Funding transformational initiatives
Our grants fund partners to work collaboratively on brave initiatives that can contribute to systemic industry change.
We aim to work closely with our partners across the lifecycle of a grant. By strengthening relationships with them, we can better understand how to support their work, build the field and create an enabling environment.
India is the world’s second largest producer of cotton and first in organic cotton. Here, Laudes Foundation operates on two fronts. On farming practices we work with partners to ensure that farmers’ livelihoods are viable, crops are regenerative, and land is restored. And on production practices we work to tackle the systemic issues behind the forced and child labour that is often associated with cotton production. As in all regions, gender, equity and inclusion plays a major role in all our work in India.
As one of the world's largest garment exporters, Bangladesh has been both an example of progress and a hotspot for poor working conditions. Here, Laudes Foundation is working with partners to improve working conditions of factory workers and strengthen local communities, focusing particularly on empowering women and girls.
Every link in the apparel supply chain can be found in Brazil. Here, Laudes Foundation is working with its partners to ensure labour rights, accelerate sustainable cotton and foster a transition to a new economy, with a heavy emphasis on promoting gender, equity and inclusion.
Europe is an important hub for the built environment and the global work in the new economy and fashion. In the built environment, Laudes Foundation is working with its partners to help create healthy, inspiring and carbon neutral spaces. In fashion and the new economy, Laudes Foundation is working with its partners to foster the transition to new business models, encouraging innovation, collaboration and original thinking.
Until the end of 2020, Laudes Foundation will continue to manage grants that were made by C&A Foundation to improve working conditions, eradicate forced and child labour and to strengthen the communities where the factories (or maquilas) are located. A major focus of this work concerns the empowerment of women workers.
Pakistan is one of the world’s largest producers of cotton. Its current organic cotton production is small but its potential is large. Here, Laudes Foundation is working with partners to ensure regenerative farming practices are generative viable livelihoods for farmers.
The garment industry is core to the Turkish economy. With the influx of Syrian refugees, the risk of exploitation and poor working conditions is high. Here, Laudes Foundation is working with partners to protect and empower Syrian refugees working in the apparel industry - especially women - to prevent abuses in the workplace.
Africa’s budding apparel industry and its growing cotton production have made Tanzania - currently the largest producer of organic cotton on the continent - a country with enormous potential. Here, Laudes Foundation is working with its partners to develop resilient farming by supporting farmer training and certification.
Indonesia is ranked amongst the top ten largest garment-producing countries and faces many issues with poor working conditions, especially for women workers. Here, Laudes Foundation is working with its partners to reduce non-compliance with labour laws and to empower women to negotiate for better working conditions.
What we fund
We know that applying for grants takes a lot of time and energy, and we aim to make our process as constructive, transparent and efficient as possible.
We use a five-step process to develop and approve new partnerships. The duration of each phase depends on how complex your initiative is and how much funding you're asking for. The whole process can take from just a few weeks to several months.
In general, we do not accept unsolicitied grant proposals. If you have an idea, please contact us and we will connect you with a programme manager.
1. Concept Note
In general, we do not accept unsolicited proposals, if you have an idea contact us, and we will connect you with a member of our team, who will go through the process with you. Once our team has walked you through the process, we will ask you to summarise your initiative in a four-page concept note. This gives us a good initial understanding of how your initiative fits with our strategy and signature programmes.
Every concept note we receive goes to one of our programme managers. It's their job to begin the due diligence process: they'll look at whether your idea and our programme complement each other, while considering your organisation's capacity to deliver on your concept.
If you're applying for less than EUR 100,000, the head of programme and the programme manager will then work together to decide whether to approve your application. If positive, your application will move straight to phase five – grant agreement.
If you're applying for EUR 100,000 or above, the head of programme and programme manager will decide whether to request a full proposal.
Please don't submit a concept note until you have contacted us.
Download concept note (.DOCX)
We then request a 10-page proposal with a detailed description of your initiative. The document includes an activity-based budget, Gantt chart, log frame and a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan. The programme manager will provide feedback on your first draft, including input from the M&E team on your log frame.
When you submit your final proposal, the head of programme and the programme manager will decide together whether to present it to our Investment Committee. They will mainly base their decision on the strategic fit of your proposal. Will it help us meet our mission to bring about deep systemic change?
3. Investment Committee
The Investment Committee is our global advisory body. It meets four times a year (February, May, October and December) to review all grant proposals of EUR 100,000 and above.
If the Investment Committee approves your proposal, the programme manager will work with you to address any questions and/or integrate any recommended changes from the Investment Committee.
If your application is for less EUR 500,000, you'll go straight to phase five – grant agreement.
4. Board of Directors
Laudes Foundation Board of Directors meets twice a year (June and December) and reviews those grant proposals of over EUR 500,000 that the Investment Committee has recommended for funding.
Please note that the Board may also review proposals below this threshold at the discretion of the head of programme and/or the executive director.
5. Grant Agreement
Once your concept note or proposal is approved, we'll create a legally binding contract between your organisation and Laudes Foundation.
This will include intended results, targets, milestones or reporting deliverables, and a payment schedule.
Answers to most questions
What is Laudes Foundation responding to?
Laudes Foundation was created to respond to the convergence of two global crises - inequality and climate breakdown - whose solutions require new levels of bravery and ambition globally. The global economic system’s relentless pursuit of growth and returns have brought the world to a tipping point. Humanity must change course. And we have the means to do so
What is the relationship between Laudes Foundation and C&A Foundation?
As C&A Foundation celebrated its 5th anniversary of making fashion a force for good, the team took the opportunity to evaluate its work and the changes in the industry and in the world over the past years. They realised that fashion’s issues were much bigger than the industry alone. The issues are systemic. So, they took a bold decision to launch Laudes Foundation to build on the industry-changing work of C&A Foundation in the fashion industry, but also take this approach and apply it to new industries – starting with the built environment. And importantly, to begin working to influence capital so that investments encourage good business practices. Thus, C&A Foundation’s work became the fashion programme of Laudes Foundation and the brand was retired.
How does Laudes Foundation work across its programmes?
We have two industry verticals: Fashion and the Built Environment. And we have one cross-cutting programme, New Economy, that works across our industry verticals. This area will work with financial actors as well as with the industry actors to foster a shift in the global financial system. It will also influence investments in fashion and the built environment, to explore how finance can be used to encourage or foster innovation and good business practice.
What does the name mean?
Laudes (pronounced Lah-oo-des) Laudes is derived from the Latin word for 'praise’. It alludes to the Canticle of the Sun (Laudes Creaturarum), a song that celebrates all of creation as one family, and refers to the 2015 papal encyclical, Laudato si': On Care for Our Common Home. The encyclical presents the current interconnected social and environmental crises as the result of the pursuit of limitless growth. It calls us all enter into debate, seek new ways of understanding progress, and invites the world of business to play a unique role. Touching on the shared Catholic heritage of the Brenninkmeijer family entrepreneurs, Laudes reveals both inspiration and purpose: to move towards the vision set out in Laudato si'. At the same time, Laudes is an invitation to draw our own inspirations and traditions, believe that change is possible, and join together to build a just and regenerative economy
In what geographies does Laudes Foundation work in?
We have offices in Europe, India, Brazil, Hong Kong and Bangladesh. The organisation is global in nature, as is the New Economy programme. Our work in the built environment will focus mainly on Europe initially, while fashion focuses on the most relevant producing countries.
Is Laudes Foundation a Catholic organisation?
Laudes Foundation is not a Catholic organisation. The name is simply a nod to the heritage and inspiration of the Brenninkmeijer family.