Impact, equity, Covid, climate change, advocacy amongst the hot topics in 2021 for funders

March 17, 2021

By Sue McCabe, Chief Executive, Philanthropy New Zealand

Funding for impact, towards equity, flexibly to meet a changing environment and in a way that respects the community sector are key topics philanthropic funders and grantmakers are focussed on as the 2021 year gets into full swing.

Funders are also looking at how they can add value beyond the money they grant. For example, using capital to impact invest; their voice to advocate; their procurement of services to support social and environmental outcomes; and reviewing their carbon footprint.

A growing number are undertaking the critical work to look at what Te Tiriti o Waitangi means for them as citizens and their organisations. There is increasing awareness of the need for greater understanding of Te Ao Māori (the world of Māori) before they can engage with tangata whenua with sufficient respect and competence to be able to support Māori aspiration.

There is the evolving community need, particularly in light of Covid, and the growing requirement to fund action against climate change. All these challenges and opportunities are set against the fact that the demand for philanthropic funding and grants far exceeds the available supply – a significant sector discussion point in itself.

Trends, challenges and opportunities, and the strengths and weaknesses of the philanthropic and grantmaking sector, are all laid out every two years in the programme for the biennial philanthropy summit. The changing environment, learnings from the past, and what we know is coming down the line have driven the programme for the Philanthropy Summit 2021. Two months out, we are updating the programme every day with phenomenal speakers on important topics.

The theme this year is Amplifying community aspirations – Te whakaharinga wawata ā-hapori. Each of the three part-days has a different theme. Day one is focussed on helping funders to support community in addition to their core role of donating money. Day two has a focus on engaging with Māori, and hearing from diverse communities most in need of support to achieve their aspirations.  Day three will look at the system supports needed for efficient and effective giving, and then feature hot topics impacting most givers.

Summit 2021 is going to be largely online, but with some opportunity to attend regional viewing parties on day one. While we know people are sad to miss out on this massive get-together of funders, we are also increasingly recognising the upsides. For example, on day two we have a stream of four workshops running concurrently on: te tiriti; understanding the basics of the world of Māori; practical ways to fund Māori aspiration; and support for governance to play its part.

Participants can attend one of these workshops live, but they’ll be able to watch the other three post the summit – over months if they choose – representing considerable professional development. Replicate this concept across the other four workshop streams and you’ve got a minimum of 22 relevant topics presented in bite-sized chunks to inspire, inform and help you over time. Overseas funders can register and watch this wealth of content in their own timezone.

Another upside is as well as the full funder programme, we also have an option for non-funders to register for the keynote sessions, to watch live or at a time of their choosing.

It’s going to be an amazing few days. We’ve made them short days, learning from international best practice regarding online events. This summit is the trusted and always highly regarded premier event for the funding sector.

You can find more information here and register quickly to take advantage of early bird pricing.