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How Funders of Collective Impact Initiatives Can Build Trust

Here are four ways to strengthen collaboration and achieve greater impact

In the last decade, as funders have embraced a wide range of approaches to amplify their impact, philanthropy has become more complex. Many funders are engaging in co-creative, collaborative approaches to strategy and implementation, including collective impact, to leverage different forms of power and create real, sustainable community transformation.

In FSG's more than 20 years supporting funders large and small at all stages of their work, trust has proven to be one of the most important elements of effective collaboration. When funders build trusting relationships with their community partners, they can better understand the nuanced challenges those communities face. This allows them to identify and support more appropriate responses, distribute resources more effectively, strengthen coordination within collaboratives, support local leadership to address community challenges and maintain better reputations within the community.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboratives with trusting relationships have been better able to meet the emergent needs of communities they aspire to support; meanwhile, collaboratives that haven’t developed trust have struggled to coordinate and amplify efforts amidst the acute needs of the time.

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