Big Lottery Fund (UK) / Global Fund for Community Foundations (South Africa)
"I am very much a newcomer to the world of Community Philanthropy and it appears I could not have picked a better time to engage. I am on secondment with the Global Fund for Community Foundations from the Big Lottery Fund a UK based funder that uses funds raised from National Lottery ticket sales to support good causes across the UK and in the global south. Last year we launched a new strategic framework, known as ‘People in the Lead’, it describes a quite dramatic shift from a process driven culture based around the justification of ‘needs’ to one that focuses much more on the skills, assets, and energy that people and communities bring. There are strong parallels of this work with the community philanthropy movement which has been thinking in a similar way for much longer.
There is great excitement that community philanthropy is on the cusp of a great leap forward, of no longer being an outlier in development but the growing normalisation of the concepts of shifting power downwards, participation, and of local decision-making and influence. I am expecting to learn a great deal about how these sometimes abstract notions are being putting into practice and how external funders should contribute and tap into this truly grass roots form of development – and how they might need to adapt."