Giving Compass' Take:

• WINGS highlights philanthropic networks and support organizations that are successfully working to protect and grow the space for giving.

• How can funders work to spread and use the learnings shared here? 

• Read about the benefits of collaborative philanthropy

The networks, associations and other organizations supporting donors and foundations are developing unique and indeed successful strategies and solutions to overcome these challenges. Beyond simply responding to more restrictive operating envrionments, they are also playing a proactive role in expanding the space and creating new incentives for the sector to thrive.

Philanthropy and giving are critical to the mission of how we build more resilient, sustainable and democratic societies while helping to achieve the ambitions laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their success relies on two central pillars: the development of a strong Philanthropy Support Ecosystem (PSE), or infrastructure, and an enabling environment that helps civil society to thrive. The PSE is comprised of the organizations and individuals who help to create the conditions for philanthropy to achieve its potential.

Seventy-two percent of WINGS members have reported that they are increasingly engaged in advocacy to encourage a more enabling environment for philanthropy. Equally important, in a challenged context of shrinking space, the PSE is playing a key role in developing solutions to support civil society under restrictive or authoritative regimes.

The enabling environment that underpins the work of philanthropy includes many components like bank de-risking, crossborder giving, burdensome reporting/ registration, tax incentives, civic space, the right of association, funding mechanisms, advocacy, amongst many others. Through their advocacy, PSOs can influence laws, regulations that surround these. The message in these case studies is clear: a strong support ecosystem for giving and philanthropy facilitates collaboration, professionalizes the field, promotes giving and builds standards.