The launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 marked a fundamental shift in approach to international development. Intrinsic to the SDGs is the understanding that no goal can be achieved without all sectors of society playing their essential roles, and without collaboration within and across sectors at unprecedented scale.
Within the overall system, philanthropic organisations have a hugely important and unique role: as partners, as funders, as drivers of innovation and as catalysts for collective action.
At TPI, we bring years of experience in partnering from working with other sectors, including the UN system, the private sector, NGOs and government. We are now excited to be working with philanthropic foundations in the US, Europe and beyond, on a collaborative programme to explore current approaches in the sector to directly and practically support the partnering ambitions of the foundations involved. Together we will seek to develop new tools, build knowledge, and share evidence of good practice for foundations and partnering.
Foundations are exploring new partnering approaches – for instance, moving from grantmaking to a strategic partnering relation with grantees, or encouraging their grantees to collaborate with each other to jointly deliver impact. Others are seeking to bring about systems-level change are reflecting on the role foundations should play in collaborations – and weighing up whether to take a more proactive, convening function. However, adjusting the nature of a donor/grantee relationship can be difficult, particularly given issues of power balance. So with this new area of focus, TPI will work with foundations to better understand what collaboration means in practice and how to maximize the additional value created by working in this new, collaborative way.
After an initial inquiry phase to establish a baseline for the sector and work with Pioneer Members to carry out tailored ‘Fit for Partnering Assessments’, our programme Partnering for Philanthropic Impact will invite further input from across the sector to develop:
- Guidance for foundations and NGOs to work most effectively together as partners;
- Guidance, and a set of tools and templates, for foundations to effectively foster and support partnerships across their lifecycle;
- Tools to help both optimize and measure the value-add being created by partnerships;
- Guidance for grantees to support their institutional approach and capacity for partnering; and,
- Benchmarking tool(s) to allow foundations to estimate resourcing options for new partnerships.
We are thrilled to have kicked off the initial Inquiry phase of work in this area with Pioneer Members, including Z Zurich Foundation.
|Z Zurich Foundation empowers communities to better protect themselves from risk, and to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. Click here to visit their website.|
If you are interested in contributing your experiences to the inquiry phase, staying updated as findings and draft tools emerge, or in finding out about becoming a Member of the Partnering for Philanthropic Impact programme, please complete this form to express your interest and we will get back to you as soon as possible.