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Aligning for Impact - a view from global foundations

Published Date: 12 February 2018

The challenges our societies face are growing in scale and complexity. No single organisation is able to solve these challenges alone. Not even foundations are reaching this challenge, despite their unique positioning and ability to take more risks and invest in a longer time frame. 

There is, however, a rise in popularlity of collective impact approaches and global collective efforts, like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that demonstrate a turning point. Organisations are beginning to understand that collective action is needed; one that expands beyond sectors and levels within the systems. 

Our individual capacities are limited compared to the scale of the problems. And despite knowing we need to work together, it doesn't make it any easier in practice. 

This is why we brought together senior representatives from 18 global foundations and leading thinkers for a retreat focusing on this topic in August 2017 on Wasan Island, Canada as part of the SIX Funders' Node. Together we explored what works, what doesn't, practical frameworks, approaches, and stories of how to shift organisations, cultures and mindsets. 

The SIX Funders’ Node connects global foundations and funders to increase the flow of funding to support social innovation and systemic change. At various convening’s throughout the year, over 70 foundations from 17 countries connect with each other to share experiences, insights, tools, resources and methodologies to learn from each others' successes and challenges and, as a result, achieve greater impact.

This report highlights our learnings from the retreat and explores what we mean by alignment, principles and aides for action, stories of alignment from foundations from around the world and the collective actions we developed. 

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You can download the full report here