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Systems Change Philanthropy: An Initial Landscape of Actors, Initiatives, and Resources

January 15, 2021
The Why: Systems Change Philanthropy is Needed to Address Root Causes and Build Resilience

The global pandemic has exposed weakness in systems that serve the public and set back prospects for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Solving the world’s biggest and most complex problems requires funding that goes beyond addressing symptoms and instead tackles root causes. Philanthropists and social investors need to provide funding in a manner that best supports systems change.

For more than a decade, funders such as Garfield Foundation, Omidyar Network, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), Skoll Foundation, and others have been raising awareness of systems change investment and associated frameworks for greater impact. Catalyst 2030 is bringing together the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, along with like-minded funders, to adopt a collaborative and systems mindset and approach to achieving the SDGs. Catalyst 2030’s goals include changing funding systems to better support systems-change interventions.

To help inform this work, we offer this draft ‘living document’ that works to list the actors, initiatives, and informational resources at the intersection of systems change and philanthropy. In 2018, Gurpreet Singh of the Skoll Foundation began collating and tracking these efforts. And, now Chandler Foundation, has built upon his good work to assist the Catalyst 2030 Donor Working Group, and potentially, more broadly, the sector. Ideally, all interested partners will continue to add to this resource reference document as we progress. Within each of the sections below, listings are in alphabetical order.

To learn more about who is getting involved in our Scaling Solutions toward Shifting Systems initiative, read publications and reports on systems change philanthropy, and hear about upcoming events and opportunities, click here.

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