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An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets

In this period of intense global flux, the international community is grappling with two formidable and simultaneous phenomena: the exponential growth of resource extraction and the rise of local communities demanding their right to self‑determination. From Mongolia to Madagascar to Brazil, resource extraction is occurring on a larger scale than ever before, and many of these projects are being executed in increasingly remote regions that are home to Indigenous and rural communities. While these industries have played a major role in increasing standards of living and global prosperity generally, it is also widely recognized that benefits and negative impacts have not been evenly shared. Significant conflict has accompanied the unprecedented economic growth of the last several decades.

Is it possible for extractive corporations to support community self‑determination and communities’ capacity to govern their assets over the long term? Is long‑term corporate investment in / corporate funding for community foundations a viable mechanism to achieve this goal, both for communities and companies? To explore these questions, the GFCF and First Peoples Worldwide embarked on a joint research project, which combined a literature review, consultation with industry and civil society leaders, and interviews with corporate representatives for social investment from major oil and mining companies.

Authors: Mary Fifield, Jenny Hodgson, Nick Pelosi

Published by: GFCF

Published: February 2017

Download ‘An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets’ as well as the Case Study on the Cherokee Preservation Foundation


Community philanthropy: a way forward for human rights?

The paper is a synthesis of preliminary research that looks at the current state of play around human rights among three clusters of organizations: local human rights funds, community philanthropy organizations that explicitly fund human rights along with other work, and community philanthropy organizations that fund human rights under a different rubric. It offers a look at what exists and how a framework for advancing this work might be developed to engage different community philanthropy organizations in different ways according to their relative strengths and capacities in each context. It concludes by arguing that external funders and local actors together can design effective interventions by building on insights from community philanthropy experiences – including constituency building as well as local resource mobilization – around the world.

Author: Mona Younis

Published by: GFCF 

Published: February 2017

Download ‘Community philanthropy: a way forward for human rights?'


A Different Kind of Funder? Why and How Funders Support Community Philanthropy 

This paper sets out the findings from interviews with representatives of six funder agencies supporting community philanthropy and seeks to explore why funders support the field, and what it means for the ways in which they work. Additionally, this inquiry is interested in the contribution that funders believe they make to advance their own organizational goals and objectives as well as those of community philanthropy. It also sheds light on the type of support that funders would welcome from community philanthropy support organizations and networks.

The inquiry reveals that community philanthropy is attractive to funders for different reasons, suggesting that advocacy efforts should be tailored and customized. Furthermore, variations in funder motivation and intention inform different practices or behaviour. This, in turn, leads to various contributions to development goals and objectives. Finally, the paper submits that community philanthropy support organizations and networks may need to step into a bolder convening, coordinating, and catalyzing role, as funder agencies have an ongoing appetite for technical backstopping, learning and collective sense making. 

Author: Susan Wilkinson-Maposa  

Published by: GFCF & The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University

Published: January 2017

Download ‘A Different Kind of Funder?’


Shifting the Power: How can Working in Partnership Help? 

At its best, partnership can be a great leveller by bringing together new players, each with a different type of contribution to make and part to play. The past twenty years of promoting partnership approaches to development have provided a wealth of knowledge and experience - the wheel does not have to be re-invented. Prepared in advance of the December 2016 Global Summit on Community Philanthropy, this paper explores how partnering experience can usefully be adopted by, and adapted to, the field of community philanthropy, helping to drive transformational change and to sustain that change long after the power has shifted.

Author: Surinder Hundal & Ros Tennyson

Published by: Partnership Brokers Association

Published: December 2016

Download ‘Shifting the Power: How can Working in partnership Help?’


Community Philanthropy in Violently Contested Societies 

This ‘Lessons from the Field’ note examines the distinct role that community philanthropy can play in contexts of division and conflict. It draws on the experiences and practices of community philanthropy organizations working in situations of conflict and division in different contexts, and offers insights to practitioners and funders alike on strategies for responding to, engaging with, and bridging communities experiencing violence and a breakdown in trust.

Author: Avila Kilmurray

Published by: GFCF

Published: January 2017

Download the ‘Lessons from the Field’ note 


A Gendered Look Into Bhaktapur’s Recovery And Rebuilding: An Applied Research

This report documents the social and economic effects of the people-led recovery and rebuilding process in the historic district of Bhaktapur, Nepal following the spring 2015 earthquakes and the subsequent aftershocks. These earthquakes caused the death of 8,790 people, injured over 22,000, and left over half a million homes either destroyed or uninhabitable. They also destroyed a large number of cultural and historic sites including in Bhaktapur, a UNESCO world heritage site known for the temples of Durbar Square, where hundreds of monuments collapsed. Prepared by Tewa, the Nepal Women’s Fund, and Nagarik Aawaz, this report deepens understanding of the implications of this destruction on the women and men of Bhaktapur District and offers interesting practical findings and recommendations related to gender and disaster, trauma from disasters, as well as the effects of the earthquakes on the social, economic, cultural and infrastructural levels for planners, practitioners, policy makers, and researchers.

Authors: Susan Risal, Urmila Shrestha, Rita Thapa

Published by: Nagarik Aawaz, Tewa

Published: 2016

Download the report