New Fund Seeks Donors to Support Grassroots Development Projects in Remote Communities

Photo by Suraj Shakya

A new collective fund has been established to support grassroots development projects in remote, underserved communities around the world. The 2030 Sustainable Development Collective Fund aims to channel donations from institutions and ultra-high-net-worth philanthropists into turnkey projects aligned with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The fund, created by the London-based advisory firm Michael Macfarlane Associates, will focus its initial efforts on four projects in South Asia. These include providing mobile ultrasound technology and training to improve maternal health outcomes in Nepal; supporting young girls rescued from human trafficking rings in India; training Himalayan farmers in Bhutan on climate change adaptation techniques; and curing preventable blindness in Bangladesh.

“Each of these projects already exists on the ground, created by local leaders in these communities,” said Pankaj Thapa, an international development specialist at Michael Macfarlane Associates. “What they need is multi-year funding commitments to help accelerate and expand their impact. Relatively small amounts of money have the potential to truly transform lives.”

The maternal health project aims to reduce maternal mortality rates in remote mountain villages in Nepal, where expectant mothers have limited access to prenatal care. By providing portable ultrasound devices and training to local midwives, complications can be identified early and referred to hospitals. The project was created by a Nepalese non-profit organization and has demonstrated success in its pilot phase. The fund seeks to expand the program to additional villages.

Similarly, the project supporting human trafficking victims was initiated by a grassroots women’s organization in India. It provides housing, counseling, job training and education to girls rescued from brothels. The blindness cure project was started by an eye hospital in Bangladesh that sends teams into remote rural areas to provide free cataract surgeries. And the climate change adaptation training was developed by a Bhutanese sustainable agriculture non-profit to help farmers adjust to erratic weather patterns.

In addition to financial support, the fund aims to connect donor partners as closely as possible to the projects they choose to back.

“We want our donors to play an active role as ambassadors, visiting project sites, meeting beneficiaries, and advocating for wider change,” said Michael Macfarlane, founder of the advisory firm. “This gives philanthropists a tangible connection to the impact they are having.”

The fund’s operating costs will be covered by the London-based charity Prism the Gift Fund, allowing 100 percent of donor contributions to go directly to projects. More information is available at

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