Resilient Funding

The world is changing. No doubt about it.

And with this change comes a challenging environment for organizations.

Governments around the world are restricting fundamental rights of association and speech. Citizens are more and more polarized. Toleration is on the decline as people listen less to different perspectives and trust less news and even the facts of the world around them.

Civil society organizations around the world are severely impacted. Hundreds of countries have enacted new regulations that hobble CSOs to raise money and advocate for the critical social, economic and environmental changes needed. Democracy is general is moving towards an illiberal form where power dictates rights and the space for action shifts.

Nevertheless, civil society will grow, change and weather these new conditions.

In the meantime, funders who have created a funding system capable of reaching civil society can make their funding resilient by creating new ways to reach citizen’s organizations, by reaching beyond formal organizations, by improving local and international networks and by learning what to fund and how to be effective in the new conditions.

Chris Allan, from Ajabu Associates, and I suggest a resiliency framework for funders based on interviews with dozens of social change funders around the world facing a closing space for civil society in our new paper in the current issue of the Foundation Review.

The article can be downloaded here with a subscription –