Ecosystem Building

Stronger from Within

Our society is interconnected. This interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental factors requires a holistic approach to all systems. Rather than focusing on isolated issues, sectors or programs, ecosystem building is vital to take a broad view of the challenges and opportunities facing a community and work to address them in a comprehensive and integrated way. Our work in this field involves supporting organisations across sectors working towards building the field and the ecosystem. This may also translate to supporting the institutional capacities of organisations and leaders to build resilient teams through relevant processes and practices by means beyond grants.



The problems we’re facing are complex and multifaceted, and we can no longer afford a fractured approach to problem-solving. It is time that we recognise that society and ecology are highly interconnected systems. Climate change, justice, and equality cut across all domains and cannot be tackled individually by specialists. And technology and private capital alone cannot solve the problems of tomorrow.

With a trust-based philanthropic approach, we intend our grants to allow partners to show up for the communities they serve. This enables us to respond, helping them visualise their role better and deepen our understanding of the issue. We need to ensure that ecosystems are conducive to serendipity and leave space and opportunity for tinkering and exploration.



₹4696 Lakhs


₹970 Lakhs


Strategic Philanthropy

Strategic philanthropy is about giving focused on long-term goals. By design, it is research-based, using planning, strategy, and proven methods for implementation. It looks for ways to take results to scale using policy. There’s an urgent need to support endeavors that have taken on audacious goals, that work strategically and collaboratively using rigorous approaches.

Grassroots Support

Supporting nodal actors who serve as a foundation for a host of grassroots organisations by enabling them through training, mentorship and financial support.

Uncommon Ground

This idea that first found its expression as a television show and book (Uncommon Ground: Dialogues Between Business and Social Leaders, 2011) created by Rohini Nilekani. Co-created as a dynamic and expanding movement with the CAMP Advanced Mediation Practice and other network partners, Uncommon Ground aims to build a societal muscle for transforming conflict and dissonance into a creative impetus for change by serving as a conduit of shared know-how and competencies.

Capacity Building

Work in this area focuses on building institutional capacity, technical expertise, and intellectual capacities for organisations working in the social sector. This field allows organisations to experiment and conduct research in areas where quantification is challenging, thus allowing long-term impact.

Early Grants

The intention of small grants is to leave the door open to discovering and supporting promising and new ideas that work closely with communities. Under this category, we support organisations to tide over operational challenges, fund projects that serve hard-to-reach communities or preserve and advance local knowledge & tradition, as well as enable local leaders to take their work to the next level.

Grantees in this field

Resources in this field

June 10, 2024

The Indian Express | Rohini Nilekani writes: If we let ourselves be led by children in play, could we rediscover simple joys?

It is not a frivolous activity, but essential to human development. Have you observed with attention what a child does when playing on her own? She is absorbed, muttering, doing[...]
May 21, 2024

IDR | Dear 2024, make conferences fun again

Written by Natasha Joshi, Associate Director, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies Recently, our team put together an Excel sheet of all the events we attended last year. Using a loose method of[...]
April 11, 2024

Skoll World Forum 2024 | Philanthropy’s Role in Change at Scale

Working to create lasting impact at scale amid emerging and entrenched challenges – including growing polarization; longstanding inequities across identities; and a crisis of wellbeing of social changemakers – will[...]