Inverting power dynamics, ending funding competition and addressing inequity

Here are two uncomfortable power dynamics in philanthropy: Funding processes can be a kind of “Nonprofit Hunger Games” where frontline community organisations compete against each for favour and “the win.” The power to decide who wins usually sits squarely with funders, yet funders are rarely directly affected by key social issues. It doesn’t have to…

Continue reading →

Reinventing the humble Funding Agreement

Funding agreements – those dry, unexciting documents which funders generally require to be signed before they will pay a grant, are badly in need of a rethink.  This blog proposes that funders should instead adopt a Relationship Agreement approach, based on mutual responsibility and accountability. To get straight to the point: Here is a free Funding…

Continue reading →

Is your philanthropic foundation extractive?

There’s a lot of discussion in the farming world about the importance of moving away from extractive practices and instead embracing regenerative agriculture – here’s a recent relevant story from the Waikato.   Might some of these same considerations apply to philanthropy? Let me start with a couple of dictionary definitions: extractive: the withdrawal of [natural]…

Continue reading →