Illustrative image

Spotlight on:

Global health & development

Millions of people struggle without food or clean water, die from preventable diseases, and suffer through cycles of corruption, economic upheaval, and political instability. Yet, there are huge opportunities for philanthropy to make a lasting impact.

Global health
Data correct as of 2019, the last year for which there are reliable statistics. 

Moving the needle in 2023

The Founders Pledge community granted $92.9 million in total to charities improving global health and development, including $65.8 million to our high-impact recommendations.

We estimate the grants to our recommendations could:

These estimates are independent of each other, meaning a grant will not be counted for both saving lives and income doublings.

Illustrative image

▲ Photo by Kabiur Rahman Riyad on Unsplash.

We identified 12 new in this area, including:

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, powering investigative journalism that fights around the world. A pioneer of cross-border, collaborative investigative journalism, they’re a driving force in recovering stolen assets. They’ve catalyzed the return of over $140m to lower- and middle-income countries, and they estimate their work has led to $10b in fines levied and .

The Resolve to Save Lives Trans Fat program, driving bans on globally. Since 2018, they’ve successfully helped enact trans fat regulations which cover over a quarter of the world’s population – including limits in India, Brazil, and Bangladesh. Additional funding would enable them to accelerate the process of eliminating artificial trans fats among the majority of countries which have not yet done so, shaving off an estimated three years and saving over 10,000 additional lives.

Family Empowerment Media (FEM), reducing maternal mortality in Nigeria, where the maternal mortality rate is 83x greater than in higher-income countries. About 5% of women in Nigeria die from pregnancy related causes, sometimes due to inadequate medical knowledge. FEM produces mass media radio shows and ads to educate people about modern contraceptive options and effective usage, family planning, and address common misconceptions. A study showed that contraceptive use increased by roughly 75% among women in Kano state 11 months after FEM ran their pilot program.

The strengthened its unique role filling gaps in the funding landscape.


High-impact charities and projects funded all time


Contributed all time by Founders Pledge members and the public, including $242k in 2023


Granted all time to high-impact recipients, including $985k in 2023

We estimate the money granted from the Fund in 2023 is comparable to donating $37.2m in to those in need.

Our rapid grant to 1DaySooner funded the first six months of their accelerated rollout of two effective malaria vaccines introduced in the last three years. Malaria is a leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially of children. It’s estimated the global demand for vaccines could reach 80-100 million doses each year by 2030. Getting vaccines to more people more quickly will help save lives and bring us a step closer to eradicating malaria.

Essential is leveraging advances in fermentation and biomanufacturing to produce low-cost, high-quality proteins that can fortify existing food products to prevent and treat malnutrition. We funded new equipment for their pilot plant in Kenya, removing a key bottleneck in their operations. This could have a transformative effect for the food supply in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their proteins are climate-resilient, require less land and water use to produce, and can be delivered at scale through partnerships with local food companies.

Interested in learning more? 
Check out the 2023 Fund Impact Report.

Stories of impact

▲ Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images on Images of Empowerment.

1 / 4

Lifting women-led households out of poverty

A $23k grant from a Founders Pledge member is helping more women build sustainable livelihoods

1 / 4
Over half a billion people live in extreme poverty

Women face extra hurdles to escape it: not only do home and childcare duties often fall to them, but roughly 742 million remain outside the formal financial system. In India, it’s estimated that 122 women live in poor households for every 100 men, yet Indian women receive less government support than men. If current trends continue, the United Nations estimates that around the world, over 340 million women and girls will still live in extreme poverty in 2030, and an estimated 1.05 billion will live in slum or slum-like settings in 2050.

1 / 4
An approach that empowers women

Bandhan’s Targeting the Hardcore Poor Programme (THP) – our recommendation since 2019 – helps ultra-poor women in India graduate out of poverty to support themselves and their families. Bandhan provides a productive, tangible asset (e.g. livestock) alongside two years of holistic training, financial education, and counseling. THP has achieved success in rural areas (across 13 states and over 24,000 villages) since 2006, and has helped more than 135,000 women graduate out of poverty. The Founders Pledge community has supported over 4,000 households and served nearly 14,000 beneficiaries since 2019.

1 / 4
Expanding support to help more women

Bandhan is using this grant to experiment with implementing THP in new types of communities, modifying the program for urban and peri-urban areas in Kolkata and running a pilot cohort of 55 women. This evolution will allow them to serve a new demographic of women in need: avoiding exploitation, escaping violence, and meeting basic survival needs is much harder for the extreme poor when they migrate from rural areas to big cities or smaller towns.

▲ Photo by Hemerson Coelho on Unsplash.

1 / 4

Eliminating lead poisoning

A $5.5m grant from a Founders Pledge member is saving millions of children from the damaging effects of lead exposure

1 / 4
The high cost of lead

People have used lead for millennia; while contributing to human development, it’s wreaked havoc on our health. It’s highly toxic, never fully disappears, and no amount is safe in the body. Exposure is a global problem, but most dangerous for children. When not fatal, it can severely impair cognition, physical development, and future financial wellbeing. Countries began passing legislation and bans in the past century, but little to no regulation or monitoring is in place in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization reports that 1 in 3 children in LMICs are poisoned with lead, and estimates that exposure has an economic cost of $1 trillion.

1 / 4
Removing the sources of exposure

The Lead Exposure Elimination Project (LEEP) has been our top recommendation to tackle this problem since 2022. They’ve started with lead paint, which is unregulated in 55% of countries. LEEP advocates for better laws to control the use of lead paint, assists manufacturers to switch to lead-free paint, and monitors results. LEEP can prevent one child’s exposure to lead for about $1.66. They’ve secured government commitments to regulate lead paint in nine countries in Africa and South Asia so far.

1 / 4
Accelerating progress to protect more children

This grant is funding a large-scale expansion of LEEP’s work. It allows them to begin working in 22 additional countries for five years, continue ensuring compliance in existing countries, and explore regulating other sources of lead. We estimate the grant, by helping reduce exposure, will boost the IQ of 3.3 million children.

▲ Photo from Taimaka.

1 / 4

Reducing childhood malnutrition

$283k in grants from Founders Pledge members and the Global Health & Development Fund is saving the lives of children in Nigeria

1 / 4
Millions of children suffer from undernutrition

Malnutrition in childhood can have lasting consequences, including impaired cognitive and physical development, and a higher risk of disease and poor health. In 2022, it’s estimated that 149 million children under five were stunted (too short for their age) as a result of chronic or recurrent undernutrition, and 45 million were wasted (too thin for their height) as a result of recent or severe weight loss. According to the World Health Organization, nearly half of all deaths among under-fives are linked to undernutrition.

1 / 4
Innovating holistic treatment

Taimaka runs a Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program in Nigeria. They treat moderate and severe malnutrition through a range of solutions – from screening and weekly food rations, to medications, immunizations, nutrition counseling, and hospitalization. They work in a region not covered by other operators, where mortality from malnutrition is high. They regularly trial modifications to their program to make malnutrition treatment better, cheaper, or simpler. Studies report recovery in 53-82% of CMAM participants.

1 / 4
Increasing capacity to treat more children

Founders Pledge’s community and the Global Health & Development Fund coordinated to quickly fill a time-sensitive funding gap, allowing Taimaka to scale up their work. They’re expanding their treatment capacity by 67%, which means they can treat an extra 2,000 children in Gombe state in 2024.

▲ Photo from Imagine Worldwide.

1 / 4

Increasing access to quality education

A $1.15m grant from a Founders Pledge member is improving Malawi’s education system

1 / 4
Poor infrastructure limits education

Half of the world’s children cannot read with comprehension after primary school. Schools in lower-income countries face extra hurdles. In 2019-20, it’s estimated that 25% of schools lacked adequate electricity, drinking water, and basic sanitation, while 50% lacked internet access. In Malawi, due to overcrowding and lack of resources, only 10% of children reach reading proficiency by age 10.

1 / 4
Delivering a proven program

Imagine Worldwide (IW) provides , including tablets, solar panels, and teacher training. Each tablet is used by up to eight students per day and does not require internet access or electricity. To date, IW has served nearly 350,000 students across over 640 program sites in seven countries. Their program generates some of the largest and most rigorously evaluated learning gains of any we’ve evaluated. Multiple randomized controlled trials have consistently shown through onebillion. We estimate IW’s work is about three times as cost-effective at improving learning outcomes as providing preschool in lower-income countries.

1 / 4
Reaching more children

This grant is scaling up their Malawi program, allowing IW to reach all children in grades 1 to 4 and serve more than 75,000 children. We’re confident this can be done sustainably, as 250,000 children have already participated in the program over the past eight years. This comes at an important time, as a successful expansion in Malawi will enable IW to scale up their pilot programs in surrounding countries.