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Resilient funders 

The closing space of civil society around the world over the last decades has created a challenge for social, economic, and environmental funders of civil society organizations. Funders are working in restrictive political environments and are subject to new and enhanced state restrictions on their activities, increased cost of funding from new red tape, and even physical and other immediate threats to their staff and networks.

While most work in the area focuses on advocacy for civil society organizations and enabling policy environments, little research looks at the key practices of resilient funders that enable them to continue to operate under shifting circumstances. This study considers a cross section of social change funders working in countries of concern that are creating ways to ensure that funds can continue to have an impact on issues as the space to operate narrows.

This paper applies a resilience lens to the funding sector and suggests ways that this lens can help evaluate and interpret how to continue supporting the civil society sector in old ways and new.

Authors: Chris Allan and Scott DuPree

Published by: Global Greengrants Fund & GFCF

Published: August 2017

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