Funders in Canada say they want to collaborate to support digital development, learn more about digital inequity and establish a strategic vision and community of practice, similar to collaborations in other countries. NetGain Partnership, in the US, is a good example of funders coming together and pooling resources.
In 2015, NetGain was founded by the CEOs of a small number of foundations, and launched as a unique initiative to advance digital rights. Today, it’s supported by eight partners who share principles and strategies: the Ford, MacArthur, Knight, Mozilla, and Skoll foundations, as well as the Omidyar Group, Open Society, and the Wallace Global Fund.
Each year, they select a strategic theme at the intersection of technology and philanthropy (such as how to strengthen tech talent in civil society or how to address the harms wrought by Big Tech), and they commit to learning together about an emerging topic at a systemic level, so that even if NetGain’s work isn’t aligned with an individual foundation’s program strategies, the partnership creates an environment for shared innovation and collaboration. The collaboration makes investments from individual funders more efficient and allows the group to address topics that are too large for any one funder to tackle alone.