Grantmakers launch collaborative to improve global safeguarding practices

Melanie May | 18 March 2021 | News

Five grantmaking organisations have joined forces to create the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative – promoting collaboration, listening, and learning among funders and local civil society organisations to support and strengthen safeguarding practices both in their home countries and internationally.

The Funder Safeguarding Collaborative (FSC) Funder Safeguarding Collaborative comprises Comic Relief, Global Fund for Children, The National Lottery Community Fund, Oak Foundation, and Porticus.

The Funder Safeguarding Collaborative connects funders free of charge to knowledge and expertise including webinars, discussion forums, a resource library, and working groups. Tailored, fee-based support, including a training programme, an advice line, and consulting on everything from policy development to incorporating safeguarding into grantmaking, is also on offer.

In addition, members have opportunities to invest in evidence-based initiatives to improve global safeguarding practices, including small grants to local civil society organisations to advance approaches grounded in local cultures and realities. The FSC will support a pilot programme in Uganda and subsequently scale grantmaking to other countries, taking what it calls ‘a power-shifting approach that fosters more equitable relationships between funders and grantees’.

Global Fund for Children President and CEO John Hecklinger said:

“Together, we can help ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children, youth, and communities we work with around the world. By recognising and amplifying local knowledge and practices, and creating a platform for sharing what works, the FSC will foster the development of organisational cultures and systems that protect young people and others vulnerable to abuse from harm.”

FSC Director Karen Walker-Simpson added:

“We know that an abundance of knowledge and expertise already exists within civil society organisations and the communities they serve. The FSC will act as a catalyst for change by creating shared spaces to listen and learn from others and opportunities for funders to invest in positive practices.”

FSC membership is open to charitable trusts and foundations, intermediary funders that dedicate at least 50% of their budgets to grantmaking and grantee support, and funder networks that wish to promote safeguarding as part of their work.

The FSC will also engage community-based civil society organisations, researchers, government agencies, and others with expertise in this area, including individuals with lived experience. These stakeholders will have the opportunity to contribute to the design of its strategies and services, and to engage in dialogue with members through webinars and discussion forums. This engagement is part of a broader effort to shift power in philanthropy and foster trust-based funder-grantee relationships.

The FSC is housed within Global Fund for Children, which provides administrative support and technical expertise to develop and grow the collaborative.

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