Debate: Progressive philanthropy that shifts power to communities

15 July 2021 | Danny Sriskandarajah | Tags: ,,,

I enjoyed being part of this panel discussion organised by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Strategic Philanthropy. It explored alternative funding models to traditional grants that can lead to more transformative outcomes, that truly shift power and money to communities pushing for their own change. There are some exciting examples out there, from the Black Feminist Fund to Oxfam’s new Community Women’s Fund. However, in general, there are still far too many hurdles, top-down structures with long chains of intermediaries between donors and communities, and a tendency to see civil society as a means to delivery, rather than a focus on building a dynamic civil society as an end in itself.