Foundations and private social investors are increasingly concerned about leveraging their impact and tackling systemic change. Investing in strengthening philanthropy and civil society ecosystems, or infrastructure – networks, associations and other support organizations – can be a powerful means to do so, whatever the thematic focus of your work.
For instance, for funders working internationally, what can be a better way to increase sustainability and mitigate the risk of restrictions on cross-border giving than helping to develop long-term domestic philanthropy?
As the global network of organizations serving philanthropy, WINGS sees the impact that the infrastructure field has in developing philanthropy quantitatively and qualitatively. It brings a collective voice to advocate for an enabling environment.
It informs, advises and builds capacity, and it defines standards and references that build trust within society. The return on investment, although only visible in the long term, is considerable.
Yet, few funders consider it as a strategic area and funding is often only considered as a good citizen’s contribution.
Considering the gap in infrastructure development identified in our last report, New Global Picture of Organizations Serving Philanthropy, WINGS is engaging in dialogue with funders to foster conversations and make the case for a strong and efficient philanthropy ecosystem worldwide. After a first international meeting of funders of philanthropy infrastructure in Mexico City last February (see Meeting Outcomes), we have organized a webinar (see report and video) and plan to host a second funders’ meeting in 2018.
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