Blueprint 8: Funding Governance for Systemic Transformation (forthcoming)

Purpose of the Blueprint

AspectExplanation
Introduction

There is increasing recognition of the need for systemic transformation, if humanity wishes to persist. But how will we resource such systemic transformation? The funding field is structured to apply project- and program-based interventions, not systemic solutions. Furthermore, the field is embedded in the existing economic system, which provides its foundational resources as well as its ongoing financial returns, such that transformational ambition requires navigating entrenched conflicts of interest. 

The question arises: how does the funding field transform itself in order to fund systemic transformation? This question points to the central role of governance in triggering transformation. Robust governance focused on transformation applies both to funding organizations and initiatives, as well as fundee organizations and initiatives. Grassroots initiatives are seeding the soil for structural transformation in the funding arena, and leaders in the field are taking first steps of self-exploration. This Blueprint seeks to identify the current state of play and current ambitions in funding and governance, as well as gaps between these and necessary transformation, with the goal of providing robust recommendations for filling these gaps in order to transform the field and the broader systems it seeks to influence.  

Focus

The primary focus will be on the funder / fundee relationship, and its impact on broader systems transformation. Funders include philanthropic foundations (including family offices) and educational endowments, as well as multilaterals and governments.  

The primary focal funding activities are granting and subsidizing, though the Blueprint may also delve into the gray area between funding and finance of below-market rate finance as a form of funding.

The primary focal fundee is the not-for-profit organization / initiative.

While it is common to assume that the altruistic connotations of this field of activity render it immune from conflicts of interest and status quo inertia, this Blueprint takes the position that this field is as fallible as other human areas of endeavour, and so applies commensurate rigor. 

Link to other r3.0 Blueprints

The GMF Blueprint will make specific use of concepts of earlier developed Blueprints, especially

Areas the Blueprint will cover

AspectExplanation
Regenerative Governance Principles

Principles-based approaches support broadly applicable general specifications.

Blue Marble Evaluation PrinciplesBlue Marble Evaluation Principles focus explicitly on systemic transformation, coming from the world of evaluation that assesses funding impact. 
Conflict of Interests Case studies of conflicts of interest in the funding and not-for-profit fields.
And Other Areas 

Resources the Blueprint will build upon

ResourceExplanation
Building an Impact Economy: A Call to Action for the Philanthropic SectorThis Blueprint will use this existing “call to action” to identify the current level of ambition in the field, and assess if it is sufficient to achieve the necessary levels of transformation to achieve sustainability, regeneration, and thriveability. 
Global Philanthropy ReportThis Harvard-Kennedy School report will provide baseline information.

Expected outcomes of the Blueprint

OutcomeDetail
Repository

Blueprints typically result in a repository of source materials numbering in the hundreds, compiled into a repository

Infographics from virtual dialogues

Blueprint development typically involves a virtual dialogue on Currnt for each Exposure Draft, resulting in infographic reports  

Public comment

After vetting two Exposure Drafts with the Working Group of 20-40 global experts, a Public Comment period precedes final publication

Blueprint # 8

The final version of Blueprint 8 will be published as a r3.0 Blueprint Report for release at the September 2022 r3.0 Conference.

Parties who should be involved

Main roles: (S)=sponsors; (W)=work partners; (R)= research partners; (D)=data providers; (V)=validating/networking partners
Sponsors (S)Foundations, Family Offices, Multilaterals, Governments
Research partners (R)Academic Alliance members, Academics, Practitioner Researchers
Work partners (W)Advocation Partners and Transformation Journey Program Participants 

Data providers (D)

Validating / networking partners (V)

Management of the Blueprint project

FunctionRole Description
Program managerRalph Thurm & Bill Baue
BP Lead AuthorsBen Roberts

Funder Participants

7-10
Network Representatives7-10
Non-Profit Representatives3-5

Timeline

MonthActivities
1Call for participation, set up of working group, budget check, official launch
2-3Literature collection, analysis,
4-5Prepare First Exposure Draft
61st Online Dialogue, In-Person Working Group Meeting
7Prepare Second Exposure Draft
82nd Online Dialogue, In-Person Working Group Meeting, Public Comment Period
9-10

Final version of Blueprint and release

Resources

ContributionsDescription
Funding

200k Euro, @20k standard contribution, or minimally 10k 

In-kindpossible

Funding Governance for Systemic Transformation

forthcoming

Funding Governance for Systemic Transformation Blueprint Repository

Lead Author

 Ben Roberts

Co-Founder

The Conversation Collaborative

Project Management

Bill Baue

Senior Director

r3.0

+1 413 387 58 24

Ralph Thurm

Managing Director

OnCommons / r3.0

+31 64 600 14 52

Working Group Members

Joe Doran

Joe Doran

Inquiry Manager, Lankelly Case Foundation

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