The way we work

An employee from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet discusses a new solar installation with local villagers in the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, India. © Sharma/Uttar Pradesh/2022

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

Our grant making 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.

Going to School supports young people in over 500 schools in Bihar state in eastern India. ©Bergerson/Bihar/2023
The Azraq refugee camp in Jordan, which hosts close to 40,000 Syrian refugees. ©UNHCR/Jordan/2017

Grants for emergency relief

While we focus on trying to solve the problem before there is a disaster, we also allocate some funding each year to respond to emergency situations. Our primary focus is on unseen emergencies – those that do not make the headlines of the global news media.

These emergencies, while just as horrifying as the ones you see in the news are increasing in frequency and impact due to climate change. Yet they receive less funding than well-publicised disasters. They tend to happen outside Europe and North America, in communities that are already vulnerable. To support those people and communities impacted, we provide a set amount of unrestricted funding to our partners like Médecins Sans Frontières and local NGOs through the Start Fund so that they can act quickly to respond where they are most needed.

We use our platform to shine a light on unseen disasters when we believe it will help to bring other funders on board.

Grant making process

The IKEA Foundation Board of Directors is our ultimate decision-making body. The board has five seats and each board member has one vote. The board may delegate their authority to approve grants to internal committees within the IKEA Foundation with rigorous reporting requirements to ensure that grants can be approved in the most effective and responsible manner. 

Concept notes and proposals are developed by the partners in close consultation with the Foundation’s grant making team. The Board or delegated decision-making bodies decide whether the proposed programmes are within the Foundation’s charter and in line with our expectations for financial and operational efficiency, impact, as well as reflecting our core values.

A positive decision 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. Our partners have to demonstrate that funds have been used properly and according to original intentions, and our Board is involved in reviewing the results of the grant.

A community of Maasai women regreening a ten-hectare plot as part of the Green Future Farming programme. ©Ochieng/Kenya/2022