Who we are
CIFF is the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses specifically on improving children’s lives.
“The original mission in setting up CIFF was to improve the lives of children in developing countries who live in poverty. This hasn’t changed. I want to solve problems, not make grants.” – Chris Hohn
We are an independent philanthropic organisation, with offices in Addis Ababa, Beijing, London, Nairobi and New Delhi. We work with a range of partners seeking to transform the lives of children and adolescents. Partnerships are critical, because it will take the combined efforts of many to tackle urgently the challenges faced by children and their families every day. We have no religious or political affiliation. Our programmes are designed to support bold ideas to solve seemingly intractable problems.
We know that the returns on smart investments in areas such as children’s early development and adolescent girls are especially high. So we aim to play a catalytic role as a funder and influencer to deliver urgent and lasting change at scale.
Areas of work include maternal and child health, adolescent sexual health, nutrition, education, and deworming, tackling child slavery and exploitation, increasing opportunities for girls and young women, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change.
We place significant emphasis on quality data and evidence. For many of our grants, we work with partners to measure and evaluate progress to achieve large scale and sustainable impact. Transparency is also an important part of our grant-making. We publish information about our grants along with data, evidence and evaluations in a variety of ways, including on our comprehensive grant portfolio tool.
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation was established in 2002 by Chris Hohn and Jamie Cooper. The co-founders set out to improve the lives of children living in poverty in developing countries through strategies that have lasting impact. With a rigorous business-like approach to philanthropic funding, the foundation was focused on clear returns for children from the outset. The emphasis on data to measure impact has been widely adopted by other development funders.
One of the early programme investments in children’s health was to increase treatment and care for paediatric AIDS in developing countries. Working with partners, the foundation played a catalytic role in increasing the number of children who were properly treated for HIV. By underwriting the cost of children’s antiretroviral medications, CIFF and other funders helped shape a market for a long neglected area in children’s health. The result helped reduce the wide disparity between AIDS treatment offered to adults and children.
The co-founders’ extraordinary generosity, energy and vision have created one of the UK’s largest charities. With a sizeable endowment and a commitment to urgent transformational change for children and adolescents, the foundation’s independent board, professional staff, and partners are constantly seeking ways to achieve impact at scale.
To learn more about CIFF and our recent work, read our 2019 Annual Report.