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During the current COVID-19 crisis, the Vitol Foundation is working hard with its existing grantees and partners to see where we can support organisations and communities that are facing unfamiliar and daunting challenges. In the circumstances we therefore regret that until further notice we will not be able to engage with potential new partners. Our policy remains not to accept unsolicited applications for funding.

Vitol first began making charitable grants in 2002 and established the Vitol Foundation in 2006. The Vitol Foundation aims to help children and families living in deprivation to escape the cycle of poverty and fulfil their human potential.

We achieve this by investing in initiatives and interventions across five Programme areas: Health, WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), Education, Enterprise & Livelihoods and Humanitarian Response. Our focus is on supporting solutions that improve quality of performance, promote greater inclusion, foster appropriate innovation and catalyse access to finance, all within the broader context of poverty. This means that the work we support is invariably in low, and low to middle income countries, where the challenging effects of chronic under-development, conflict and natural disasters are commonplace.

We work with key stakeholders across civil society, the private sector, national governments, public institutions and international partners to reinforce and improve existing in-country systems. Where these systems are not working or do not exist, we seek to address the status quo by promoting innovation – or successful solutions from similar settings – to bring about lasting and sustainable change.

We consider our grants to be investments and look for initiatives with the potential to generate social returns in a sustainable way. We are able to provide financial support to NGOs, social businesses and private companies (provided any profit generated during the lifetime of our grant funding is reinvested in the business), but not usually to public authorities. Partners and projects are expected to have the potential to be transformational and impactful, effective and efficient, sustainable, scalable and replicable. In return, the Vitol Foundation aspires to be both responsive and flexible and to understand the evolving needs in difficult circumstances. We also actively encourage partnerships between and among donors, implementers and the public and private sectors.

Across our Programme areas our objectives are fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

From the outset, we have supported initiatives globally and independently of business activities. At the end of 2019, we had 113 projects active around the world.

We only look to support organisations which have won the confidence of like-minded funders, align with our funding philosophy and which deserve wide support for the potential they demonstrate in bringing real impact to scale. We place great emphasis on working partnership between and among donors and implementers, and regret that we cannot accept unsolicited applications.

For further information please contact us at

We are a member of the Big Bang Philanthropy group; a consortium of like-minded funders working together to find and finance high impact, scalable organizations tackling global poverty.

Learn more about us here:


Photo courtesy of Last Mile Health

The Health Portfolio prioritises projects that support Universal Healthcare Access with a focus on improving equitable access to quality primary healthcare in the public sector, without excluding the role of the private sector in healthcare delivery where appropriate.

We target projects that:

  • Strengthen health systems through provision of training and infrastructure development, supply chain improvement and improved quality of health data collection
  • Improve access to quality reproductive healthcare including adolescent access to sexual health services
  • Support breakthrough innovations that are affordable, scalable and evidence based
  • Explore public-private-partnerships (PPPs) to increase sustainable access to, and demand for, healthcare services

In 2018 the Foundation supported 27 health projects in 24 countries and made 17 new grants. Of the health budget, 84% was spent in Africa, 8% in Asia and 3% in Europe and North America.



Photo courtesy of Water for People

Our WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Programme focusses on countries with low access to safely managed water and sanitation services, and low uptake of safe hygiene practices. The overall aim is to improve the coverage, equity and sustainability of safe WASH services and practices.

We target projects that:

  • Strengthen local WASH institutions and systems
  • Design and test innovative WASH financing mechanism
  • Stimulate WASH markets (demand and supply) & businesses
  • Disseminate WASH knowledge
  • Improve WASH behaviours (individual and institutional)
  • Develop WASH partnerships between the public and private sectors, civil society and donors
  • Manage water and waste resources in an integrated manner
  • Design, test or scale up innovative WASH technologies

In 2018 the Foundation supported 28 WASH projects in 27 countries and made 19 new grants. Of the WASH budget, 56% was spent in Africa, 25% in Asia, 6% in Latin America, 8% in the Middle East and 5% in Europe and North America.


Photo courtesy of Child to Child

Our Education Programme includes early years, primary and secondary education. We support projects that strengthen the education sector and promote access to quality education.

We target projects that:

  • Take proven approaches to scale and generate systemic change in Education
  • Strengthen the government’s ability to deliver high quality education
  • Focus on inclusive education including the early years and education in emergencies
  • Explore the potential for innovative public private partnerships to improve education resources
  • Make education relevant, preparing young people for the job market.
  • Support innovative approaches and build evidence to delivering universal access with quality.

In 2018 the Foundation supported 19 Education projects in 28 countries and made 12 new grants. Of the Education budget, 61% was spent in Africa, 27% in Asia, 1% in Latin America, 4% in Europe, 10% in the Middle East and 1% in Middle East.


Photo courtesy of myAgro

Our Enterprise & Livelihoods portfolio aims to break cycles of poverty by supporting interventions that strengthen market systems, promote enterprise development and create employment.

We target projects that:

  • Enable the poor to access knowledge, finance, technology and markets
  • Support enterprise growth and facilitate access to finance
  • Promote job creation, particularly targeting youth.
  • Promote innovative inclusive business models that are affordable, scalable and evidence based

In 2018 the Foundation supported 22 livelihoods projects in 32 countries and made 11 new grants. Of the Livelihoods budget, 77% was spent in Africa, 10% in Asia, 3% in Latin America, 9% in the Middle East and 1% in Europe.


Photo courtesy of The International Rescue Committee

Our Emergency Programme supports communities in the aftermath of natural disasters and human conflict. Our ability to release funds almost immediately has set the Vitol Foundation apart over the years.


We aim to:

  • Respond rapidly when needed
  • Support trusted partners in hard-to-fund and low-profile emergencies
  • Work proactively to support programmes that increase access to, and quality of, refugee education
  • Make strategic investments in emergency preparedness

In 2018 the Foundation supported 11 new emergency grants. Of the Emergencies budget, 51% was spent in Africa, 16% in Asia and 33% in the Middle East.

Staff Engagement


Fundraising trek up Kilimanjaro

In addition to direct support from the Foundation, Vitol Group employees have raised significant funds for large-scale emergencies and we are extremely proud of the commitment and support of Vitol staff around the world.

The Vitol Foundation supports a number of initiatives that encourage staff to become more involved with philanthropy, including:

  • Making project suggestions
  • Undertaking project visits
  • Individual fundraising events
  • Global campaigns
  • Sporting challenges

We regularly communicate to staff on Foundation investments and encourage staff to visit projects and suggest new charity partners.

The Vitol Group and Vitol Foundation are proud sponsors of the Street Child World Cup, which took place in Moscow in 2018, following on from Rio in 2014. Every office supported a street child country team to help them prepare and travel to the tournament in Moscow and, most importantly, to sustain legacy programmes that will transform the lives of many more street children back home for years to come.

Worldwide location

We understand that every market is different and that our customers and their requirements are as diverse as the world in which we live. With 40 offices worldwide our colleagues comprise over 60 nationalities...