What is a donor agency?

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A donor agency is an organization that gives funds for projects of a development nature.


The function of a donor agency is to provide funding.


Donor agencies can channel their funding in two ways, through

  • official (government) channels
  • private channels

Traditionally, government donor agencies have channeled funds through government agencies.


Private funding agencies generally channel funds through nongovernment organizations (NGOs).


A growing amount of development money is being channeled through NGOs to facilitate access to funds at the grass-roots level.


Such funding

  • frequently has a cash ceiling, and
  • may be limited to a specified percentage of any one project.

There are three kinds of donor agencies.

National governments

Western governments, Japan, and the OPEC nations are the major national government donor agencies.


Funds are usually given through the following government aid departments:

  • CIDA (Canada)
  • ODA (United Kingdom)
  • NORAD (Norway)
  • SIDA (Sweden)
  • USAID (United States)
  • AUSAID (Australia)
Multilateral agencies

Some of the best known multilateral donor agencies are

  • the World Bank (usually gives loans rather than grants)
  • UNDP , and
  • UNICEF .
Charitable organizations

Some of the best known charitable organizations are

  • the Kellogg Foundation
  • the Ford Foundation, and
  • the TEAR Fund.

There are thousands of charitable organizations all over the Western world.


Many of these organizations are foundations that exist to distribute funds

  • held in trust
  • contributed by large companies, or
  • received as gifts in response to advertising and fund-raising campaigns.
See also

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