How We Work

To ensure clarity and dispel any misconceptions, we have gathered information from our published reports and provided updates on our activities about both Impact Lebanon and the Beirut Disaster Relief Fundraiser. We hope that these facts offer you more visibility on our community, governance and processes. Feedback and learning are at the heart of our culture, and we strive to continuously improve our ways of working.

For more in-depth information on these topics, please refer to the Strategy Report and the Disaster Relief for the Beirut Explosion Impact Report, which were put together by our team of volunteers. Should you have additional questions, our inbox is always open at

Part 1: More About Impact Lebanon

Impact Lebanon is a not-for-profit organisation registered in the UK in December 2019. Impact Lebanon is currently comprised of two legal entities: 

  1. a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in December 2019 - this legal form is common for non-profit organisations and associations in the United Kingdom*. It does not have shareholders and its Articles of Association, which are registered with Companies House, state “The Company is not established or conducted for private gain; any surplus or assets are used principally for the benefit of the community”.* 

  2. a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered on 23 November 2020 - this entity was set up as the most suitable legal entity to manage future fundraisers and has not received any of the funds related to the Beirut Emergency Relief.*
Our organisation aims to bring together primarily the Lebanese diaspora community, primarily to pursue initiatives that deliver impact for Lebanon. Impact Lebanon encourages the brainstorming of ideas; promotes the sharing of knowledge and expertise; and builds strong teams to turn an idea into a successful initiative. 

Impact Lebanon identified a core set of values that governs its members and activities. These values are: inclusiveness; integrity; transparency and accountability; commitment to respecting human rights; the rule of law and the environment; and remaining non-sectarian.

Impact Lebanon was set up to make active citizenship and volunteering accessible, relevant and sustainable for the Lebanese diaspora. We identified a need for an impact-focused environment, which allows us to tap into our creative and entrepreneurial abilities to help our country and community. Most importantly, we needed a home for our ideas and a supportive environment to enable the success of initiatives.

Since its inception, the community of Impact Lebanon has grown to include over 100 active members who have worked together on a range of initiatives across social, educational, capacity building, environmental and other areas. Everyone at Impact Lebanon is a volunteer, donating their time and energy to help in whichever way they can.

*For more information on Companies Limited by guarantee, (Link

*The details of Impact Lebanon Limited can be viewed on Companies House (Link

* The details of Impact Lebanon Charity can be viewed on the Charities Commission website (Link)

Impact Lebanon’s governance structure consists of its Board of Directors and its General Assembly.

The Board of Directors’ mandate covers the support of the various initiatives started by the community, ensuring that the initiatives are in line with Impact Lebanon’s core values; connecting them to relevant partners; providing them with marketing support; and managing the financial aspects of the organisation. The number of directors has fluctuated between 9 and 13, at any given time depending on the needs. The term of a director’s service upon appointment is 9 months, which can be renewed once, with elections taking place every 4.5 months. Since its inception, 27 individuals have held various roles on the Board of Directors. This continues to be done to ensure a rotation of directors in decision-making positions and to keep constant checks and balances in place.

The Board of Directors is voted in by the General Assembly after each candidate submits their application. A candidate for the role of director should share the Impact Lebanon values, present no conflict of interest as defined in the Impact Lebanon Conflict of Interest Policy. They must not be a member of any political party (old or new) during their time on the board of directors.

The General Assembly (GA) consists of a) the 17 founders of Impact Lebanon and b) directors who completed their term on the Board of Directors after being voted in by existing GA members. The GA has the right to recommend to the BoD its proposal for the strategic vision of Impact Lebanon for the upcoming year, elect BoD members, amend the bylaws, terminate the directorship of a director or the membership of a member if conflicting with Impact Lebanon’s values*.

All the board directors and members of the General Assembly are volunteers and are not remunerated. 

*Impact Lebanon’s bylaws can be viewed on the website. (link)

Impact Lebanon was set up to bring the community together in pursuit of initiatives that deliver impact for Lebanon. Ideas for initiatives can be suggested by any member of the Impact Lebanon community. Once an idea is suggested and approved, the Board of Directors is responsible for forming a team to kick it off, identifying a liaison between the team and the board and guiding the team through launching the initiative. 

This involves:
  • Understanding the objective of the initiative
  • Checking that the initiative does not replicate/duplicate an existing effort led by  another organisation 
  • Identifying partner organisations to ensure that collaboration is maximised and that the goal of supporting work done on the ground in Lebanon is fulfilled
  • Understanding the resources needed for the initiative to succeed, including experts, volunteers, marketing strategies or funds
  • Ensuring that each initiative aligns with Impact Lebanon’s values, particularly: respecting human rights, the environment, and the rule of law; promoting non-sectarianism and inclusiveness; and being conducted in a way that upholds integrity, respect, transparency, and accountability

Impact Lebanon’s focus areas for initiatives are:
  • Capacity Building – equipping individuals and initiatives with the necessary tools to become functional and impactful - including initiatives like EduPact, the Mentorship Program and Dikkeni.
  • Partner-support & Crowdfunding – these are initiatives that aim to support partner NGOs in Lebanon through volunteers lending their expertise as needed. An example of this is the Environment Academy. Impact Lebanon has also launched a few crowdfunding efforts to assist NGOs in Lebanon with their provision of humanitarian support. 
  • Civic Engagement and Awareness - including Sawti, Wijhet Nazar and Tarbileb

Impact Lebanon does not launch initiatives aiming to engage in lobbying, issuing political statements or participating in political party work. 

Initiatives under the Impact Lebanon umbrella are:

  • Capacity Building:

    • EduPact: offers free online tutoring to school students in Lebanon

    • Mentorship Program: connects students and job-seekers in Lebanon to professionals abroad to support with their job applications and CV-writing processes

    • Dikkéni: a nonprofit platform showcasing independent Lebanese artists & brands, and raising funds for charities supporting Lebanon

  • Partner-support:

    • Environment Academy: an American University of Beirut (AUB)-led partnership, empowering local communities to solve pressing environmental problems

  • Civic Engagement and Awareness: 

    • Sawti: An online platform that encourages civic engagement, including voting in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. It provides information about alternative political parties in a non-partisan way based on a set of criteria, allowing Lebanese citizens to make their own informed decisions

    • Wijhet Nazar: a series of debates that aims to reduce polarisation and drive critical thinking on issues pertaining to the Lebanese economic, political and social contexts 

    • Tarbileb: provides themed historical information about Lebanon

  • Crowdfunding

    • In January 2020, we raised £10,390 which were dedicated to food relief (Food Blessed, Lebanese Food Bank, Sababel An Nour), healthcare support (SESOBEL, Happy Child Institute, and Lebanon Needs), suicide prevention (Embrace) and financial support (Themarona, Bedayati)

    • In April 2020, we launched a fundraiser, through Baytna Baytak, to help provide shelter for medical practitioners who were exposed to Covid-19. After the events of August 4th and at the request of Baytna Baytak, we repurposed the fundraiser, which was still open, so that funds that had not already been transferred and used were reallocated to offer shelter for victims of the Beirut Blast;  this fundraiser raised a total of £164,478; more information on that fundraiser can be found in section 2

    • In July 2020, we raised £15,365 to support vulnerable people in Lebanon who were impacted by Covid 19 through Amel Association, Beit El Baraka and Sanabel El Nour

    • In August 2020, we raised £20,513 to support Matbakh el Balad’s effort to provide sustenance for people in need of a meal

    • On August 4th 2020, we launched the Beirut Disaster Relief fundraiser; more information on that fundraiser can be found in section 2

*All active initiatives under the Impact Lebanon umbrella can be found on There are no additional initiatives that do not feature on this section of the website.

In 2019, we started building a directory of separate, non-Impact Lebanon initiatives on the ground in Lebanon as a way for people to explore and have a comprehensive view of initiatives they can join. Given the existence of other directories, we decided to halt our directory-building. Consequently, some residual initiatives and organisations that do not fall under the Impact Lebanon umbrella remained on the website by mistake, but have since been removed to avoid any confusion.

Impact Lebanon set up a Partnership Team to support initiatives. The team’s role is to identify partners whose values align with ours, connect them to each other and to relevant initiatives. The team also formalises partnership agreements with Impact Lebanon; manages communications with partners, collaborators and initiatives; and continuously assesses these partnerships to ensure continued compliance with our values.

Partnerships are formed either when an organisation approaches Impact Lebanon or when an initiative identifies an organisation to collaborate with. Partners can include non-profit organisations, universities and other educational institutions, as well as grassroots initiatives based inside and outside Lebanon.

Initiatives at Impact Lebanon can feature panellists and speakers or interact with the media. Yet, these engagements do not imply the endorsement of these individuals or institutions. As such, Impact Lebanon does not partner with political parties and does not partner with other organisations on work that serves political agendas.

Impact Lebanon’s financial statements are put together quarterly by our Treasurer, and are annually reviewed by an independent third-party chartered accountant in the UK. All supporting documents are duly provided by Impact Lebanon to the third-party chartered accountant. Filing is required for all entities registered with the UK Companies House. 2020 was the first year where Impact Lebanon undertook this process, given that Impact Lebanon was incorporated in December 2019. The company accounts are filed under the UK Companies House website (link). 2021 accounts have been submitted to the independent third-party chartered accountant for review ahead of filing and will be published following their verification. 

Part 2: Beirut Disaster Relief


The Beirut Disaster Relief Fund was set up as a response to the Beirut blast on August 4th 2020. The team at Impact Lebanon felt a sense of duty to support by channelling funds from the diaspora to Lebanon. As we had carried out a number of small-scale crowd-funding campaigns and had experience in receiving donations, allocating funds to NGOs and reporting to donors, we decided to launch a fundraiser on JustGiving within an hour of the catastrophe. Initially, we had set the target at £5,000 in line with the scale of our previous fundraisers.

Given the magnitude of the explosion and the global media exposure it received, the size of the support was higher than anticipated. People around the world were eager to help in any way possible. As a result, the fundraiser went viral, with high-profile individuals and celebrities also sharing the link. Before midnight on 4th August 2020, we had raised over £1,000,000. Donations kept pouring in from Lebanese and non-Lebanese alike; we also received donations from third-party fundraisers, such as Sotheby’s “To Beirut with Love” charity auction, Raphaelle Macaron and Studio Fidele. The total amount raised for the Beirut Disaster Relief Fund is £6,692,017 (roughly $9,152,759 at the time of currency conversion). By the end of the fundraiser, over 171,000 individuals had donated an average of £37 per donor. 

To manage this fundraiser and meet the growing needs on the ground, Impact Lebanon’s existing and new volunteers mobilised to support. A number of Lebanese in the diaspora and at Impact Lebanon reached out and volunteered their time, skills and energy selflessly. To safeguard the fundraising processes and properly manage the funds, a number of teams mobilised with appropriately skilled individuals, including: the Vetting team, the Monitoring and Evaluation team, the Finance and Legal team, the Marketing and Communications team, the Partnerships team, and the Disaster Relief for the Beirut Explosion Impact Report team and the Top-Up committee. We also partnered with LIFE charity on the vetting, allocation and transfer of funds, joining efforts to avoid duplication of work and streamline disbursement. 

Managing the fundraiser was predominantly a community effort. Dedicated teams composed of more than 60 volunteers from relevant backgrounds and skill sets were formed within Impact Lebanon. The teams worked together and with our partners to ensure that funds were successfully raised, allocated to projects in areas of need through NGOs, and properly distributed.

  1. The Vetting team, comprising 12 members (active from August to October 2020) worked on: 
    • understanding the needs on the ground through partner assessments and data 
    • defining the fund allocation strategy in order to allocate the funds across various areas of need and along 6 verticals: residential rehabilitation, heritage rehabilitation, Micro and Small Business support, livelihoods support, medical bodies & hospital support and mental health & community support
    • putting together a) the process by which NGOs in Lebanon would send in proposals for funding; b) the selection criteria
    • coordinating with 3QA, a third-party quality assurance organisation based in Beirut, to vet NGOs
    • finalising the list of NGOs receiving funding and the allocation for each
  2. The Monitoring and Evaluation team (set up in November 2020 and composed of 20 members) continues to work on monitoring the funds allocated to NGOs and ensuring that they are being spent according to the approved proposal
  3. The Finance and Legal team (composed of 8 members) worked on ensuring a safe and efficient transfer of funds from JustGiving, the crowdfunding platform, to the beneficiary NGOs in August and September 2020. Given the large amount of funds raised and the fact that the registration of the Impact Lebanon Charity was still underway, JustGiving requested that the fundraising campaign be adjusted so that raised funds were received by an existing charity in the United Kingdom instead of being received into Impact Lebanon’s bank account*. The partnership with LIFE was established to channel the funds accordingly. This team was also responsible for establishing MOUs with the beneficiary NGOs.
  4. The Marketing and Communications team (14 members) ensured that every step of the process was communicated with to  donors and the public
  5. The Partnerships team (12 members) ensured that our relationships with partners were maintained and well managed
  6. The Impact Reporting team (10 members)  put together a thorough 12-month progress report, which can be found on our website
  7. The Top-Up Committee (set up in February 2021 and comprises 8 members) reviews further proposals and allocates remaining sums based on the findings of the Monitoring & Evaluation team; needs on the ground; the NGOs’ capacity to manage the funds and their ability to finalise projects in a timely manner

Additionally, members of the General Assembly and Board of Directors worked on putting in place a strategy, coordinating work teams and responding to queries.

* The JustGiving page for the fundraiser provides details on the UK charity LIFE, who directly received the funds from JustGiving: (link

* Details can also be found in the Disaster Relief for the Beirut Explosion Impact Report (link) and Strategy Report (link)

NGO Selection & Vetting

Allocations made to NGOs were guided by our fund allocation strategy. In the immediate weeks following the explosion, a group of qualified volunteers reviewed the existing funding gaps by impacted sector in collaboration with Strategy&, a leading management consulting firm based in Beirut. The report included an initial proposal, detailing how to allocate the fund across 6 verticals: residential rehabilitation, heritage rehabilitation, Micro and Small Business support, livelihoods support, medical bodies & hospital support and mental health & community support.

The Strategy Report was publicly released on Aug 26, 2020 along with an open call for proposals to be submitted by locally registered NGOs. In total, 150 NGOs were considered by Impact Lebanon. At that stage we were aiming  to fund between 15-18 NGOs for the following reasons:

  • Impact acceleration: given the sizeable amount of work required, specifically on the rehabilitation front, we chose to spread the effort among multiple NGOs to accelerate the overall pace of work
  • Mitigation of risk: given that no single local NGO had prior expertise in this level of disaster relief in Lebanon, we wanted to diversify our NGO beneficiaries and tie funding instalments to project execution milestones

We adopted a stage-gate approach with clear owners and passing criteria to review each nomination. We also partnered with other organisations to help support and validate our process:

  • Proposal assessment was performed in collaboration with Qudurat, a local NGO with expertise in non-profit capacity building
  • Financial and operational vetting was performed by 3QA, a local organisation with expertise in non-profit quality assurance (this was a paid service that we remunerated using our existing operational budget NOT the funds raised for the Beirut Disaster Relief). 3QA conducted due diligence on each organisation that was shortlisted by Impact Lebanon, in a process that included reviews of the NGOs’ governing structure, financial systems and audit reports, operations, as well as reporting mechanisms. It is worth noting that, as per best practice, disclosing conflicts of interest at the proposal stage falls within an NGO’s responsibility. More information regarding nomination criteria can be found in the Strategy Report. 
  • Final approvals were granted by a joint committee with LIFE (whose oversight was required, as funds were channelled through their bank accounts). Approvals were based on a review of proposal assessments and vetting reports
We put in place Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) with all beneficiary NGOs*. These were drafted by Impact Lebanon’s legal team and signed by authorised signatories from each NGO and Impact Lebanon to enable us to take action in case any breach of contract occurs (including the possibility of requesting funds back, if needed). In order to ensure further control, especially in the case of longer or larger projects, and given Lebanon’s volatility, MoUs included the disbursement schedule for each project –  with disbursements linked to specific monitoring outcomes. 

More information on our process, learning and final NGO allocations can be found in our Disaster Relief for the Beirut Explosion Impact Report from July 2021 (link).

(*) except for the Lebanese Red Cross which received our first donation, an unrestricted donation of GBP 100K.

Impact Lebanon worked with 3QA, a third-party team of quality assurance experts, to make sure that operational and financial due diligence was conducted on every NGO that passed IL's review of nominations and proposals. 

It was important to choose a local organisation and trust it with the due diligence, as a local organisation understands the intricate landscape of Lebanon and can ensure efficient and timely communication to avoid hampering the process of vetting. 3QA’s approach is based on several international best practice standards indicators that were contextualised to Lebanon, its laws and limitations.

Among 3QA’s tasks was to ensure that NGOs had good governance processes in place and boasted no “Politically Exposed Persons” (PEP) among their management. The checks undertaken by 3QA included: determining whether NGOs were formally registered; disclosing PEPs, thus flagging any members of the management team who occupy prominent public functions. 

The final selection and disbursement of funds was done taking into account 3QA's findings.

Project Implementation & Delivery

To support the Beirut Disaster Relief fundraiser, several teams were set up within Impact Lebanon, each consisting of volunteers from relevant backgrounds and boasting relevant skill sets. The Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) team was one team whose focus was primarily on safeguarding the process and monitoring the progress of projects.

The M&E team consists of 20 dedicated volunteers, including two co-leads who report to Impact Lebanon’s board of directors. The selection criteria for that team included but were not limited to: adhering to Impact Lebanon’s values pledge; having prior work experience in a relevant field; being comfortable working with complex sets of data; and proven experience in managing sensitive, trust-based relationships.

The M&E team initially met on a weekly basis to refine processes, voice progress and challenges, problem-solve, and share best practice. A few months into the initiation of monitoring processes, and as they moved forward, the frequency of meetings changed to every two weeks, then every three weeks. Each team member was assigned as the main point of contact for one NGO (two in exceptional cases), referring to M&E team leads for support. The M&E point of contact would typically meet with the NGO project teams either weekly or bi-weekly. Their main responsibilities were to monitor project progress, regularly review project trackers (including budgets, KPIs, and risk management), and, together with M&E co-leads, approve payment disbursements to NGOs (based on the NGO satisfying defined criteria, including providing satisfactory project progress and financial checks). It is worth noting that, as per best practice, disclosing conflicts of interest at the reporting stage falls within an NGO’s responsibility. 

Impact Lebanon contracted Lebanon-based 3QA and ECK Audit as third party providers to perform regular financial reviews for all projects – including checking expenses against invoices and project documentation – and conduct site visits to verify the existence and progress of projects on the ground. For certain rehabilitation projects, Impact Lebanon also contracted an independent partner with engineering expertise to perform site visits and assess the soundness of works done. Impact Lebanon paid for the services of all of the above-mentioned third-party providers from our existing operational budget and NOT from the funds raised for the Beirut Disaster Relief.

Impact Lebanon proactively chose to implement a number of measures to monitor our donations and track their impact. We implemented a general framework of accountability by the NGOs to us, as donors, in relation to the Impact Lebanon Beirut Disaster Relief fundraiser funds. In particular, we requested our external assurance providers (either 3QA or ECK Audit, depending on the NGOs) to perform a set of measures aimed at verifying that actual expenses were in line with agreed proposals (e.g. analytical procedures, or vouching for selected expenses against supporting documentation), as well as performing ad hoc site visits to verify the existence of projects funded by Impact Lebanon. A report would typically include mentions of any missing documentation or other inconsistencies. The Impact Lebanon point of contact typically reviews those together with the NGO and makes sure that all key pending comments are cleared before moving on to the next disbursement stage. It is worth noting that, whilst they provide a level of comfort as to the proper use of funds, these specific measures do not constitute a financial audit of the NGOs.

As of February 2022, projects with 8 NGOs have been completed, these are with Al Ghina, Alfanar, Anti Racism Movement, Basmeh & Zeitooneh, Beb w Shebbek, Beit el Baraka, Catalytic Action, and Nusaned. Projects with another 4 NGOs are nearing completion, or are completed with financial monitoring checks currently underway. These NGOs are: Al Majmoua, Arcenciel, Baytna Baytak, and Rise Up. 

We continue to closely monitor the remaining projects, as per agreed timelines and outcomes. These projects are with Embrace, House of Christmas, Lebanon Needs, Live Love, and Rotary Club de Beyrouth (Karantina & Rosaire hospitals). These NGOs span the 6 verticals that were identified in the Beirut Disaster Relief funding strategy, namely: residential rehabilitation, heritage rehabilitation, Micro and Small Business support, livelihoods support, medical bodies & hospital support, and mental health & community support.

Despite the fact that all projects were initially expected to be completed by the end of 2021, the unstable and ever-changing situation in Lebanon necessitated a degree of flexibility around completion dates. Challenges for projects continue to include power rationing, fuel shortages, currency instability, and banking sector volatility among others.