Optimise Funding

The estimated shortfall in SDG financing is massive—2.5 trillion USD, annually. Philanthropic institutions, development aid agencies, investors, corporate donors and others need to unlock an unprecedented amount of capital. And, to adequately support systems change efforts, their requirements, mental models and practices need to evolve.

Catalyst 2030 recently contributed to a report—Embracing complexity: Toward a shared understanding of funding systems change—which distilled recommendations from several sources into five core principles. The report invites the funding community to embrace these principles and “fundamentally rethink and redesign the way systems change approaches are being supported.”


1. Embrace a systems mindset by being clear about the systems you want to change, incorporating systems change into your DNA, and actively looking for funding opportunities

2. Support evolving paths to systems change by funding systems leaders with transformative visions of improved systems rather than projects, investing in learning and capability building and encouraging collaboration among systems change leaders

3. Work in true partnership by acknowledging and working against power dynamics, providing support that fits systems change leaders’ needs and being mindful of their limited resources

4. Prepare for long-term engagement by being realistic about the time it takes to achieve systems change, acknowledging that the path of the initiatives will change along the way and encouraging realistic ambitions

5. Collaborate with other stakeholders by aligning with other funders, building networks for systems change leaders, and leaving the leading role to systems change leaders

Stay Tuned!

We’re still in our planning and development phase, while pursuing a few early opportunities that have emerged from within the movement. The Catalyst 2030 website is a work-in-progress and will be regularly updated.

If you would like to receive updates, or are curious about anything else, please let us know through the form. We will reply as soon as possible.

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