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The Funders Node

The SIX Funders Node supports individuals in philanthropic foundations from around the world to work more effectively and authentically.

Philanthropy's role in ambitious social change

The SIX Funders Node was established to address the absence of innovation discussions in existing philanthropic forums; the lack of sharing knowledge and connections between funders who are interested in this topic globally; the need for more smaller, deeper, peer-led learning opportunities and solution building. As with all of SIX’s work, the SIX Funders Node is based on the global exchange of experiences and knowledge to drive positive social change. We believe that philanthropy can play an important role in ambitious social change, necessary to help solve the complex and urgent challenges our societies and planet face today.

Future-facing conversations

We have been supporting foundations since 2015 as they move away from traditional grantmaking practices and fund more social innovation to create systemic change. We work with foundations who are ready to have difficult and future-facing conversations, and recognise that it is individuals who must pursue these agendas and who must navigate the sector’s limitations. We create a safe space for individuals to step away from their day to day operations and interactions (including traditional philanthropy networks); connect with their global peers; and think critically about topics beyond the buzzwords.

Purposeful relationships and lasting change

We build lasting purposeful relationships through retreats, both offline and now online; we bring in perspectives from different sectors and geographies, drawing on SIX’s network, in order to provide fresh perspectives for foundations; we introduce topics at the forefront of new thinking to help the organisations we work with stay ahead; and we constantly zoom in and out simultaneously, working on skills and capacities within organisations, whilst also taking a systems approach.

We strive for the Funders Node to be a pioneering demonstration of how philanthropy should engage, to be challenged and challenge, not a reflection of how it is at the moment. In the process of learning together, we hope to push philanthropy to get there quicker.

Themes we have worked on include:

The best thing about the SIX Funders Node has been getting to know individuals and organisations that have similar challenges or similar questions to those I have. Having critical friends around the world has been really inspiring and helpful. They bring a whole host of experiences and perspectives from their contexts.

- Katie Wehr, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, USA

Find out more information about the Funders Node and how to get involved.

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