the majority of reported private funds in 2015. On 27 January, the fifth session of PHAP’s and ICVA’s learning stream on humanitarian financing gathered participants from around the world, exploring emerging trends for how the private sector engages in the humanitarian sector, as well as fundraising opportunities for humanitarian NGOs. The event featured presentations by three guest speakers coming at the topic from three different angles: research on the overall global trends, the changing role of corporate actors, and fundraising strategies for NGOs.

Charlotte Lattimer from Development Initiatives provided an overview of the current funding flows and trends from the private sector, noting an increase of private funds in the last three years. She also highlighted that most private donations come from individuals and are mainly targeted to disaster relief response, with the recent exception of Syria.

Annemieke Tsike-Sossah from IKEA Foundation focused her presentation on how her organization, a private corporate foundation, engages with NGOs at both the international and local level to reshape humanitarian response through financial support, as well as through advocacy, direct dialogue, and mutual learning.

Rebecca Davies from Save the Children International shared lessons from her experience as a fundraiser for different NGOs. Among other things, she highlighted the importance for NGOs to have a clearly defined organizational identity within the sector in order to better align and engage private donors, and pointed out the value of digital capacity for faster private outreach in the onset of a crisis.

If you missed this session, you can now find the audio and video recordings of the event at


Learning stream on humanitarian financing
This event was the fifth session of five live interactive online learning events in the learning stream on humanitarian financing that ICVA and PHAP have been organizing with the purpose of demystifying the complex humanitarian financing landscape and to provide NGOs and humanitarians with a stronger understanding of the different funding streams.

Upcoming sessions

Recordings of past sessions