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Supporting Great Charities from the Ground Up

Why It's Impactful


Our funding circle centers its attention on the earliest stage of charitable development. We aim to support new organizations that demonstrate the potential to become leaders in their fields, akin to those recommended by GiveWell.

We believe this sector holds enormous potential. Typically, a relatively small donation (averaging ~$100k per organization) from this fund can have a catalytic impact, fostering the existence of a charity that otherwise might not have been able to get off the ground.


What is a funding circle?

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A funding circle represents a collaboration among various funders, generally centered around a particular cause. For instance, the Mental Health Funding Circle is dedicated to identifying impactful opportunities within the realm of mental health. While there's no pooled funding—with each funder making their individual decisions—information and application processes are shared. Other notable examples include the Antimicrobial Resistance Funding Circle, Farmed Animal Funders (FAF), and Big Bang Philanthropy.

Funding circles offer a powerful means of leveraging and coordinating multiple funders sharing a common interest. Often, a cause area attracts numerous funders; however, due to closed application rounds, ambiguous standards, and disjointed networks, the available funding may not be as well-organized as it could be. While it's crucial for a healthy funding ecosystem to have a variety of funder perspectives, a funding circle provides the massive advantage of a centralized point of contact. This means organizations looking for funding can apply as if they were approaching a single large funder, but with exposure to multiple potential funders. Additionally, if a member of the network identifies a promising opportunity that falls outside their scope, the structure ensures open communication channels, enabling them to pass the project on to a grantmaker who might be a better fit.

Funding Circle

How This Circle Works

Typically, the charities involved in the Seed Network Funding Circle have never received funding before and have been incubated via the Charity Entrepreneurship (CE) Incubation Program. They would also normally not be founded if not supported by this network. Unlike our sister funding circles, we do not accept unsolicited funding applications for this circle, and the funding decisions are made in rapid rounds at predetermined times of the year.

Project proposals from projects incubated by CE are sent to the network twice a year.

We send three emails to the network each round: one with the intervention ideas and reports, another with the project proposals on offer, and a final call with updated current funding numbers.

Each round typically features 4-8 projects, with a 10-page writeup for each. The members of the Seed Network Funding Circle only have a week to decide which, if any, they choose to support, and charities will launch or not, depending on pledged support.

We also hold one in-person group meeting in London and one online meeting each round for members to meet and network with each other.

Team meeting

Who Are We? Who Is This a Good Fit For?

We are a small network of approximately 30 donors interested in early-stage projects. The members of this network typically fund across different cause areas and have often been excited about the historical results of the CE Incubation Program. Most members are individual donors (not foundations), as funding decisions usually need to be made more quickly than an institutional donor could manage. Donors typically donate between $10k-$250k via the circle per year, with most charities receiving support from multiple donors. This program is an excellent fit for donors who are comfortable with risk (20% of these charities shut down in their first 24 months), but are excited about the hit-based nature and potential upsides of helping a future GiveWell-level charity get off the ground.

What charities were supported in the past?


Interested in Joining Our Network?

We are currently open for more funders to join our network. This funding circle requires a low time commitment, with the majority of members spending 2-10 hours twice a year. To join the network, the donor needs to have the ability to donate $10,000 or more to early-stage projects per year.


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