The Burning Questions of Alignment

We believe that there’s great power in knowing the questions and challenges that are keeping your peers up at night. Not only does it help to reassure that you’re not alone in your work but it can spark a conversation, which in turn can shift thinking and practice. The mission of the Funders Node is to change strategies; which we believe can happen by creating space for peer-to-peer engagement.

With only three days for our most recent Wasan retreat, we barely scratched the surface. There are still many burning questions that deserve more time and space to reflect and international peer support, including:


  • How do we know we’re making a difference?
  • How do we create networks and platforms for impact?


  • How do we not exclude most marginalised?
  • How do you decide who is in and who is out? Who gets to be involved in the alignment?
  • How do we start to question ourselves and our own power, privilege, with different suspects and sharing the power with others in our landscape?   
  • How do foundations perpetuate inequality?


  • What are the different methods and tools that enable alignment? What’s worked elsewhere and in different contexts? What hasn’t?
  • How do we create quicker feedback loops and enabling more learning both internally and externally?
  • How do you align across sectors?
  • How do you sustain the energy and manage the transition of an alignment?


  • How do we pivot around urgency?
  • How do we become ready to lose control? (both internally and externally)
  • What’s the right governance model to support this work?
  • How do you integrate change management to accompany alignment internally?
  • How do we change our own internal operations to best support alignment and equal opportunities?
  • How do you balance systems change with your grantmaking?


  • How do we spread a culture of innovation?
  • How do we create an enduring platform to support this work?

If any of these questions resonate with your work, get in touch. We’re planning to host more gatherings across the world with more funders to dive deeper into these burning questions.

‘It’s by coming together with foundations from other parts of the world that we have the opportunity to learn from them and to contribute to the emerging global conversation and collaboration that are very much shaping our work and others on both a global and local level’  Stephen Huddart, J.W, McConnell Family Foundation