“Trust in Action”: A Grassroots-Led Resource for Change in Philanthropy

By Global Fund for Children | May 21, 2024 | Africa & The Middle East, Asia, Europe & Eurasia, The Americas | Education, Youth Empowerment

Created by grassroots leaders around the world, this new resource from Global Fund for Children illuminates the funding struggles of community-based organizations and provides solutions centered on trust and flexible funding.

Grassroots organizations are a driving force for transformation, intimately understanding the unique challenges and opportunities within their communities.  However, traditional funding models leave grassroots groups with limited access to funding, minimal resources to operate effectively, and rigid funding restrictions, hindering their ability to fully address community needs and nurture community change.

Global Fund for Children’s new resource, Trust in Action: The Bridge Between Grantmakers and the Grassroots, confronts this reality head-on. Also available in French and Spanish, this resource provides community-based organizations (CBOs) with the language and framework to advocate for trust-based partnerships. Formulated in solidarity with the growing movement to shift power in philanthropy and global development, it’s a call to action for funders and International Development Organizations to embrace a more equitable approach.

This extraordinary resource was crafted not by distant experts but by Change Champions – grantee partner and youth leaders deeply embedded in grassroots organizations around the globe. Through their collective wisdom, “Trust in Action” dismantles the constraints that traditional funding places on CBOs.

Grassroots Leaders Offer Solutions

This resource is a blueprint for change, penned by those who know best how to unlock the potential of CBOs. The Change Champions advocate for:

“Registering a nonprofit is not realistic given the fees; young activists and small organizations can’t afford it. The for-profit categories can’t access grants. It becomes difficult to apply for funding.” – Wardah Noor, xWave, Pakistan

“Flexible funding for me is having a choice and a voice. When an organization receives flexible funding, it empowers and unlocks our agency to be able to try innovative things, try out new projects, and try out what the best solution is for a challenge that we are trying to address.” – Lawrencia Awuku, Move the World, Ghana

“There is a big difference when capacity building is needs-based versus following only donors’ aims. . . When we want to strengthen communities, we ask them what they need. It should be the same with donor-local organization partnerships.” – Anna, Informal Education Center “Diversity,” Moldova

“Funders must offer a great deal of flexibility, ongoing support, and adaptive learning to make a gradual shift that enables small organizations to embed new methodologies within their organizational practices. It’s critical that funders truly walk with organizations as partners to understand how and why change happens.” – Lusine Kosakyan, Frontline Youth Network, Armenia

Shifting power conference participants

Shift The Power Conference 2023. © GFC
Join GFC to Build a Bridge with the Grassroots

Trust in Action: The Bridge Between Grantmakers and the Grassroots is a catalyst for reimagining philanthropy. It is a testament to the power of CBOs and a roadmap for how funders can better support their work. Here are some ways to get involved in the push for more trust and flexibility in grantmaking:

True change starts at the grassroots. Let’s give CBOs the tools and resources they need to build a brighter future for their communities – and for the world.

Header Photo: GFC’s Change Champions at at Human Rights Funders Network conference. © GFC.

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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