Start Fund

Filling a gap in the humanitarian sector

The Start Fund provides rapid financing to underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and to act in anticipation of impending crises, filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing.


Start Fund> Alerts| Crisis Response Summaries| Start Fund COVID-19| Start Fund Bangladesh| Start Fund Nepal| Anticipation| Guidance| Learning

About the Fund

The first multi-donor pooled fund managed exclusively by NGOs

The Start Fund is collectively owned and managed by Start Network’s members, and supported by the governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Jersey and the IKEA Foundation. 

Projects are chosen by local committees, made up of staff from Start Network members and their partners, within 72 hours of an alert. This makes the Start Fund the fastest, collectively-owned, early response mechanism in the world.


Focusing on three types of humanitarian need



Underfunded small to medium scale crises

Spikes in chronic humanitarian emergencies

Forecast and early action for impending crises

The Start Fund timeline

Filling the Gap


Figures about the Start Fund since its inception in April 2014.
Read more in the Start Network annual report.

People reached


People reached

Crisis alerts raised


Crisis alerts raised

Crises responded to


Crises responded to

Average hours between alert and project selected


Average hours between alert and project selected

Responses in # countries


Responses in # countries

Pounds disbursed


Pounds disbursed

Latest news


Start Fund Nepal Pilot Phase Alerts

This provides the quick glimpse of the each Alert, its location, population reached, project period and the support provided in each alert.


Blog Post

Ukraine crisis reveals the need for a more equitable humanitarian response

The geopolitical scope of the Ukraine crisis means it will most likely have far-reaching consequences beyond the country’s borders. Start Network's approach to the Ukraine crisis is based on learning from other larger-scale crises that the Start Fund has responded to in the past.


News Article

Start Network Launches Grants To Accelerate Anticipation and Locally-Led Action

Start Network has launched three new grants that will enable members to access funds in order to accelerate locally led anticipatory action and community-led approaches to monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning. 



Start Network Quarterly Learning Brief - Q4 (English)

This quarterly learning brief (QLB) summarises some of Start Network’s key learning from the last quarter (Q4) of 2021. It completes the learning shared across the year and provided in Q1, Q2 and Q3.