Building institutions and networks to fight inequality

Building institutions and networks to fight inequality


At the Ford Foundation, we know that inequality
limits the potential of all people everywhere.
It’s at the root of nearly every social problem,
and there is no quick fix.
That’s why it’s essential to invest in organizations
and networks that are working to reduce inequality
over the long term.
So what do organizations and networks need to build
a sturdy foundation for their work?
Clear strategic goals and a plan to achieve them.
Effective and diverse leadership and staff,
and efficient systems that make their work possible.
And steady, flexible funding so organizations can become
more resilient and have the tools they need to respond to unexpected
challenges and seize moments of opportunity.
With these critical building blocks in place,
organizations and networks can grow stronger
and fight inequality for years to come.
But devoting resources to these areas can be
quite a challenge for nonprofit organizations,
often operating with shoestring budgets.
That’s why the Ford Foundation is inviting up to 300
organizations
and networks to join BUILD,
a $1 billion initiative that gives them the trust, flexibility,
and additional support they need to do their best work.
So how does BUILD do that?
Let’s take the example of an organization working
on women’s economic justice.
Every day, they are focused on addressing urgent needs in the field,
like providing legal support in employment discrimination cases
and advocating for paid leave policies.
The organization is focusing all of its resources to attend to these
realities, and sometimes can’t afford to take the long view.
BUILD offers flexible, multiyear funding, giving the organization
the support it needs to plan for the long term.
We provide tools to help the organization assess its strengths and weaknesses
and figure out where it can improve.
And we provide additional funding so the organization
can invest in a plan of action to get there. In this case, that might
mean strengthening their communications and technology .
mean strengthening their communications and technology.
It might also mean expanding their work into new issues and places,
amplifying their impact.
We connect them to other organizations doing similar work,
so that peers can learn from each other and grow stronger together.
In the process, we help organizations evaluate what’s working
and what could be improved, ensuring that they always have
what they really need.
Throughout, the organization is always in the driver’s seat,
determining their own
priorities and the best ways forward.
We hope this strengthens not only these organizations,
but their broader fields and movements around the world,
all on the way to making a real difference
in reducing inequality.

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