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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has made significant financial inclusion strides by utilizing innovation and investment to broaden the reach of digital payment systems and financial services. When BMGF sought to optimally allocate their grant funding in their quest to build an enabling environment in developing nations, GivingWorks aided BMGF in developing a stronger understanding of investment needs and existing resources within the digital financial inclusion space.


GivingWorks undertook a three-pronged analysis: identifying need drivers and key patterns; researching the donor landscape; and recommending a strategy for BMGF to engage with the highest-impact resource mobilization opportunities and with other key players in the space. Leveraging this understanding of players and of possibilities, the GivingWorks team identified promising partnership and advocacy opportunities with bilateral and multilateral donor institutions, and outlined potential connections to BMGF’s work on climate change, agriculture, and other development priorities.

Development Marketplace

The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) competition aims to create a marketplace of ideas, talent, and resources that address poverty and development challenges. Established in 1998, DM is a “venture capital fair” for social entrepreneurs with big ideas, little capital, and the drive to demonstrate new approaches to global problems. When the DM team sought to review and update its strategy, GivingWorks was engaged to help assess DM’s performance and retool its thinking, including developing a set of strategic options along with value and trade-offs associated with each. To gather evidence, GivingWorks consulted with a range of stakeholders, including contestants, development experts, and social entrepreneurs. GivingWorks’ analysis and recommendations helped DM sharpen its focus, taking into account the changing landscape of social entrepreneurs.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

 Helped define the unique contemporary role, obstacles and opportunities before African American museums for the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

IMLS is the single largest grantmaker for museums and libraries in the US. To discuss and define the unique role of African American museums in the 21st century, the Institute convened 30 museum leaders and visionaries from across the country, including the founding director of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. GivingWorks helped these talented experts tackle the implications and opportunities of shifting demographics and technologies, increasing competition, constrained funding, and growing professionalism in the field.


GivingWorks played three distinct roles in this endeavor. First, we helped launch and frame the discussion by presenting a strategic overview of the evolution of African American museums as expressions of resistance and identity. Second, we designed and facilitated a lively discussion to help IMLS and its stakeholders to debate and prioritize what needed to be done to protect and strengthen these institutions – in fundraising, marketing and outreach, curatorial excellence, museum operations, governance, partnerships, and access to field resources. Finally, the synthesis report authored by GivingWorks was well-received by the museum community and used by IMLS “to guide our agency in the development of a new initiative designed to serve museums nationally.”

Read the report...

Open Societies Foundations


The International Advisory Board of the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundations Network engaged GivingWorks to conduct an independent, in-depth study of staff and board perspectives and to help staff around the world engage in a process of thoughtful self-reflection about the strategic, organizational and managerial aspects of their work. 

The project was designed and implemented with the guidance of a specially-constituted committee of the Board.  GivingWorks employed several information gathering techniques to gather confidential input from a diverse group of staff and Board members (of 0SI and its 35+ affiliated foundations worldwide), analysis and synthesis of primary data around resource and programmatic trends, observation of internal and public fora, small focus groups, and a suite of in-depth questionnaires tailored to distinct staff functions and overarching themes. The findings were presented to and discussed with the Board, yielding valuable insights into the nature and evolution of the Network as well as its future challenges and opportunities.

General Motors Foundation


The General Motors Foundation engaged GivingWorks to develop potential “Big Ideas” that could help anchor its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) portfolio, enhance its social impact, and build a more visible CSR presence.  Building on client consultations, a balanced assessment of the company’s assets and comparative advantages, the scope of societal needs domestically and internationally, and feasibility especially under challenging and uncertain business conditions, GivingWorks presented several innovative and game-changing CSR concepts – primarily focused on leveraging technology to engage youth as problem solvers and change agents – along with high-level implementation requirements.

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