Think Piece

Watering the grassroots: a strategy for social movement support
By TAI
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In this third and final think piece exploring the role of grassroots organizations and movements for state accountability (find the previous pieces here and here), the author Mary Joyce, proposes new thinking about how funders and other external organizations can best support social movements.  Funding and other support for popular organizations and movements is not straightforward, and there are potential risks and distortions involved.  Interested supporters need to clearly identify and articulate these obstacles in their discussions with movement activists before pursuing and funding or other support activities.

This think piece outlines several potential avenues of support: small, flexible grants; funding intermediary organizations; providing external consultants or researchers to work with movements; and other options as well.  These suggestions provide ideas for funders and other organizations seeking to move beyond projects to supporting robust accountability ecosystems, in which grassroots organizations and movements play a critical role.

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Report insights + takeaways

Fighting for transparency and accountability
No one will fight harder for transparency and accountability than those that suffer most from its absence.
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Supporting the grassroots
In order to support the grassroots, funders will need to make themselves accessible to those without bureaucratic skills and the legal and financial characteristics of a traditional NGO.
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