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Blog: More than the Poor Cousin


Why community philanthropy enables people-powered, sustainable development from the ground up

Across the board, civil society groups are finding it increasingly difficult to organize in ways that pursue a radical transformation of the current social and economic structures, while also mobilizing the resources needed to keep on keeping on.

The current funding landscape makes it hard for most civil society groups to not only grow and thrive, but to even to exist. The tendency of donors to make fewer, larger grants and the increasingly onerous audit/risk requirements are making it particularly difficult for small, Southern and spontaneous formations to access financial resources - except as sub-grantees of bigger, often Northern, first recipients.

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It’s time for human rights organizations to harness the power of local giving – and for funders to support them to do so

Individual giving has power. Consider the huge outpouring of donations to organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union that followed Donald Trump’s executive ban on seven Muslim-majority countries in January 2017. Millions of dollars were raised by donations from hundreds of thousand individuals within hours of the ban, the mobilization of a massive, perhaps normally invisible, constituency using the act of giving as an expression of protest and solidarity…

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