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You may not know this, but 92% of funding for gender equity goes to large international organizations. Only 8% goes directly to leaders on the ground. 

Let’s shift that.

We want to move some that 92%…to local leaders. Local leaders are people on the ground who are already serving their communities in brilliant ways. They are trusted members of the community who know how to make things happen.

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Why? Because the true insights about what’s blocking a community’s progress only come from the inside. We find that insiders are the ones with the innovative ideas, the context, the history and the ability to get things done. Plus, our grants go directly to the people doing the actual work. And this vote of respect and confidence ripples in ways that are spectacular.

Some do. But it’s important to look at WHEN local leaders are involved—after all of the decisions have been made? Or at the beginning when the important elements of who, what, and where are still being decided?

Involving local leaders at the end of the process includes them as implementers, but not as decision-makers. And this is a big difference with Move92.

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We partner with local organizations at the very beginning. Why? Because local leaders already have plans for their communities.

When they are involved at the outset, they get the chance to use their own knowledge, ideas, and designs (vs. having to implement someone else’s ideas).

And some smaller organizations (who are already doing powerful work) get left out of the conversation entirely.

Many big aid organizations require funding applications that are incredibly labor intensive, complicated, and must be submitted in English.

Smaller, local organizations often don’t have the staff to even comply with the requirements…let alone track the data that big aid organizations need for reporting.

The same is true for organizations in remote areas, or ones who don’t have access to reliable internet or computers. Or translators who write in English.

In short, there are so many amazing local organizations that aren’t able to get on the radar of large aid organizations, let alone have the ability to apply, and then adhere to very strict and western-minded reporting requirements.

If you have a special issue or population you are interested in, we will actively seek out local leaders working hard to solve problems in this area. Here’s one example of a grant-maker who had that exact wish.

Curiously, any act of philanthropy is an act of trust.

But in the case of flexible, direct grants to local leaders, our way of granting invites honesty and transparency right from the beginning.

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We start the granting process having frank conversations about needs, issues and challenges. Our focus is on learning—which immediately changes the granting dynamic.

Move92 grants are also flexible. They are designed to still be useful if something doesn’t turn out exactly as expected.

This means local leaders know they can talk honestly to Move92 if they run into problems. There’s no barrier, or need to hide anything.

And a Move92 grant is flexible, so it is designed to encourage creativity and problem-solving.

After decades of observation, we have found that the more space you give for innovation and creativity, the more honesty you receive in return.

A local leader is a well-respected and trusted member of the community who understands the formal and informal ways to get things done.

Local leaders know the unique issues of their community inside and out, and are actively working to build up the next generation of leadership within it.

Local leaders have innovative ideas of how issues can be solved. And they recognize the extra effort needed to bring girls to the table.

They are an integral part of their community. They know it intimately. They call it “home” even though some of them may not have been born there originally.

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At Move92, our network is dynamic and diverse, spanning the globe, reaching corners that are often untouched by traditional methods of international aid.

Our trusted local leaders are tackling issues in their community that only they can define and address. And we celebrate their local knowledge by listening to their stories and solutions.

We talk about local leaders because they are real people with real visions. But we don’t fund them personally—we fund their organizations. And we support them as leaders.

Our way of granting directly to local leaders is a game-changer. It completely busts up old ideas of “helping.” And it upholds a vision of strength and resilience.

Starting a relationship as a dialogue is the first shift.

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Local leaders are respected for their expertise, and they start the relationship with Move92 talking honestly about their needs, challenges, and risks. Local leaders are treated as the experts they are.

A second shift happens when things may not turn out as planned. This is a major difference in how aid is traditionally managed, because with flexible funding, local leaders have the authority to make decisions without having to go back and waste precious time negotiating for this power. 

Here’s an example of why this is important.

A third shift happens when it comes time to report results. This process is done personally—in regular check-in conversations. We can’t underscore how different this process is.

The way international aid has been traditionally done, recipients are expected to jump through hoops to “prove” that they used the money wisely, and funders are the people who specify which hoops are required.

Doing reporting through regular conversations opens up a very different world. Not only are conversations efficient, but they are personal and creative. They reveal the true nature of what happens on the ground. And they relieve local leaders from countless hours preparing documents and fitting numbers into formal spreadsheets.

These conversations also offer an opportunity to solve real problems happening in real-time, because they invite honest discussion, ongoing learning, and creative brainstorming.

Three reasons:

1) To learn about the dynamics of the issues you care about,

2) To have your giving make a tangible difference that you can see and understand,

3) To witness smart solutions that come from the community itself (not some western thinktank), and to see how ideas generated from the inside can be powerful and long-lasting.

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Giving funds directly to a local leader ensures that your money is going to someone who knows the in’s and out’s of what their community needs. And how best to serve the real people living in their community.

Giving directly avoids the problem of western ideas being foisted on a community where they won’t actually work. And it puts you closer to the reality of the situation, allowing you an opportunity for you to learn about situations on the ground.

Giving directly also gets you one step closer to building sustainability in the community long after you leave. The skills and projects you fund then reside with the people who live there. And because they live there, they will be there to get the community through its next challenge.

Here’s an example of what we mean.

Your philanthropic dreams are your unique reasons for wanting to share your resources. They shed light on the kinds of things you hope your money will create, and the kinds of people you want to help. Your dreams signal what is most important to you.
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Move92 will help you explore your dreams, and then together, we will work to make them come true.

What’s key is that your wishes are an essential part of the puzzle. We will help you find local leaders who are doing the work you want to support.

And we will also follow your lead as to how involved (or not involved) you want to be with your granting.

We have grantmakers who travel internationally and want regular, personal check-ins with their grantee, and others who simply want a 10-minute update conversation over coffee.

1) Contact us here (You can grant as an individual or a group.)

2) Talk with us about your philanthropic dreams.

3) Review a list of identified local leaders and their organizations.

4) Choose from the list to make an initial learning grant.*

*We start all grant-maker/grantee relationships slowly to make sure there is a good fit. Once you make an initial grant, you can review what happened with the grant. Then you can decide if you want to follow up with a longer grant.

5) We will do the necessary paperwork to ensure your grant is tax-deductible.

All granting starts slowly to make sure there is a good fit. Once you make an initial grant, you can review what happened with the grant and assess how you feel about it.

Then you can decide if you want to follow-up with a longer or larger grant.

Here’s an example of how the granting process can evolve.

Our grants are typically small grants—from $5,000 to $10,000—although we can work with larger amounts. Sometimes the real value is not in the amount granted, however, but in the planning and stability that happens when a grant is given reliably over time.

We like to encourage long-term granting that lasts, because it offers more stability to local leaders. If you want to grant more than these ranges, we can certainly help you.

Our grants are typically small grants—from $5,000 to $10,000. Sometimes the real value is not in the amount granted, however–but in the planning and stability that happens when a grant is given reliably over time.

We like to encourage long-term granting that lasts, because it offers more stability to local leaders. If you want to grant more than these ranges, we can certainly help you.

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In this case, we recommended the grantmaker not make a follow-up grant to this particular local leader.

We don’t consider this situation an “unsuccessful” one, however, because this is what the learning phase is for.

We got to know the local leader better, and the grantmaker got to hone in on what was truly important in her personal giving.

This grantmaker chose to make follow-up grants to the other local leaders she funded, and feels positively about the whole experience.

For us, success for us is not tied to a particular project that either makes it or doesn’t.
Success at Move92 is making more direct connections between grantmakers and grantees, and spreading the word about direct, flexible grantmaking.

We stand by this mission because we’ve found that when communities have the leadership, knowledge, and resources to address their own issues…they do. And we all benefit as a result.

It means that gender needs to be in the dialogue. We work with organizations run by men and women, and we encourage grants that include all genders.

But the common thread is that we talk about women’s empowerment and the role that history, culture, and tradition play. These topics are at the forefront of discussion.

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We work with organizations that see the empowerment of girls and women as integral part of social progress–not as just a “womens’ issue.”

Here are some compelling statistics that motivate us to make sure girls and women’s voices are being heard in the communities and organizations we work with:

  • When women start small businesses, they spend their earned money on improving the welfare of the family, including education for both boys and girls.
  • A United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) study revealed that increases in women’s education make the greatest contribution to reducing the rate of child malnutrition.
  • A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5.
  • Female farmers having the same access to resources as men results in 150 million fewer hungry people.
  • Educating women is the most powerful lever available for breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty– in addition to mitigating emissions by curbing population growth.

References: The World Bank. 2005. Improving Women’s Lives. Retrieved from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTGENDER/Resources/Beijing10Report.pdf * United Nations Population Fund. 2018. UNFPA State of World Population 2018. Retrieved from https://www.unfpa.org/swop-2018 * Hawken, Paul (Ed). 2017. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.*Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2011. The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/i2050e/i2050e00.htm * Hawken, Paul (Ed). 2017. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

As a grantmaker, you don’t need a lot of money. Our grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 US. But there are some qualities and mindsets that will make working with MOVE92 a more satisfying experience for you.

First, it helps if you are someone who likes to learn. You are someone who sees the benefit in creating new possibilities step-by-step. And you value listening to discover what’s really going on.

Most importantly, you’re inspired by the tremendous work that is already done in local communities. And you want to do your part to make a real and lasting difference.

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It also helps if you naturally understand that most complex problems are not solved by simple “western” solutions, but by a gradual shifting of relationships, resources, and responsibilities.

You understand that all people live in unique communities — communities that are guided by subtle rules and histories that are known by everyone … but almost never written down. And you believe the individuals closest to these communities know the most about how to get things done.

Finally, you want to feel proud of your contribution to this world — just as it is — right now. And you’re willing to enter into a granting relationship that will yield rewards in many dimensions. For years to come.