Funding Social Movements: Key lessons
This report captures the principles and behaviours which underpinned a grant funding programme for social movements campaigning for change in health and care. It also reflects on how funding movements differs from supporting projects or more traditional organisations, and what structures and methods can help make funding relationships of this sort prosper.
We describe each stage of the funding process (from recruitment to the programme, to relationship management, to evaluating impact). The report will be of interest to trusts, foundations and individual donors interested in allying with social movements and the causes they support.
We identified four key behaviours that helped us to collaborate effectively with the social movements we supported. These were:
- Congruence – We aimed to embody the values of social movements.
- Adaptable – We aimed to be responsive to the needs of individual movements.
- Critical friend – We aimed to provide a high degree of challenge alongside a high level.
- Relational – We were mindful of our relationships with the movements, and tried to be an ally and build trust.
The report reflects on what we got right (and wrong) and offers insight into a future where collaboration might supersede traditional philanthropy.
This paper was based on research conducted by Icarus – Nesta's knowledge and learning partner on the Social Movements for Health programme.