How our funding works
From dollars to impact
From defining our strategic areas of focus, to finding impact partners, reporting and reviewing, and committing dollars to impact – this is how our impact process and funding cycles work.
Creating funding streams
As a social enterprise, owned 100% by our Charitable Trust, our primary funding stream is created by designing and creating world-class products, and finding world-class partners to help us scale.
Just like any other business, at the end of the financial year, once our finances are audited, we post an annual dividend to our Charitable Trust.
Find out more about all-for structure here.
Defining strategic focus areas
Once the dividends have been confirmed to be distributed, the Charitable Trust discusses and sets strategic priorities for where the funding should be used. We create a framework that guides our giving, and gives us a clear focus which is super helpful – especially when the need (and therefore the amount of funding opportunities for Thankyou to partner with) is overwhelming.
For example, in the round of grants given in FY21, the Charitable Trust decided to open up funding focuses from Maternal and Child Health and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) to broader focuses like economic development, food security, health, and systems change grants.
Finding impact partners
Once the strategic priorities have been formed, we set out to find global partners. We look at partners who are impact driven, systems focused, have a sustainable endgame and have a remarkable team. See more about our impact criteria here.
These impact partners usually come highly recommended to us, or we have met and have seen their work first-hand. Over the last decade, we have met partners from every part of the globe who each have different structures, sizes and types of approaches.
An update for potential partners looking to partner with Thankyou: We have already committed to partnerships for this funding cycle, which means unfortunately we’re unable to commit to any new funding partnerships in the next 12 months. Please check back to see if this has changed at the end of 2023.
Once we narrow down our short-list of potential impact partners, we engage in a formal due diligence process.
As we are unrestricted partners, we take great care in evaluating the organisation.
We look for:
- Alignment to our goal of serving people living in extreme poverty.
- Compliance to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s (ACNC) external conduct standards. The ACNC is the governing body which oversees charities in Thankyou’s operational jurisdiction.
These standards require charities to take reasonable steps to ensure appropriate standards of behaviour, governance and oversight when undertaking activities or providing funding overseas. They are intended to promote transparency and provide confidence that resources sent, or services provided, overseas reach legitimate beneficiaries and are used for legitimate charitable purposes. The standards also seek to protect vulnerable people overseas.
They outline appropriate requirements across the area of financial controls, recordkeeping standards, anti-fraud and corruption, and protection of vulnerable individuals.
- Compliance with local regulations (inclusive of obtaining appropriate registration and certifications)
- Compliance with the four grant criteria: impactful, system focused, sustainable endgame and a remarkable team. These steps enable us to have a perspective on both an organisation’s past and future performance.
This stage involves multiple rounds of face-to-face interviews (either in person or over Zoom) with the potential impact partner, while we review documentation of process and evidence of the above.
Test fund / renewal fund
For all new partners we give a one-off test grant. We call this the ‘getting to know you’ grant. We acknowledge that even with the best due diligence process, we can only truly learn about the impact partners’ team, values, and their compliances with the above standards over an extended period between 9–12 months.
For existing partners, we may give a multi-year grant.
Both sets of partners receive unrestricted grants. Find out why we believe in this approach here.
During the year, we monitor our impact partners organisational performance according to their achievement of their milestones/goals. These milestones track the organisation’s performance on key indicators such as their impact goals (e.g. reach 100,000 with sustainable water services in x region), as well as their non-program goals (e.g. invest in a monitoring and evaluation digital system that accurately captures and tracks water coverage).
A partner may choose to do either a quarterly report or a half-yearly report.
We may also choose to visit a partner and their field teams if it is safe to do so.
Discover more about our partners and their latest milestones here.
Review and recommitment
After the completion of the grant, we undertake a final evaluation. This includes reviewing their milestones, and their impact on outcome-specific data. We may also choose to visit a partner and their field teams to verify reporting.
You can see our previous partner final reports here.
In the event we choose to fund the partner again, their grant renewal process begins at stage 4.