In his contribution to Civicus’s State of Civil Society Report 2015, Darren Walker explains the importance of institution building and why social justice organizations need funding for core support (to which the foundation recently announced a renewed commitment):
"For all that project-based grants can accomplish, they cannot keep the lights on. They do not provide organisations with the flexibility to meet their needs and pursue their missions. They focus on a short term initiative, rather than long term institutional health. And this is why, going forward, as a general principle, the Ford Foundation is committed to increasing general support.
"In my experience, we too often ask what CSOs [civil society organizations] can do on our behalf, and too little about what we can do on theirs. When I was a CSO leader myself, I rarely heard foundation programme officers begin a conversation with the words, 'How can we help you create a stronger organisation?'
"And yet this is precisely the question donors should be asking."
Read the full essay, “How Can We Help You?”