Testimonial: Reconstruction Women’s Fund (Serbia) on flexible funding

The Serbian foundation Rekonstrukcija Ženski fond (Reconstruction Women’s Fund) supports feminist activism with flexible funding. We have been in touch with them recently to hear about their funding philosophy. They are an interesting case because they are particularly concerned with the dangers of professionalization of grassroots groups. Here is a statement they wrote for us on their work and funding strategy:

“At Reconstruction Women’s Fund, we prefer flexible funding of grassroots groups, observing funded activities within the wider landscape of the feminist movement rather than isolated projects. To maintain the sparks of progressive grassroots activism, activists need to be covered enough not to worry too much about their finances, and this is exactly what organizations supported by us frequently highlight as something they appreciate the most about our partnerships. It is not big news that there is a tendency for professionalization of activism. This often puts groups in a competitive position, while also leaving them under a pile of paperwork, eventually lacking time for activism in their fields. Instead of competition, we choose solidarity. Instead of bureaucracy, we choose to build our relationships on trust. And finally, what’s done in the field is much more important than deadlines, receipts or project modifications. Even though our mission of supporting feminist platform against war, militarism, nationalism, racism, discrimination and violence against women was clear from the beginning, our flexibility of funding kept on developing over the years based on the movement’s insights and needs, and for these organic guidelines on how to better support and serve the movement, we are honestly thankful.”

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