We get the best results by working with partners who know the most about the areas we want to support. We support programmes managed by established and well-regarded organisations that are experts in their fields.

A student smiles as she points at the blackboard as part of a Physics lesson at the Soavinandriana Secondary School in the town of Soavinandriana, some 100 kms south west of Antananarivo, the capital.

Applying for funding
We do not accept unsolicited proposals.
Guiding principles
Everything we do is guided by these principles:

  • Our support should assist people in need, primarily in the developing world, to help them make real and lasting changes in their lives and lead them to take control of their own futures.
  • We take a comprehensive approach to areas we support and address various contributing causes of a situation to get better results.
  • Programmes should reflect IKEA’s business philosophy of partnership, long-term focus, cost-consciousness, innovation, creativity, constant improvement and strong ethical behaviour.
  • We try to be an active partner in everything we do—asking critical questions and, where applicable, sharing unique IKEA expertise with partner organisations.
  • We always look to monitor and maximise the return on invested capital and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our support programmes, so we can be sure we’re doing as much we can for as many people as possible.

Long-term, ongoing support

We support a wide range of programmes that address the full circle of fundamental needs that can help people break the cycle of poverty and ultimately take control of their own futures. We also support pilot projects that can both make an impact now and be a good model for future programmes.

We add our support to existing, ongoing efforts, where our contribution helps established educational projects keep making progress. All programmes are designed to help people help themselves to a better life. They have a definite time limit and are often designed in close co-operation with local and national governments to ensure sustainability.

Grants for emergency relief

We sometimes give cash grants or in-kind donations of IKEA products to nonprofit partners working in emergency situations (during a flood, famine, storm, war, drought, earthquake, etc). Later, we may give financial support for programmes to rebuild and restore necessities and infrastructure.

Sadly, we get far more requests for emergency funding than we can support. We take each of those requests seriously, and that’s why we have an emergency-funding strategy that guides our funding decisions. Our strategy mostly focuses on supporting nonprofit partners to provide life-saving medical aid, pre-position supplies and to run child-protection and child-education activities. However, we do also support nonprofit partners (currently Médecins Sans Frontières, and Save the Children) once an emergency has hit, and we base our decision on a number of factors.

First of all, we usually do not give funding if there is already an IKEA Company or Unit present in the country. Under the IKEA Group Charity Policy, IKEA Companies or Units act within their communities, leading by example and being a good neighbour. Under this policy, the IKEA Company or Unit coordinates with the organisations working in the emergency situation to provide the support they need—for example, by donating items or supporting fundraising efforts among IKEA co-workers and customers. If there is already an IKEA Company or Unit in the country, then funding requests should be sent to them.

We can sometimes make an exception when there is an IKEA Foundation-funded project that would be negatively affected by the emergency, even if there is already an IKEA Company or Unit in the country. In this case, we could give the project additional support to minimise the negative impact and bring the project back to the stage it was at before the emergency happened.

Where there is no IKEA Company or Unit, or an IKEA Foundation-funded project, we work closely with our current partners to evaluate the scale of the emergency and whether the in-country systems are able to respond. Based on this information, we decide whether we are able to support their emergency response activities.

Find out more about our funding for emergency relief efforts

Policies
Our partners have to demonstrate every year that funds have been used properly and according to original intentions. Concept notes are developed by the partners in close consultation with the Foundation’s administration. The Board decides whether the proposed programmes are within the Foundation’s charter and in line with our expectations for financial and operational efficiency as well as reflecting IKEA core values.
A positive decision by the Board will require development of a detailed programme proposal, focused on creating a baseline, setting programme objectives and establishing key performance indicators that will be used to measure annual progress and ultimate programme achievement.