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Shifting the Funding Paradigm

Catalyst 2030 Shifting the Funding Paradigm
Catalyst 2030 is using the power of collective action to achieve a new funding paradigm.

If we are to truly address global crises of our time, it is crucial that the environment that social impact actors operate in enables their work, rather than hinders it. This means ensuring that the funding that drives impact is effective, sustainable, and embraces systems change.

Catalyst 2030 and its members have a vision of a funding paradigm that is grounded in trust, partnership, and collaboration, all with the goal of driving global systems change to achieve the UN SDGs.

Our Working Group

Our Shifting the Funding Paradigm Working Group was formed in January 2020 at the outset of the Catalyst 2030 movement leveraging the network of social innovators around the globe and their ability to achieve their mission. It was established as a common platform to drive efforts to shift the current funding paradigm. The group has convened network leaders, social innovators and funders to map systems, conduct research and develop tools to achieve the effective funding of systems change organisations. The collective learning, action and connectivity have been truly global. Experts within the Working Group are poised to catalyse and reform promises within the philanthropic sector by creating a safe space to question current norms, listen to the challenges of both donors and doers and accelerate the change agenda required to overcome myriad issues that are holding back the progress of social innovation. Issues such as compliance, accountability, power, trust and the decolonisation agenda are being tackled at both the strategic and tactical levels. The group continues to explore novel approaches to actively involve funders in adopting flexible grantmaking practices and one that supports systems change work – addressing root causes rather than alleviating symptoms.

Are you a funder looking for how to engage with this work?


Our Embracing Complexity: Towards a Shared Understanding of Funding Systems Change


Our Open Letter: An Urgent Invitation to Shift Funding Practices


Our Funder Self-Assessment Tool

Are you a part of the movement working towards a new funding paradigm?

Let us know what you are doing by completing this short form and join the growing ecosystem map of actors advancing this work. Navigate the map below to see who and what else is out there. This map is not exhaustive but an attempt to bring us all on to the same page. Your feedback, input, and collaboration are crucial for our shared success, so please get in touch.

Kumu Map

Are you a funder looking to participate in this work?

If you would like to take action in any of the initiatives below, please reach out to

The Donor Learning Group

The Learning Group comprises 70 leaders from funder organisations who are dedicated to understanding and adopting a systems approach to their giving strategies. Each month, the group hosts presentations on a topic at the intersection of systems change and philanthropy.

The membership of this group ranges from the more progressive organisations such as Gates, Skoll and Mastercard Foundations to smaller family and corporate foundations that are beginning their journey towards a systems change orientation.
“It has been a great forum to learn from peers and to help us benchmark our strategy.”

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Share and Learn

To learn from each other by sharing perspectives and practices related to systems-changing efforts to advance the SDGs, as well as a commitment to improve the approach and impact of funding partners.

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Build Relational Networks

To broaden and deepen relational networks within the funding sector and to explore the dynamic of exchange, interchange and interest between funders and the broader community of award-winning social innovators/entrepreneurs and their organisations.

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Behaviour Change

To explore together the behaviours that reinforce the inequitable status quo and deconstruct those which are considered to be favourable attitudes, approaches, tools and methods to disrupt that equilibrium for greater equity and impact.

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To co-create initiatives and appropriate responses to deliver and achieve our mission and mutual goals.

Ecosystem Partners

The Ecosystem Partners are committed to supporting funders in their country/region to embrace the ten principles in the NGO letter. Our overall vision is to generate an ecosystem flexible enough to allow members to determine the structure of the donor collaborations they are interested in fostering.

Establishing a community of Practise
Establishing a community of Practise
Establishing strong ties

Fostering high levels of trust to promote internal cohesion

Evaluate adaptive capacity

How well can the ecosytem move with changing times? What is its responsiveness to a changing philanthropy landscape?

Unifying practice

Shared practice around how to promote the adoption of the 10 principles.


Establishing dedicated resources for convening, such as a mix of presentations, experience sharing, peer support, discussion sessions etc.

Success indicators

No. of members joining the ecosystem, no. of knowledge materials shared, quality of interactions

The goal is to create a global community of practice of actors who are seeking to shift the existing within current philanthropic ecosystems and to advance funder mindset, behaviour and practices towards a new paradigm – one that centres proximate expertise, is trust based and supports social innovators who are tackling root causes of systemic issues.

Compliance Conundrum Collaboration

Catalyst 2030 is collaborating with KujaLink, Epic Africa, TechSoup and Hilton Foundation, to address risk and compliance issues and barriers faced by community-driven and locally-led development initiatives.

This collaborative seeks to create a more inclusive and sustainable future for communities worldwide and to build greater trust between donors and doers. We are working to share and complement each other’s efforts in furthering the so-called localisation agenda or community-driven development by accelerating the journey towards more direct funding to national/subnational actors.

We want to walk shoulder to shoulder with donors and build bridges to achieve increased trust to support proximate leaders and organisations in attracting and retaining funding support.

Community of Practice

  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • transforming philanthropy
  • true accountability to communities
  • building the ecosystem

Transforming philanthropy does not only happen with philanthropic organisations and individuals operating in isolation. By bringing the different stakeholders together, we would like to shift the debate from ‘how to shift the power’ to ‘why did you not shift yet’ by showcasing best practices through a community of practice.

This is an initiative from Catalyst 2030, WINGS and the Resource Alliance, bringing together all stakeholders involved: philanthropic organisations and individuals, social innovators, fundraisers, civil society organisations and the communities and people we work with in the programs.

Shifting the funding paradigm resources

Explore our hub, a curated collection of resources empowering changemakers with insights, strategies, and perspectives to navigate social funding and drive impactful philanthropy.

Events calendar

Don’t miss out on the diverse range of events featured within this calendar, where pivotal discussions on social funding, sustainable solutions, and transformative change unfold.

Catalyst reports

How else can I get involved?

Nominate a funder for the Catalyst 2030 Award

Host a session at next years Catalysing Change Week

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