Collaboration in Philanthropy: Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Greater Impact
Louise Driver, IPASA Executive Director
Collaboration, the ultimate intertwining of skill, passions, and knowledge, is what makes for the most durable form of change-making. Currently, philanthropy both locally and globally recognises the importance of collaboration because the problems that funders aim to address in this country are too extensive and profound for a single funder to solve alone. This is true both from a capital perspective and a capacity perspective.
Funder collaboration has the potential to optimise resource utilisation, create more opportunities, and ultimately achieve greater impact. However, true collaboration is not easy. It requires partners to put aside their egos – and to some extent their logos – and focus on a common vision. It takes time, long-term commitment, flexibility, and an openness to new ways of working. Despite the challenges, embracing collaboration can help overcome the many complex problems facing our society.
IPASA’s March 2023 Newsletter examines various forms and models of effective funder collaboration between foundations, highlighting successful examples. We explore the concept of collaboration as a means of transforming and reimagining the African funding system collectively. In addition, we delve into the ways in which research collaboration can address power dynamics in knowledge generation and the significance of collaboration beyond just achieving shared goals, including its connection to ethical funding practices.
At IPASA, we recognise the pressing need for collaboration, as well as the obstacles that hinder it. This year, we are thus focusing on working with funders to better identify and address the challenges that impede impactful partnerships. We will also investigate the key elements of successful funding collaboration through a series of funder workshops and case studies over the coming months.
Effective collaboration is a powerful tool in driving lasting and impactful change, and as funders, it is essential to recognise the value of collective efforts in addressing the complex and pervasive challenges of our times. We aim in this edition of our newsletter aims to provide a platform for inspiring, educating, and fostering collaboration in the philanthropy sector.