Where are all the donors?

17 April 2015

Yesterday, we hosted our first ever donor roundtable; an informal meeting of UK-based corporates, private foundations and individuals who are investing in anti-human trafficking initiatives across the world. Attendees included the C&A Foundation, The Hummingbird Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund, GMSP Foundation and us. The aim of the session was for donors to convene and share their approaches to the issue of human trafficking, as well as the processes they were going through to formulate longer term strategies. We also hoped to explore how donors in the anti-human trafficking space could communicate and collaborate better.

As the first meeting of its kind, much of the session was spent sharing what each donor did and why. It was fascinating to see the slightly varied approaches being taken and how these strategies were developed in the first place. There was an incredible amount of learning to be taken away from the processes themselves. After the event, several donors even shared scoping reports on a confidential basis.

Some had questions about the ease (or lack thereof) of breaking into this area and how the varied approaches tallied up when considered in this light. In particular, we looked at the “wholesale” approach of pooling money with others in order for a third party to invest on your behalf versus the more “retail” approach of giving directly to organisations. The perceived fragmentation of the sector was discussed in detail and experiences of working in India versus working in the UK were compared.

While we ran over the allocated time, there was strong desire to meet again in order to explore further what commonalities exist between attendees and how we bring these overlapping philosophies and passions together over time. It was also important to some to look at what advocacy looks like for donors and how we can raise our voices on the issue of human trafficking in a sensible way.


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