I AM A DONOR
Know their context
Be the change you want to see
Seeing the recent ambitions of many funders to promote collaborative projects has been promising, though it obviously also comes with scale benefits for funders. Yet requiring collaboration should also be encouraged alongside not just shared funds, but also an emphasis on designing and incorporating both donor-organisation and organisation-organisation processes that can act as mechanisms for collaboration.
This has an additional aspect: technology itself should also be creatively incorporated to minimise administrative burdens and enhance communication between stakeholders in a project. This must obviously be implemented within a context which appreciates digital inequalities.
Don’t be afraid of experiments
- “…innovation remains under-resourced, and models that are providing clear results are not properly supported;
- pathways to scale remain limited because of the total funding available; and
- the risk appetite of donors remains too conservative to properly support and scale innovation”
Help build capacity
Investment needs to be made into an organisation, rather than a project if you wish to contribute to a strategic vision. Fostering organisational development means supporting these costs, ideally through unallocated funds. However, it also means helping to address skills gaps within organisations that prevent them from effectively delivering, and also may prevent effectively practising for sustainability – similarly to how Incubators and Accelerators also provide support for improving a startup’s business and organisational development.
Donors with access to various human resources can help provide these forms of support while civic technology organisations scale up.
This capacity can also be developed through the provision of your own skills by actively sharing and participating in existing communities of practice on African civic tech funding, like CTINs.