Unbound Philanthropy believes in the power of shared learning; the necessity of collaboration, alignment and coordination; and in using an intersectional lens to understand complex problems and relationships as the basis of thoughtful strategies. It is part of several funder collaboratives such as the Four Freedoms Fund (FFF), the Pop Culture Collaborative (PCC), and the Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity. Taryn Higashi sat down with the directors of these collaboratives, Anita Khashu, Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Aleyamma Mathew, to share lessons and learn from one another.

Taryn Higashi (TH): How do collaboratives, especially those working across intersecting issue areas, help play a bridging role among funders? What other benefits do you see for funders? 

Anita Khashu (AK): A collaborative fund that’s well-resourced and has the right people at the table can hold the big picture of a movement or a field. It can supplement a program officer’s capacity to track what’s happening on the ground, what the trends are and where the gaps are. It can expand the program officer’s body of knowledge and perspective that informs their grantmaking. A common theme we hear from funders is that they do better grantmaking now that they are at the table.

Working in collaboration also expands the collection of information, perspective and knowledge for the collaborative itself. And a collaborative ensures that grantmaking is better coordinated and that there’s less duplication.

Collaboratives allow people who have spent their entire careers doing immigrant rights funding, for instance, to sit with others who have spent their entire careers doing reproductive justice work. Often, it surfaces not just common ground, but new ground.

Read the full interview about funder collaboratives from Unbound Philanthropy at National Committee of Responsive Philanthropy.