My task during this meeting was to secure an interest on the part of my friend’s agency to co-fund this project. When my friend rushed into the coffee shop, he sat down and mentioned he had limited time. What was my ask? I shared with him the situation - that this well known client of mine was testing a new social impact program, had received some substantial initial funding, but was keen to bring other partners on board, and in particular, wanted my friend’s agency to be a core funder in the replication and scale of the program.
My friend looked at me like I had told him a three-headed alien had landed in my driveway.
Why do they need us he asked?
It’s a fair question. Why would a multi-billion dollar company need more funding to advance a social impact project?
Here’s what I shared with him:
Because of these reasons, and a recognition that working in concert with the private sector will allow funders to make their investments go farther, funders across the spectrum have been ramping up their private sector engagement strategies. Collaboration in international development is no longer just about implementation or designing projects. It has developed into a method for identifying and deploying systemic solutions that promote long-term sustainability and lasting impact for the people and communities who need the support most.
As for the coffee date with my friend at the funding agency, we weren’t able to come to terms during that initial coffee meeting. But after several meetings with our corporate client, we helped build out a strong partnership that will bring opportunities for sustainable impact for decades to come.
Want to learn more about private sector engagement to address the SDGs?
Read about how to set SDG commitments, what's needed to make public/private partnerships more effective and why leveraged funding is critical to advance the SDGs.
Of course contact us with any questions or to learn about how we can help your SDG program find the right funding, partnerships and scale for impact.