Recommendation G: Allocating resources for capacity and sustainability
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
We are aware that resources aren’t always allocated directly into programme activity. For a sustainable movement, we also need to consider allocating resources for:
- growing capacity of the recipient to receive resources (‘absorption capacity’)
- developing fundraising capacities (resources to generate future resources, sustainability)
We want to help local groups, entities, and even individuals receive resources more effectively.
This will be done by growing capacity of resource recipients. Receiving funds can be hard and we need to invest in their absorption capacity to support this
This must be prioritised for new and emerging groups/people, especially in the Global South. We don’t want to prioritise growing capacities of established entities, and with doing so entrenching inequity.
There is an element of sustainability to this. If the emerging Wikimedia groups want to aim for sustainability, there should be resources for them to develop their fundraising capacities too. This doesn’t necessarily imply that these entities must eventually become independent - we understand that in some contexts, there may be a need to fund an entity on a permanent basis as it’s not possible to achieve full sustainability.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
- In many places we don’t have the decentralized capacity to absorb the investments/resources and need to allocate resources to build it
- We are happy to do this even if it’s costing more in the short term
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
In terms of absorption capacity: Local structures often do not have the required capacity to handle resources, even if they are able to deliver programme activities with the resources. We allocate small amounts of money to small or emerging groups, expecting them to grow their own capacity to receive larger resources in the future. Instead, there should be help provided to help them develop capacity to receive larger, more ambitious, resources.
In terms of fundraising capacities: growing fundraising capacities, sharing donor data, will empower local entities, and potentially also grow revenues.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
Local structures will have means to acquire and operate local grants (and raise other funds).
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
Everyone who seeks resources - especially those who don’t feel they can receive large amounts of resources.
Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
If the capacity building is not done in a mindful and targeted way, it may boost existing, already privileged entities, and harm equity development.
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?
- It focuses on growing emerging entities within the movement
- It will require closer collaboration between the assumed global entity and the decentralized structures on fundraising.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
Potentially with the recommendations of the Hubs - there could be local synergies there.
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
It directly addresses the question Q7 Sustainability:
- In what ways should allocated resources guarantee future resources (sustainability)?
- How can we integrate capacity building (for sustainability) with resource allocation?
- If we focus on the financial aspect: How do we use existing funds to create future funds? What are the contextual variations that we need to consider for this process and will this process be different for emerging and non-emerging communities?
It also forms part of the answer to Q1 How can resource allocation support structures that empower different actors within the free knowledge movement long-term?, since resource capacity addresses empowerment and a long-term perspective.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
- Revenue Streams (for the proposed fundraising model)
- Capacity building (for building ‘absorption capacity’)
Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?
We are also considering a decentralised fundraising model: investing in a number of decentralised structures to build up and increase the capacity to raise, spend and account for funds, with a consideration to do this in a thoughtful way that promotes equity between the Global North and the Global South. The goal would be to increase global revenue by being able to operate at a very local, targeted level. To achieve this, we will have active and autonomous entities that raise funds to support free knowledge around the globe. This also requires sharing global donor data with decentralised entities (donor data as a resource to be allocated)
Having specific entities that do fundraising at a local level, taking into account the local context, language, culture etc will lead to a more targeted approach that could yield higher results with smaller efforts. This in turn would increase the global revenue, which would mean more funds will be available for emerging regions or projects, experimentation and programs.
Local structures will have proper incentives in order to raise additional resources, strive for excellence and provide quality services locally, and not remain complacent with a globally allocated level and scope of activities.