Systems change and philanthropy: Taking risks and achieving greater impact

What can be achieved when a global group of philanthropic foundations come together to explore what risk looks like when trying to achieve greater impact through systems change for complex problems?  We aimed to explore this by working with the Social Innovation Exchange and their Funders Node – the bringing together of over 50 different foundations from around the world. In an Australian first, a funders retreat was held with participants from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Germany, South Africa and Denmark to go deep on issues relating to systems…

Capacity building versus capability building

For a number of years now the notion of capacity building has been a topic of conversation in philanthropic circles. It features at discussion groups, networking events and conferences. How can philanthropy build the capacity of the non-profit sector? How can we encourage people to consider granting funds for core costs rather than just projects? These have been important conversations and on the one hand, a way of shining a spotlight on the role that philanthropy can play in the non-profit sector’s growth and sustainability. On the other hand, these…

Professional development – it benefits everyone

Professional development and leadership opportunities are critical to success. Without the ability to learn and grow we don’t change. And if we aren’t changing, how can the work we do change, grow and improve. This is true for most people across most sectors, but seems to have particular relevance to the NFP sector. This sector primarily serves and seeks to make a positive difference in the community, many times at an individual level but also at a policy and systems change level. And yet professional development and leadership opportunities are…