Legatum’s philanthropic mission has led to investments in development initiatives that have measurably impacted the lives of over 270 million people. Our initiatives are aimed at helping people fulfil their potential, by freeing them from easily treatable diseases and slavery and ensuring children not in school for a variety of reasons can get back into the classroom and receive an education. We established, incubated and have scaled The END Fund, which is focused on helping to eliminate neglected tropical diseases; The Freedom Fund, which is focused on bringing an end to modern slavery across the world and The Luminos Fund, which aims to develop and grow initiatives which help out-of-school children get back to learning in school across emerging economies.
Why does an investment firm care about helping others? Legatum is driven by a deeper purpose. Our vision is to see a more prosperous world for all, and we are committed to using our capital to help make that a reality.
As investors we search for philanthropic opportunities which offer the best social return on investment. While we seek to have an outsized impact through private philanthropy, we have a heart for, and therefore a particular focus on, the vulnerable and the poor. We undertake thorough research and due diligence, are willing to take risks and are relentless in measuring results.
As a result, we’ve committed to four core areas of philanthropic investment:
Helping the poorest in society
Over the years we have seen first-hand how people can create sustainable lives for themselves and those around them when given the opportunity. When bottom-up solutions developed by an organised community are combined with a flourishing private sector enabled by a supportive government, millions of people living in poverty can enjoy better lives.
Our investment heritage combined with our development experience has led to the launch of philanthropic investment funds that tackle global challenges such as abolishing modern slavery and ending Neglected Tropical Diseases. These philanthropic investment funds are dedicated charitable funding vehicles open to external investors. Operating with the discipline and transparency of an investment fund, our goal is to mobilise hundreds of millions of dollars to scale up proven interventions globally.
Through the Legatum Foundation, Legatum invests in community-based organisations and projects that have improved the lives of over 270 million people through nearly 1,500 projects in more than 110 countries since 1999. In many cases, only a modest initial grant is required to build upon an existing project and to ensure its sustainability. These projects are clustered into a series of Strategic Initiatives, each lasting three to five years. This approach maximises the impact of the grant and provides enough time to produce measurable results without encouraging over-reliance on a single donor.
Legatum began addressing the scourge of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in 2006. The remarkable success of its pilot programmes in Rwanda and Burundi led to the establishment of The END Fund by the Legatum Foundation in 2012.
Today, the END Fund is an independent organisation, bringing together private donors to accomplish one big goal: to see an end to NTDs in our lifetime. The Fund is the world’s first private philanthropic initiative to combat the five most prevalent NTDs and is supported by a growing community of global philanthropists. The END Fund provides financing for nationwide disease control initiatives, creating new programmes, supplementing existing ones, and using leveraged funds to extend and deepen impact.
In the Fund’s first five years, it successfully treated more than 140 million men, women, and children with over 331 million treatments, trained more than 750,000 health workers, and provided over 10,000 surgeries for people suffering from these preventable and controllable diseases.
More than 30 million people are trapped in modern slavery, forced to work in brothels, mines, sweatshops, plantations and fishing fleets around the world. Founded by Legatum Foundation in 2013 in partnership with Humanity United and Walk Free, the Freedom Fund is an active ingredient in a new abolitionist movement that is raising more than $100 million for the fight against modern slavery.
Building on fifteen years of anti-slavery work funded by Legatum Foundation, the Freedom Fund generates private funding, demonstrates how effective interventions can protect those at risk of being enslaved, invests in countries with the greatest incidence of slavery, brings together a community of activists committed to the cause and, ultimately, aims to bring an end to modern slavery. Legatum hopes through the Freedom Fund to catalyse over $1 billion in new private antislavery investments over the coming decade.
At least 60 million primary-school-aged children are out of school globally due to illness, poverty and lack of security. Facing a life of illiteracy, most will live in a debilitating poverty that will pass to future generations.
Speed School is an accelerated learning programme operated by the Luminos Fund which equips out-of-school students with basic reading, writing and math skills. The programme enables those children to compress three years of curriculum into ten months, after which they can re-enter the public school system.
To date, the programme has focussed on Africa and helped over 125,000 children excluded from the education system get back into school.