Giving Compass' Take:
- Here are several avenues for funders to support pro-democracy movements to advance racial justice and civil rights.
- In what ways are pro-democracy movements currently fragmented, and where can donor capital help?
- Learn more about investing in democracy.
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As the United States celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on 16 January, it is a moment to look back on the ways a broad-based, pro-democracy movement came together to push for civil rights and racial justice. Looking ahead to 2023, the need to galvanize such a large-scale, diverse movement is as crucial as ever.
The alarming rates of democratic decline and rising authoritarianism around the world are well documented. Philanthropists can find inspiration from the diversity of entry points for the many actors involved in the US civil rights movement and play their part to help break down the often siloed and fragmented pro-democracy efforts of today.
This quote from Dr King, taken from his book about the Montgomery bus boycott, extols the need for multiple entry points for movement participation with various, complementary approaches and roles. Such a systems approach to countering authoritarianism and fighting for democracy requires a systemic view of where funding can have the most leverage within the very complex pro-democracy movement ecologies that continue to evolve around the world. Studies show that movements are most successful when there is a wide diversity of societal participation. While different country contexts vary, funders have several ways they can support the process of broadening and coalescing pro-democracy movements:
- Fund mapping efforts to help different actors see themselves as a part of the larger movement.
- Strengthen collective action muscles.
- Support training, coaching, and facilitation infrastructure.
- Provide both general operating funds and quick response funds to spur collaboration.
Read the full article about supporting pro-democracy movements by Julia Roig at Alliance Magazine.