The Worldwide Initiative for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) has decided to incorporate and move its Secretariat office to a more permanent location in 2011. The decision to establish the WINGS Secretariat at a permanent address was carefully considered by the Coordinating Committee, the paramount consideration being that neither WINGS’ global character nor its principle of inclusiveness be compromised.
There were two principal reasons for establishing the policy of rotating the Secretariat in the first place. One was that setting up the network should not involve the creation of a new institution. The other was the ‘fear’ of dominance of the network by organizations in the Global North to the detriment of others around the globe.
However, with the rapid growth of WINGS’s global network to143 grantmaker associations and philanthropic support organizations in 50 countries, factors such as transfer costs, loss of momentum and disruption of services to network participants every time the Secretariat moves led to the reassessment of the policy of rotation.
The WINGS Committee on Rotation led the assessment process, with inputs from WINGS network participants through a network-wide survey, in which the majority expressed themselves in favour of a permanent location. Also, in making the decision, the WINGS Coordinating Committee considered that WINGS’ global character is now embedded in its culture and systems, including its governance.
In line with this decision, a Transition Committee has been organized to manage the moving of the WINGS Secretariat. Committee members are Valerie Lies (Donors Forum of Chicago), Monica Patten (Community Foundations of Canada), Paavo Hohti (Council of Finnish Foundations), Patricia Robinson (Jamaica Foundations and Corporate Donors) and Rob Buchanan (Council on Foundations).