Weeknotes 57 (9th — 13th December)

Friday the 13th. Not a great day. And I can’t imagine many people will be that interested in reading my Weeknotes this week!

What we’ve been doing

On Monday Melissa and I met with some of the People Team here at The National Lottery Community Fund who are developing grantmaking skills training for staff internally. We went through all the “Good Digital Grantmaking” content we’ve developed for the Digital Fund, and we’ll work with them going forward to integrate some of this into the organisation’s training programmes.

I also met with Matthew, our Technology & Data Director to go through the tech policy activity that I’ve designed. I’d done it previously with our CEO, and Matthew was another important stakeholder to do it with — the Tech Policy cards prompt important conversations for organisations to have about where they stand on issues relating to tech and society.

We shared the Good Digital Grantmaking materials here earlier this week, and the Tech Policy Cards are included.

On Tuesday I presented at the UK Funding Committee to give an update on the Digital Fund and to float the initial ideas we’ve got for the next round of the fund. This went well, and in March I will take back fully formed ideas for the Committee to make decisions about.

Wednesday’s workshop.

On Wednesday we had 27 organisations join us who offer support to the sector around “digital” — the invitation we sent out to people is below. I was so impressed by the level of engagement and willingness to collaborate amongst the organisations in the room. We’ll be writing up where we got to with this early in January. Fiona did an amazing job of holding the space and Melissa and Phoebe were great sensemakers.

On Thursday I got to attend the Alliance breakfast event about Feminist Philanthropy. It was so nice to be in a space *not* talking about digital, and to connect to some of my core interests and experience — power, ecosystems, movements, feminism and care.

“More funding for ‘women and girls’ is necessary but not sufficient. What philanthropy really needs is a feminist consciousness — a vision which places women’s rights front and centre, challenges political norms and economic orders, shifts power to the most marginalised and interrogates the social construction of gender.”

The brilliant panel of Moira Sinclair: Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation ,Swatee Deepak: Director, With and For Girls Collective, Dr Awino Okech: Chair, Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS

What we’ve been learning

Aside from the sector suppliers learning which we’ll write a longer reflection about, I was most interested in what I learnt from the Feminist Philanthropy event and how much of it linked with the blog I wrote about skills for effective grantmaking.

Here is a summarised list of characteristics described in the Feminist Philanthropy discussion —

  • Taking a long term approach
  • How you behave is as important as how much you give
  • Horizontal power is the way to operate
  • Resource intersectional movements
  • Designing and working in ecosystems and movements not projects
  • Shift the perspective of what an “organisation” is
  • Recognise and invest in the risky, committed work of unincorporated groups
  • Recognise that what gets funded is accountable to communities, not to funders
  • Development money is not a “gift” — it’s about reparations.

What we’re celebrating

We’ve all been posting blogs this week.

Melissa wrote about the work she’s leading— building the confidence and understanding of good digital grantmaking across the fund.

Phoebe wrote about the work she’s now leading — looking after the 29 grants from Digital Fund Round 1, and stewarding the learning and insight from those.

And I published all the Good Digital Grantmaking materials and tools that we’ve been developing over the last few months. It feels great to get these out into the world, and as they are Version One, we hope to get feedback and do iterations.



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Cassie Robinson.

Cassie Robinson.


Working with Joseph Rowntree Foundation, EarthPercent, P4NE, Policy Fellow IIPP, Co-founder Point People, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.