COVID-19 relief lessons from the fastest rapid response fund in the world

Quick is better than perfect

Why It Matters

Grantmakers, social finance organizations, and governments are gearing up to rapidly fund relief to social impact organizations. Future of Good asked the advice of Sean Lowrie, creator of the Start Fund: a global humanitarian response mechanism which disburses money in less than 72 hours. As we face this unprecedented crisis, how should funders create quicker mechanisms of disbursing capital?

“Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to emergency management. Speed trumps perfection,” said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, at a briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak. “Be fast and have no regrets,” he said.

Dr Ryan was calling on decision-makers in all sectors to be proactive in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. So how should the social sector heed these words? How can a sector that is broadly accustomed to slow grant processes and multi-year projects step up to rapidly fund responses to the COVID-19 crisis?

Future of Good asked the thoughts of Sean Lowrie, creator and former director of the Start Network headquartered in the United Kingdom. Its Start Fund provides rapid funding to relief efforts for h

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