Oak Foundation

Oak Foundation was established in 1983 to address global, social and environmental concerns. Oak Foundation has a principal office in Switzerland and other offices in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Through its grant-making, Oak Foundation support others to make the world a safer, fairer, and more sustainable place to live. Oak Foundation supports civil society as a pillar of democracy and justice and nurtures innovation and visionary leadership within it.

Oak Foundation provided USD 156.8 million for development in 2021 through its grantmaking activities. Compared to 2020, this amount represents a decrease of 2.7% in real terms.

In 2021, Oak Foundation provided USD 4.5 million to the multilateral system, representing 2.9% of its development finance, all of which was earmarked for specific countries, regions, themes or purposes.

All of these contributions were provided to the United Nations (UN) system, notably UNICEF.

See the section on geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2021, Oak Foundation channelled its contributions mostly through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society (USD 134.3 million) and universities, research institutes or think tanks (USD 16.3 million).

In 2021, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 134.3 million (85.7%) of Oak Foundation’s development finance. While over three-quarters of this finance was channelled through donor country-based or international CSOs, 21.3% was provided to recipient country-based CSOs.

In 2021, Oak Foundation’s development finance was distributed evenly across most developing regions. USD 26 million was allocated to Africa, USD 24.1 million to Asia and USD 19.1 million to Latin America and the Caribbean, accounting respectively for 16.6%, 15.4% and 12.2%. South Asia alone received USD 13.2 million (8.5%), and East Asia USD 7.3 million (4.7%) of the foundation’s development finance. Developing countries in Europe were provided USD 10.4 million (6.6%). A sum of USD 77.2 million (49.2%) was unspecified by region in 2021, mainly including finance for multi-regional programmes and core support grants.

In 2021, 32.3% of development finance went to the top 10 recipients. Oak Foundation’s most significant recipients included Brazil (USD 14 million), India (USD 12 million) and Zambia (USD 5.6 million). Moreover, 58.4% of development finance was not allocated by country.

Least developed countries (LDCs) received USD 13.2 million (8.4%) of Oak Foundation’s development finance in 2021. Oak Foundation allocated the highest share of its development finance (21.2%) to upper middle income countries in 2021, followed by lower middle income countries (11%) in 2021, noting that USD 91.5 million (58.4%) was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 18.9 million in 2021, representing 12% of Oak Foundation’s development finance. Of this, extremely fragile contexts received USD 2.9 million.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2021, more than half of Oak Foundation’s commitments were allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 71.9% of commitments (USD 112.7 million), with a strong focus on support to government & civil society (USD 90.5 million). Contributions to other macro sectors totalled USD 18.6 million (11.9%), mostly in support of general environment protection (USD 18 million).

In 2021, Oak Foundation committed the largest shares of its contributions to the goals on gender equality (SDG 5), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16) and reduced inequalities (SDG 10) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Support for gender equality (SDG 15) amounted to USD 65.5 million. Contributions to climate action (SDG 13) totalled USD 21.3 million.

Official website: https://oakfnd.org

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the Sustainable Development Goal focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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