Impact partner profile
African Visionary Fund
Driving more funding to African social change-makers to accelerate their impact
The African Visionary Fund is a new venture that aims to find and channel unrestricted and unburdensome funding to high-impact African social change-makers. The aim is to transform development across the continent through local leaders and organisations, while simultaneously tackling inequities, injustices and power imbalances in grantmaking. They believe that driving funding to those most proximate to the issues ensures that the hopes and aspirations of each member within the communities helps to inform the solutions that are being developed.
Upending traditional funding streams is at the core of African Visionary Fund’s model. Utilising the knowledge and expertise of leading incubators, fellowships and accelerators across the African continent, the African Visionary Fund gives donors access to a well-vetted pipeline of locally-led organisations which have the potential to transform millions of lives.
Dozens of social change-makers are partnering with African Visionary Fund to develop innovative solutions that are sustainable and just, for local, low-income communities.
These solutions are built to tackle the challenges they face—from education quality, to hygiene and sanitation, through to gender-based violence, and more. By steering funding towards these social change-makers, they are able to implement these solutions at a community level. African leaders live, go to school, access healthcare, and work among the communities they are seeking to partner with—so they understand their context, know what works and what doesn’t, and are able to collaborate in a creative and cost-effective way. Leveraging social change-makers helps accelerate their impact and drive transformational change within these communities, whilst enabling flexible funding with localised, on-the-ground capacity and development support.
The African Visionary Fund believes that those most proximate to on-the-ground issues are the best ones to lead change. That’s why they encourage anyone looking to make a difference in the world, to find the leaders who have lived experience with the problems they seek to solve. Their advice is to listen, and follow their lead.
Core impact goals
Increase percent of grantee partners receiving new funding
The African Visionary Fund (AVF) hopes to increase the percentage of their grantee partners who are receiving new funding from outside funders due to connections or referrals made by the AVF team.
Increase number of new funders supporting African social change-makers
The African Visionary Fund aims to increase the numbers of new funders supporting African social change-makers directly because of support from the AVF, or those who increase their funding of African social change-makers through the AVF.
Increase percent of African Visionary Fund grantee partners growing in depth or breadth
The African Visionary Fund is aiming to increase the percent of grantee partners who have grown in either the depth or breadth of their impact after receiving funding.
Type of grant funding given
FY2022 impact milestones Read more Show less
- Disburse $1.4M in grants to 23-25 African Visionary Partners.
- Deliver catalytic portfolio services to 15 African Visionary Partners to accelerate their growth and innovation goals.
- Raise $2-3M in new funding commitments, totalling $6-7M towards 2023 goal.
FY2021 impact milestones
Funded grant: $300,000 AUD
12 month unrestricted funded grant (July 2021 - June 2022)
Make grant commitments totalling $750k to 8-10 African Visionary Partners by June 2021.
African Visionary Fund (AVF) gave $1M USD in multiyear commitments to African visionaries. AVF planned to do two selection processes in 2021: one in Q2 and one in Q4 with each bringing in 4-5 new partners. However, they realised it was more efficient to do one larger round so they could focus on organisational objectives, such as reviewing their grant making criteria and selection. This resulted in 6 African visionaries receiving funds, with plans for the next round of grants to reach 8-10 partners.
Raise $4 million in multi-year commitments by June 2021, working towards the $10.5 million by 2023 goal.
AVF raised $3.9M towards their $10.5M 2023 goal - 95% of this is unrestricted, and 80% is multiyear funding.
Continue to build a governance structure that prioritises African leadership at all levels and includes meaningful representation and grantee voice in decision-making.
AVF recruited 4 advisory board members during the grant period, 75% of whom are African. The advisory board were engaged in the first grant selection process and made grant recommendations totalling US$1M in multi-year commitments to African visionaries.
Build organisational structure that is lean, effective, and sustainable, ensuring that they drive the most value to partners possible and that their operations align to their core values.
Alongside their advisory board, AVF developed bylaws that align with their values and best practices in non-profit governance. They also created a three-year budget and preliminary staffing projection during this time, aligned with achieving their 75% grantmaking goal by the end of 2023 to ensure that they drive the most value to partners possible.