We Stand Tall On The Shoulders Of Giants

Words by Pete Yao
05 April, 2017

We’re about funding sustainable solutions that last. We’re often asked how wechoose which projects to fund. Here’s the low down from our Chief Impact Officer,Pete Yao“

My bravery is inherited from the chiefs who came before me. I stand tall on theshoulders of giants” — Maori proverb

At Thankyou, we exist to commit 100% of the profits from our products to fundsustainable solutions for the most marginalised and vulnerable people living inextreme poverty (less than $1.90 a day). Together, alongside the local communityand our impact partners, we share one dream.

A world without extreme poverty.

When we look at the enormity of the global goal to eradicate poverty by 2030, weknow that no single person or organisation can achieve this goal on their own. It isonly through the combined efforts of the people we serve, our Impact Partners, ourteam, and YOU that this dream will become a reality.

We’ve had the awesome (and humbling!) privilege in partnering with these groups ofpeople to fund access to water, sanitation, food and maternal and child healthsolutions for over 700,000 people in need in 20 countries.

So, how do we choose our Impact Partners?

There are over 55,000 charities in Australia alone. Globally there’s somewhereupwards of 1.5 million charities.

Our team receives on average, between 1–2 enquiries of funding per week.Choosing who we work with is fundamental to the success of our organisation andgoal.

We partner with organisations that share the same ethos, vision and values as wedo, and together, we’re committed to serving the most marginalised and vulnerablecommunities with empowering and sustainable solutions.

That means out impact partners are committed to:

1. Learning and an evidence-based methodology. We believe how seriously anorganisation collects evidence on the impact of their programs demonstrates theintentionality and care they take in serving communities with a high-quality solution.Development is complex, so our parnters need to be flexible to refine their practicesbased on their learnings.

2. Empowering the community. While the context of each community and programis different, empowerment should always be an integral factor. It most commonlylooks like people moving away from being passive recipients to owners of changewithin their communities. This means they have the tools, knowledge andopportunities to create a better life for themselves and their families, so continuedchange occurs sustainably. Education and the transfer of skills and knowledgeunderpins every program we fund.

3. Having the best people in their organisation. We believe the greatest measureof success — business or otherwise, is the people within an organisation. Thesuccess of an evidence-based methology hinges on an organisation’s ability toattract and retain the most skilled and experienced people who are passionate aboutthe people they’re serving.

4. Capacity. We don’t want to be funders that take away vital time, energy, andresources. This means the organisation we partner with must have the capacity tomeet all of our stringent reporting requirements, which includes reporting on project
indicators, GPS coordinates and project specific information for our Track YourImpact system.

5. Transparency. Development is complex, so if a mistake happens or outcome changes, we want to learn about what happened and what needs to be changed for the project to be successful and sustainable. However, we do not fund project partners who do not openly communicate their successes, mistakes and struggles in a timely manner.

Our Impact team spend months reviewing each program, sifting through hundreds of pages of technical documentation, peer-reviewing the approach and methodology and comparing it to best practice. If needed, we also visit the project to evaluate it before we commit to funding and again once the program has been completed.

We believe the most efficient way to understand whether we’re serving people globally with the best possible sustainable solutions is to annually review our current and future partnerships according to our values.

Why do we go to these lengths?

We care deeply about the lives of the people we serve, so we want to truly understand what impact we are contributing towards.

Our rigorous process is a reflection of our belief that everyone, no matter where they were born, deserves to be served with programs that deliver sustainable outcomes for them and their communities.

Your decision to buy Thankyou products empowers us to back the dreams and visions of our project partners and communities we serve.

Because of you, we stand tall on the shoulders of giants.

— Words by Pete Yao