From our network: co-learning on systems change in Switzerland

Since we founded the Center for Grantmaking Research in 2019 we are continuously increasing our network. We have been in touch with researchers, consultants, foundation staff, board members and nonprofit leaders across Europe and North-America. It is great to see that so many are committed to learning and collaborating about philanthropic funding practices, which is in line with our vision: “We believe that both funders and grantees can benefit from more knowledge creation and sharing on philanthropic grantmaking”.

Recently we learned about this initiative in Switzerland, where a group of 12 organizations set out on a journey to co-learn about ways to support systemic solutions to current global challenges. The Funding Systems Change Initiative created a set of tools which help foundations to reflect on their funding mechanisms as ways to support systems change. Members of the initiative include Ashoka, Collaboratio helvetica, and Oak Foundation, amongst others.

From the report Embracing Complexity: “Systemic challenges require systemic answers, but currently the dominant funding practices are ill-suited to support them.” By collaborative reflecting, deconstructing the problem, and co-learning about possible solutions, members of the consortium discussed different ways to support systems change.

In this blog post, Nora Wilhelm and Emilie Romon report some relevant insights from this journey.