Systems change requires strong, resilient partners who are able to seize moments of opportunity and work collaboratively towards shared outcomes. Laudes Foundation supports its partners to strengthen their organisations and reinforce their capacities, systems and initiatives so they can maximise their impact. 

Beyond grantmaking

General operating support for partners

General operating support, or unrestricted funding, gives partners the ability to deploy funds where needs arise. Where partners are aligned with our overarching mission, we believe in providing them with flexibility, and trust them to deliver. 

The share of general operating support grants made by Laudes Foundation in 2022 was 28.7%.  For us, this is a starting point, and we are committed to increasing the percentage in future years as we engage more deeply with our partners. To keep our teams accountable to this, we have included it in our cross-foundation programmatic team goals. 

General operating support

Organisational development 

For the last three decades, FEDINA, a labour rights NGO, has worked to protect workers’ rights in marginalised communities in India. In 2021, amid the Covid-19 crisis and changes to legislation which limited civic space in India, FEDINA began an organisational development process to strengthen its institutional systems and processes. They started by developing a five-year strategic plan with the goal of enhancing their community-centric work and becoming a worker resource centre.

To support this work, Laudes Foundation provided organisational development support to help develop key policies on security and whistleblower protection, human resources and finance, fundraising strategies, and a theory of change. Through this process, we’ve learned the following about supporting organisational development: 

  • A mission-aligned organisational development consultant plays a crucial role in establishing trust and guaranteeing success.
  • A participatory monitoring and accountability framework facilitates progress tracking and strategic decision-making.
  • The engagement of leadership across the organisations enables the smooth implementation of changes at different levels. It also helps younger leaders develop leadership skills and supports succession planning.

Moving forward, with the flexibility of a general operating grant, Laudes Foundation will support FEDINA to implement its five-year strategic plan, secure other sources of funding, strengthen its collaboration with global labour rights organisations, and bolster FEDINA’s collective bargaining agreements with major brands.

Beyond grantmaking

A suite of organisational strengthening and learning opportunities

Laudes Foundation aspires to be a learning organisation, and critical to this ambition is building a shared learning culture with our partners. We offer our partners a suite of resources designed to support them to improve, grow and manage change in this complex time. It is equally about strengthening the fields we work in with our partners, seeding collaboration, building trust and nurturing collective action. 

A new fund 
for organisational  strengthening  and learning

In 2022, Laudes Foundation launched the Partner Fund, supporting partners to address organisational strengthening and learning needs and opportunities which arise as they develop an initiative. To date, 13 partners have been supported through the fund to create communities of practice to harness collaboration; design the organisational structure of a new network; and conduct joint advocacy activities.

In addition to the financial support provided through the Partner Fund, Laudes Foundation also provides partners with consultancy support through the Nonprofit Builder platform. Since its inception, partners have received more than 900 hours of personalised, capacity strengthening support on numerous topics, such as safeguarding, leadership training, fundraising and strategic communications in different languages.

non-financial assistance

to support Open Supply Hub’s growth

Between its launch in 2019 and the end of 2022, Open Apparel Registry publicly mapped over 90,000 production facilities in the apparel sector, to drive transparency and ultimately enable global collaboration between organisations monitoring their supply chains.  

Driven by demand from users to expand this approach, it relaunched as Open Supply Hub (OS Hub) in November 2022 with the goal of mapping retail supply chains more broadly and expanding its coverage to other sectors, such as agriculture, automotive, beauty, durable goods, electronics, furniture and toys. 

Laudes Foundation has been a strategic funder of the organisation since 2017, and to support its growth, provided OS Hub with key organisational support from consultants on change management, communication, leadership and governance, evaluation and business planning through the NonProfit Builder platform. 

We expanded to become Open Supply Hub 18 months ahead of our projected strategic timeline. While we've been thrilled at the speed of our growth and the scale of impact, it's essential to ensure organisational and governance support are in place when scaling this quickly. This is where non-financial support is invaluable, as it enables us to tap into the expertise of skilled practitioners to ensure the sustainable growth of our organisation.”

Natalie Grillon, Executive Director

Since its expansion, companies such as Amazon, Disney, HEMA, Sunrock and Target have all uploaded their supplier lists to the platform. OS Hub has now doubled its reach and mapped more than 180,000 facilities, becoming a leading tool for supply chain transparency, a critical step towards deeper action and accountability across industries.

Beyond grantmaking

Supporting evaluative thinking

To build a culture of learning and evaluative thinking, Laudes Foundation works closely with partners from the outset to co-design how we will collectively measure the initiative and organisation’s contribution to systems change, and define what evidence is needed to inform future actions to improve the effectiveness of an initiative. 

“Moving from key performance indicators to the rubrics system required a change in mindset. We now understand working with rubrics allows us to more easily evaluate - and possibly correct the direction of - planned activities during the course of the project, maintaining a clear drive for action through the system change perspective.”

European Environmental Bureau 

Collective approach
to measurement and evaluation 

In addition, we strive to align how to measure the impact of initiatives with peers and co-funders. A joint measurement and learning approach reduces the operational burden of reporting and frees partners’ time to focus on what really matters, delivering their mission.  

This allowed the World Green Building Council (WGBC) to develop a Results, Sensemaking and Learning (RSL) approach in partnership with Sophoi to measure the impact of its BuildingLife initiative, co-funded by Laudes Foundation and IKEA Foundation. The aligned approach between funders, helped the WGBC move away from a list of KPIs and focus on learning.

“In collaboration with our funders, the evaluation has helped us step back and really question what’s going on. The insights it has given us have helped us adapt and course correct as we go – helping increase overall impact.”

World Green Building Council's evaluation team