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New Horizons for Community-Led Development: Recommendations for Funders

This report summarizes key findings from an extensive scoping exercise undertaken by the GFCF, commissioned by Comic Relief, aimed at understanding the current landscape of strategies and approaches that put local people and local institutions in charge of their own development. The scoping excercise included a literature review, and key informant interviews.

Authors: Jenny Hodgson, Barry Knight & Susan Wilkinson-Maposa

Published by: GFCF

Published: March 2019

Download: ‘New Horizons for Community-Led Development: Recommendations for Funders


Leadership and Development

This paper looks at the idea of ‘leadership’ and forms part of Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace’s series on defining key concepts’ in development and philanthropy. Although widely used, and viewed as an important ingredient in successful philanthropy and development, there is no common understanding of what people mean by the term ‘leadership’ or how its value is demonstrated in practice. This paper seeks to gain greater understanding of the concept within the field, and to make it concrete and practical for practitioners. The paper is a work in progress, a starting point for discussion, and additional contributions to develop the work further are invited.

Authors: Barry Knight & Chandrika Sahai, edited by Caroline Hartnell

Published by: Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace

Published: March 2019

Download: ‘Leadership and Development


Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices 

What do skilled philanthropy practitioners have in common? They are active learners about the fields, issues and places they support. That is their first discipline. And, they work at creating meaningful connections with grantees and others, especially when power imbalances, difficult conversations or differing viewpoints are at play. This is their second discipline. In this guide, you will find their stories about using four methods of reflective practice that can help build what you bring to advancing change inside your foundation, with grantees and other partners.

Author: Jan Jaffe

Published by: The Giving Practice

Published: April 2018

Download: ‘Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices


GFCF Annual Report, 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018 

The GFCF Annual Report, covering the period 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018, offers a snapshot of the organization’s activities for the financial year. The report is broken down by the GFCF’s three strategic priorities: supporting organizations that #ShiftThePower; connecting the field and growing the #ShiftThePower evidence base; and, building a global movement to #ShiftThePower.

Published by: GFCF

Published: January 2019

Download: ‘GFCF Annual Report 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018


Dignity and development 

This paper looks at the idea of ‘dignity’ and forms part of Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace’s series on defining key concepts’ in development and philanthropy. The 1948 Declaration of Human Rights enshrined dignity as the central goal of development, yet the term is not clearly defined, which makes it difficult to pursue and impossible to measure. Different people and organizations committed to the pursuit of dignity are likely to have different understandings of the term. The aim of this paper is to come up with a clearer definition of dignity and to begin to explore approaches to measuring it. We hope this will help people working in the field to improve their practice and increase the impact of what they do.

Authors: Barry Knight & Chandrika Sahai, edited by Caroline Hartnell

Published by: Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace

Published: October 2018

Download:Dignity and development


Community philanthropy and large-scale assets: How shifting the power builds resilience in times of crisis 

Mass forced migration, climate disruption, violent conflicts, and growing global economic inequality are some of the enormous and interlinked forces we face today, causing suffering for millions of people and fraying our societal bonds. At the same time, public faith in institutions is at historic
lows, and governments in many parts of the world are exerting authoritarian control and stifling dissent. Thoughtful, democratic stewardship of natural resources, recognition of communities’ right to self‐determination, and a commitment to a vibrant future for everyone are more important than ever to counterbalance these destructive trends. 

On a small scale, community philanthropy speaks powerfully to all of these critical needs and offers practical strategies for increasing peace, well‐being, and accountability. But what is the potential for community philanthropy to deliver these at greater scale? The GFCF conducted research on how and whether community philanthropy can be a tool for communities to negotiate with powerful stakeholders, strengthen leadership and consensus‐building, and realize development projects that reflect their long‐term vision for sustainability by harnessing large‐scale assets. Our findings suggest not only that community philanthropy organizations can ‘scale up’ to manage much larger assets but that their structure and purpose allow them to have a transformative effect. Prioritizing relationships from the early stages and fostering a culture of on‐going iteration are key to realizing this potential.  

Author: Mary Fifield

Published by: GFCF

Published: October 2018

Download: ‘Community philanthropy and large-scale assets’