How we work

Walking together in partnership

All We Can wants to work with local communities so that they can become stronger through our collaboration with them, ensuring that projects are sustainable and that local capabilities are increased.

We do this by working alongside talented local organisations and individuals. Their commitment and compassion means that, more than anyone else, they are best placed to unlock the potential in their communities.

All We Can works in authentic partnership with organisations and churches whose vision, purpose, objectives and values we share.

For us, partnership is not a ‘project cycle’. It is more like a journey, where we come alongside partners and walk together. We identify leaders who have a vision for the local communities they work in. All We Can then supports those leaders and organisations to achieve long-lasting positive change in people’s lives.

What makes a good partnership?

  • Local partners identify their own organisational development goals and priorities: The main focus of All We Can’s approach has been on nurturing healthy partnerships. This has meant moving away from supporting projects to supporting whole organisations and their mission. All We Can seeks to support local partners to achieve their mission.
  • We walk together in longer-term, consistent partnerships: Longer-term partnerships, but with a defined end point from the outset, enable local organisations in some of the world’s poorest communities to plan ahead and to create strategic change in their contexts while receiving the support of All We Can.
  • We work together relationally: All We Can aims to fully embrace and embody its values as an organisation – Justice, solidarity, collaboration, service, inclusion and respect. These values are lived out well in a more relational approach to partnership.

Partnership in action


All We Can has worked with Ethiopian organisation SUNARMA since 2004. SUNARMA’s Director Tekle Jirane, commended All We Can’s working model for the way in which it has helped strengthen critical relationships in the organisation’s area of operations. SUNARMA attributes All We Can’s new partnership approach (which involves providing consistent and flexible funding in line with a partner organisation’s strategic objectives, rather than a single project) as a key factor in SUNARMA’s success over the last two years. According to Tekle, this change in approach has afforded SUNARMA greater flexibility in where they allocate funding on an annual basis. As a result,

SUNARMA’s programming has become more responsive and needs-based than ever before, including under previous project agreements with All We Can. Not only has this resulted in SUNARMA’s work becoming more relevant and effective in addressing food insecurity and helping households meet basic needs without exploiting their natural environment, but it has also helped the organisation to develop stronger relationships with local government and community members.

An example is All We Can’s willingness to support an emergency relief intervention outside of the district where All We Can had primarily supported SUNARMA’s interventions. This turned out to be significant for SUNARMA in more ways than expected: “All We Can’s support to drought-affected farmers at bad times is a significant point in saving lives, and one that has tremendously lifted the reputation of SUNARMA in front of the community and government partners at large.”

In addition to the positive reputation SUNARMA has gained through All We Can’s ongoing financial support for development and relief interventions, All We Can has also helped SUNARMA to meet the expectations and requirements of the Ethiopian Government in joint monitoring of programme activities, hosting NGO Government forums and regular reporting. This is important because in Ethiopia, like elsewhere, maintaining positive relationships with government officials is necessary to ensure that civil society organisations can continue to respond to people’s needs without interruption. Likewise, building good relationships with the local community is essential if programming is to be responsive and relevant.


Recognition of All We Can’s partnership approach by The Charity Awards

In 2019, The Charity Awards judge John Low praised the All We Can’s initiative to take proactive steps to fund in a different way, and Danielle Walker Palmour said its 15-year commitment to partners was “unheard of” in the grantmaking sector.

“It’s an amazing thing to say to any organisation, we will stand beside you for 15 years to help you be a better organisation,” she said.

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