When we think about structuring an advocacy program within the Network, some questions arise: How to build impact through a network? Which are the methodologies for collectively building narratives, and how do we drive them forward? How to communicate concepts in a collective advocacy campaign? Who are actors to be involved and how to reach out to them?
To reflect on these challenges, the executive coordination of the Network has worked on elaborating a conceptual map of the Giving for Change Program. The infographic presented here, which brings some answers to these questions, is a result from that effort. There is a narrative behind that image, and we want to go deep into it.
Local communities, political minorities and the struggle for rights are at the core of the Giving for Change program, which seeks to boost voices and power with resources and capabilities distributed through strengthened civil society organizations.
Strengthening civil society organizations requires, among many other things, a strengthened culture of giving focused on access to rights, which, in turn, must be informed by engaging narratives created by the communities themselves in their historical struggles. It is not new that means of funding collective struggles have been organized from the grassroots, but nowadays it is crucial that the philanthropic ecosystem recognizes and reflects about the aim of its agendas.
We get, then, to the core of the Giving for Change project: a way of doing community philanthropy and philanthropy for social justice that focuses on a culture of giving that aims at strengthening civil society and the struggles for rights. Narratives are the driving force of advocacy, and these processes influence the national and international philanthropic ecosystem, bringing diversity and impact.
It seems complex, and it is. But we are talking about a mechanism which involves networked actors and holds the power to challenge traditional philanthropy systems based on external agendas and on power relationships organized from outside in or from top to bottom. We are talking about a system that, like a tree, is fed from the grassroots up, spreading the production of agendas, media contents, narratives, stories, impacts, resources.
At the roots that feed the system we have the narratives produced by the communities, which guide grantmaking, communication, assessment methodologies that are not only interested in financial reports, but rather in measuring what really matters: the production of knowledge and the exchange between pairs. Partnerships to make a collective and networked impact possible.
Communities that claim rights through a strengthened civil society receive resources and produce narratives which, in turn, fuel the impacts of community philanthropy and philanthropy for social justice on the culture of giving for rights and on the national and international philanthropic ecosystem.
The Giving for Change program will seek to influence the philanthropic ecosystem and strengthen the agenda of community philanthropy and philanthropy for social justice, which mobilizes resources for local communities and political minorities, supporting struggles for rights fought by communities, diverse audiences, and civil society organizations in order to produce an impact. The Network’s impact program wants to show the impact of donations on the field of social justice and for local communities. The goal is to create a display for our results. For that, it is necessary to measure what matters, and especially to build narratives collectively, starting from the organizations that are at the foundation of the struggle for rights.