The way we work

We get the best results by working with partners who know the most about the areas we want to support. We support programmes managed by knowledgeable, innovative and well-regarded organisations that are experts in their fields.

Applying for funding

We do not accept unsolicited proposals.

Our principles

Everything we do is guided by our operating principles:

  • We create relationships based on trust.
  • We create the highest value possible with our resources.
  • We cut through complexity in all our processes.
  • We institutionalise learning and knowledge sharing.
  • We engage in transparent collaboration.
  • We dare to take risks and sometimes be the rebel in the sector.
  • We aim to live up to the standards that we are promoting.

Long-term, ongoing support

We support a wide range of programmes that help families afford a better everyday life and protect the planet, as well as programmes that help refugees and other displaced people become self-reliant in their new communities.

We also support pilot projects that can both make an impact now and be a good model for future programmes.

All programmes are designed to help people help themselves to a better life. They have a definite time limit and are often designed in close co-operation with local and national governments to ensure sustainability.

Grants for emergency relief

We provide unrestricted core support to nonprofit partners working in emergency situations (such as a flood, famine, war or earthquake). Sadly, we get far more requests for emergency funding than we can support. We take each of those requests seriously and have an emergency funding strategy that guides our decisions. Our strategy mostly focuses on supporting nonprofit partners to meet people’s needs in the immediate aftermath of a crisis.

We believe our emergency partners are best placed to decide when and how to respond to crises. Placing financial support with an organisation at the start of the year means they can allocate funds as the year progresses. This often means that our funding goes to crises that are unseen or get neglected over time.

Not only does our approach help prevent human suffering, it also means our partners can react much earlier to crises that could potentially escalate. More and more of our partners work with communities before a crisis happens to help them prepare in advance. 

We do not usually give funding if there is already an IKEA Company or Unit present in the country. Under the IKEA Group Charity Policy, IKEA Companies or Units act within their communities, leading by example and being a good neighbour. Under this policy, the IKEA Company or Unit co-ordinates with the organisations working in the emergency situation to provide the support they need. If there is already an IKEA Company or Unit in the country, then funding requests should be sent to them.


Our partners have to demonstrate every year that funds have been used properly and according to original intentions. Concept notes are developed by the partners in close consultation with the Foundation’s administration. The Board decides whether the proposed programmes are within the Foundation’s charter and in line with our expectations for financial and operational efficiency as well as reflecting IKEA core values.

A positive decision by the Board will require development of a detailed programme proposal, focused on creating a baseline, setting programme objectives and establishing key performance indicators that will be used to measure annual progress and ultimate programme achievement.