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Gratia's Approach

Our approach is based on the belief that a wide range of truly transformational opportunities are overlooked because they may not fit into the traditional models defined by the international aid and development system.

In many of these opportunities we see the potential for broad and meaningful human impact which we hope to unlock through our advisory and financial support of locally based social entrepreneurs who have the vision for positive impact and the skills and dedication to actualize their ideas.

What makes Gratia unique is our commitment to structuring the right balance with our partners, who don't want handouts but instead desire the dignity of making their own decisions and solving their own problems. Traditional aid doesn't fit into this approach, so our goal is to find an innovative way to partner internationally that will promote and safeguard the true humanity—in all of its dimensions and richness—of our partners by encouraging and facilitating their initiative and responsibility, thereby fostering hope for a sustainable and dignified future and posterity.

Gratia’s approach is simple:

  • We identify and select unique initiatives/ projects/ organizations and their leaders where they have the potential to transform the lives of the poor.
  • We help to develop these by providing support through guidance and funding to grow and expand existing as well as new/exploratory initiatives.
  • We continuously assess the progress of our work in order to ensure oversight is not burdensome, but appropriate and enabling. This means that our partner relationships are tailored.

An anonymous benefactor covers all of Gratia International's overhead, which means that 100% of all donations go straight to the beneficiaries on the ground.

Pillars of change

We have three priorities/“pillars of change” that guide the types of projects we support.
  1. Education: “Advancing access to ethical education at all levels”
  2. Leadership: “Advancing effective and moral leadership”
  3. Social Enterprise: “Building self-reliance through social enterprise”


Evaluation Criteria

We use a detailed set of evaluation criteria for both new and on-going projects. These criteria fall within five different areas of evaluation:
Need – regional need, context, existing support options;
Impact potential – alignment with mission, vision and pillars of change;
Impact track-record – previous activities and accountability record;
Leadership strength & potential – integrity, strength, network, appeal;
Growth potential – long term growth trajectory.