Corporations, private individuals and foundations play a vital role in meeting Gavi’s funding needs
Ensuring that every child has access to life-saving vaccines requires out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration across the public and private sectors.
Founded as a public-private partnership in 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has benefited greatly from private sector support. This support has come not only from corporations but also from individuals, foundations, membership organisations and faith-based organisations.
Private funding accounted for 21% of Gavi’s funding between 2000 and 2020 and continues to expand with the launch of public-private partnership initiatives, such as the Gavi Matching Fund.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is Gavi’s leading private sector funder. The Foundation continues to lead advocacy efforts on behalf of Gavi and has contributed or pledged more than US$ 2.5 billion to the Vaccine Alliance since 2000.
It has been instrumental in securing both individual and corporate contributions to Gavi. For instance, in January 2011, the Gates Foundation matched a US$ 33 million contribution from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to vaccinate children in Afghanistan, bringing the total for this effort to US$ 66 million.
The Gates Foundation also helped found the Gavi Matching Fund by pledging to match up to US$ 50 million in private sector donations (see below).
Gavi Matching Fund
Gavi’s newest public-private partnership is the Gavi Matching Fund, which is designed to raise US $260 million for immunisation by the end of 2015. Under the program, the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged about $130 million combined (£50 million and $50 million, respectively) to match contributions from corporations, foundations, their customers, employees and business partners.
As a result, several companies are making a significant impact as partners in the Gavi Matching Fund:
One of Gavi’s partners is the “la Caixa” Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Spain's leading savings bank. It has created a multi-faceted public-private partnership programme under which all funds contributed by “la Caixa,” its employees and customers will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Gavi Matching Fund.
This unique and noteworthy corporate social responsibility initiative has five important components:
- an annual and renewable grant from the “la Caixa” Foundation;
- a campaign to engage “la Caixa's” 26,000+ member employee group;
- an engagement strategy for “la Caixa's” 400,000+ corporate depositors;
- an outreach campaign to reach over 11 million individual “la Caixa” account holders;
- a broader outreach strategy to inform and engage all Spanish citizens.
“la Caixa” also has created the Business Alliance for Child Vaccination, a group of Spanish businesses that have raised funds for Gavi programmes, including football powerhouse Atlético Madrid, providing star striker Radamel Falcao as a spokesperson.
By raising national awareness and encouraging financial support, the partnership among “la Caixa”, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi is an extraordinary example of public and private interests joining in a common goal: to save children’s lives through immunisation.
Clearly, such private sector involvement can make a significant contribution to global health that go beyond donations. Corporations also can share their business competencies to help solve development issues and bring their advocacy skills to bear.