Donors get pitched a lot, and food-related funding can be a complicated space. Since 2009, we have sought to clarify this space for donors by providing guidance, including numerous blog posts and within our High Impact Philanthropy in the Downturn report, which has a section focused on emergency food providers and benefits access programs.
Our latest guidance, a Food Funder Compass, aims to further clarify the space. It identifies the four primary social impact areas where donors seek change: health & hunger; environment; vibrant communities; and rights & equity.
Within each impact area, this document offers:
-a rationale for donor investment;
-a case example to illustrate how philanthropic funds can produce change; and
-additional promising approaches, as well as examples of organizations implementing those approaches.
In developing this guide, we found what many donors know: some of the most promising approaches and organizations work across social impact areas. Many achieve multiple impacts by addressing issues throughout the U.S. food system, a system that spans production, processing, packaging, distribution, retail, consumption, and waste disposal. Throughout the guide, we note where an approach intentionally targets multiple impacts at once. These integrated models offer unique opportunities for donor collaboration and leverage.
Whether you have been involved in food funding for years, or are considering your first grant, we hope our food compass helps you chart a faster and more effective path from good intentions to greater impact.