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Taking risks and achieving greater impact: A view from global foundations

Author: SIX
Published Date: 26 November 2018

Download the full report here

Philanthropic foundations play a critical role in the landscape of social change. They leverage largely private money for the good of society, by identifying problems in the world and funding solutions. Traditionally, this practice has been largely reactive, plugging funding and expertise gaps but not necessarily working to avoid these gaps appearing in the first place.

Many funders are increasingly interested in how they can adopt a systems mindset and approach to the way they fund. Many are starting to think more holistically about their role and how they work, moving away from traditional project output-based funding to mapping systems, understanding the best leverage points and working with others to fund larger scale initiatives. 

In September 2018, SIX partnered with the Fay Fuller Foundation to host a retreat in Adelaide, Australia. Philanthropic foundations from around Australia and across the globe gathered alongside systems change practitioners to explore how funders can take more risks and be more systemic to ultimately increase their impact. 

Key questions we explored included: 

●  What does risk look like when you work from a systems change perspective?

●  What are the different roles funders can play in supporting systems change?

●  What does it mean to develop a culture and capacity for systems change?

●  What are different approaches to systems change? 

For more information on this retreat or to find out more about the SIX Funders Node, please contact