eLearning Test – Active

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent rhoncus pulvinar neque, eu tincidunt ex cursus vel. Vivamus tincidunt mollis mi, ut posuere risus mollis dignissim. Aenean feugiat suscipit malesuada. Curabitur tincidunt nulla in pulvinar consectetur. Pellentesque hendrerit vel lacus non ultrices. Nam felis sapien, pharetra ac vehicula id, iaculis a diam. Nullam semper nunc nec nulla iaculis cursus. Vivamus semper malesuada erat sit amet blandit. Duis quis orci ut dui condimentum egestas quis sed nisi. Pellentesque nulla risus, mollis nec augue eu, gravida maximus arcu. Pellentesque vel iaculis felis, eget facilisis mi. Aliquam efficitur placerat tellus viverra vehicula. Vestibulum iaculis, massa ultrices convallis tempor, arcu elit auctor urna, ut imperdiet est massa non lorem. Vivamus tincidunt mattis sem, nec fermentum risus posuere eget. Praesent suscipit convallis magna, nec tempor felis condimentum quis.

View Resource


About the author(s)

Director of Social Investments
Open Road Alliance

New Study on Philanthropy for Safe, Healthy, and Just Societies

Candid (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar) and Centris (Rethinking Poverty); are conducting a study on the role of philanthropy in producing safe, healthy, and just societies.

At a time when many people are questioning the value of philanthropy, the study aims to clarify its role in creating peaceful and inclusive societies that provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and responsive institutions.

The survey is just the first stage of this study and will help to identify stakeholders, strategies, and outcomes across a variety of dimensions of social progress.

Initial results will be published in the June 2019 issue of  Alliance magazine, the leading source of comment and analysis on global philanthropy. The June edition will include an in-depth feature exploring the role of philanthropy in peacebuilding. The issue will include global perspectives from around the world, exploring the merit and value of community-based approaches to conflict resolution. It will also profile and uplift some of the pioneering people and networks in the field. The issue is being guest edited by a new generation of practitioners working at the intersection of philanthropy and peace – Hope Lyons of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Lauren Bradford of Candid, and Rasha Sansour of the Dalia Association.

A full report on the survey will also be produced to facilitate broader discussion within the field. All those who take part in the study will receive a copy of the report.

Your views are important, and we invite you to participate in the survey to help us all better understand the role philanthropy plays. The survey has 20 questions and will take about 7-8 minutes to complete. All answers will be treated in confidence. Please click the link to begin: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Candid_Centris

The survey will close on Wednesday, March 27. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Barry Knight at, [email protected].

About the author(s)

Executive Director

SDGfunders Helping Philanthropy Engage in the Global Development Agenda

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a universal language for discussing how we need to improve the world. SDGfunders.org, a free platform from Foundation Center, tells the story of how philanthropic dollars are being used to achieve these goals on a new dynamically-updated dashboard, and aims to foster better coordination among those working to build a better future for all of us. Launched by the SDG Philanthropy, a partnership of the United Nations Development Programme, Foundation Center, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors the site features interactive maps and dashboards tracking key funding data, lists of top funders and recipients working on specific SDGs, a collection of literature, including case studies and interviews with global experts, and an online community that will serve as a hub for discussions and knowledge sharing worldwide. Among other benefits, it will enhance opportunities for collaboration across sectors to increase the effectiveness of work that addresses our world’s common social, and economic challenges.

View Resource

Stronger Together: An Activist-Funder Dialogue on Resourcing Young Feminist Organizing

In July, 2017, FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund and Mama Cash hosted an activist-funder dialogue on resourcing young feminists at the Center for Social Innovation in New York City. This dialogue offered a space for reflection on the gaps between funders and activists, and the opportunities to cultivate more honest engagements, shared accountability, and build collective power.

The power of honest conversation

We decided to hold this event with three main objectives:

  • to create spaces to explore how to increase accountability in our communities;
  • to think about agreed mechanisms to share honest feedback on what is working and what is not; and
  • to understand the steps we need to take to really trust each other, name power dynamics, and collectively work for solutions.

Taking the time and creating space for activists and funders to be heard, allowed tensions to be held and the people in the room to exchange experience and see synergy in their work.

We began the day hearing from a panel of activists and funders: Akudo Oguaghamba, Women’s Health and Equal Rights (WHER) Nigeria, Carla Lopez, Central American Women’s Fund, Jody Myrum, Novo and Viva Tatawaqa, diverse voices and action for equality fiji and Resurj. They shared their experiences in from different contexts and ideas on how to cultivate more relationships of trust between funders and activists.

After the panel we spent the rest of the time charting out key themes and good practices, and unpacking power dynamics to open a pathway for meaningful collaboration. Recognising as private funders, as public funders, as activists, as collectives, as International Non Government Organisations, that we all had different spheres of influence and opportunity to take these ideas forward.

Sustainability and survival

Activists in the room talked through the importance of safe spaces, and inclusion of diverse activists, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex people, and for the next generation of teenage activists in feminist organizing in conversations like these. People shared the need to talk about sustainability in its many dimensions (organizational, personal, emotional, physical) and the need for activists and funders to be talking about access to salaries/resources/income and a living wage.

While we found that sustainability and self-care are becoming more of a focus in our work, many activists still feel like there is limited space to discuss topics of what it means to have a living wage. We asked ourselves how accountability and care could be seeded within movements and within the philanthropic field and between them.

Some activists also raised the uncomfortable contradiction they often face in movements, between being autonomous feminist collectives rejecting capitalist models, but still needing basic resources for their work and their survival. As well as talking about the violence or toxicity that sometimes is present in movements. This highlighted the need for space for self-reflection as well as dialogue within feminist movements, to discuss these tensions and to look at the political nature of resources, and explore self-generated income models.

Vision for Movement centric Funding copy.jpg


Looking inward to really change outward

If we seek to transform power in philanthropy and address the injustices around us, to challenge and rectify the inequity we see, it is necessary to look internally at how our own structures in philanthropy, in development, and in the aid sector, could be reinforcing inequality.

This means asking difficult questions about how not to recreate unequal relationships of abuse and power in our funding relationships and in movements. If we are not naming power dynamics and honestly telling each other how we are experiencing things, as funders, or as grantees, and as allies to our movements, how can we ever get to a place where we are unraveling the broken systems and economic models that oppress and discriminate?

The important conversations about closing space, about collective and individual security and self care, and about how to reach grassroots groups, cannot take place with only funders in the room. The conversation about how to ensure funder practices are not harmful to activists cannot happen only between activists. Only through meaningful dialogue will we see some of those complex realities start to be unbound, and only then will we hopefully begin to see ripples in the field and in how we collectively work together for good.

It will take systemic changes and reforms, but it also starts with committed people who respect each other and can directly communicate about their experiences with using these systems, including those related to resourcing the work. From this event we saw this healing starts with opening space to talk about how we cultivate trust and kindness, and encourage real analysis of power dynamics and build collective accountability.

Some of the takeaways that emerged

  • Stronger, more powerful values-based conversations between activists and funders where we are all empowered and equipped to ask each other the hard questions are critical.

  • More attention needs to be paid to meeting grantees’ basic needs, ensure that activists are paid a living wage and have access to basic benefits, and support for grantees to become more financially independent.

Continuing the conversation

The event generated a shared sense of commitment and enthusiasm to explore how funders and activists can work together across philanthropic and movement ecosystems.While this was just one space, one conversation, the model of bringing together activists and funders and trying to better leverage our different perspectives and ideas is one we felt worked well towards shifting power dynamics.


About the author(s)

FRIDA, The Young Feminist Fund

Advocacy Officer
FRIDA, The Young Feminist Fund

Alternatives to War: Philanthropy Making a Difference

6.9 million people were displaced in 2016 due to violence and conflict. They contributed to the estimated 40.3 million who are currently displaced due to war, many of them refugees and migrants. The World Economic Forum queried why, with war costing $ 13.6 trillion in 2015, are we spending so little on peacebuilding? The Global Peace Index noted an improvement in 2016, but pointed out that only 1% is invested in peacebuilding as compared to the economic impact of war. The financial costs are one consideration, however, the human costs of the dead and injured are beyond calculation.

A study released earlier this year by The Social Change Initiative, Funding in Conflict-Affected Environments: Notes for Grantmakers, illuminates how independent philanthropy can tip the scales in support of peacebuilding. The big money may come from governments and multi-lateral agencies, but philanthropy can be nimble and responsive. Practical examples, drawn from interviews with funders and peace activists, highlight funding strategies during the various phases of the cycle of conflict: when tensions are rising, when there is open violence, during a transition from violence, and during conflict transformation. One featured example is the Manusher Jonno Foundation, which was on the ground to support work with the disadvantaged Saontal community in northern Bangladesh in recent years, enabling local people to highlight grievances and mobilize non-violent social justice strategies.

Peacebuilding can be both local, standing in solidarity with a threatened human rights defender by sharing information and opening up broader stakeholder connections, or global, working to mitigate armaments and re-frame international understanding. However, this new study emphasises the potential of local impact. For example, Avina, a foundation in Latin America focused on producing large-scale changes necessary for sustainable development, is collaborating with other funders to support the peace process in rural communities through Redprodepaz, a network for development and peacebuilding in Colombia. Inclusive community development approaches include ex-combatants and political activists which can open up space for dialogue about the nature and dynamics of conflict transformation. Hopes, concerns and aspirations about the potential for peacebuilding are shared alongside practical community initiatives in this ongoing programme of work. Grantmaking by independent philanthropy can be particularly effective at this level, investing in the process of community-based conflict transformation rather than focusing solely on elite decision-making on infrastructure projects.

Funding at the Heart of the Inferno

Independent philanthropy tends to cluster in regions that are emerging from violence. This is welcome, although there is a danger that funders trip over one another in the absence of discussion and coordination. Notes for Grantmakers offers practical examples where independent philanthropy helps to underpin peace processes, but it also highlights interventions to support people during actual conflict, where local people feel isolated and distraught. Inclusive peace agreements are rooted in building local confidence and capacity to advocate alternatives to violence, and to communicate the potential of peaceful change while this violence is still occurring. Philanthropy is well placed to nurture this seed bed of progressive ideas and strategies. There is much evidence to suggest that credibility is built when philanthropists work quietly and support communities during periods of conflict.

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust took that risk in Northern Ireland when it funded work on the early release of political prisoners – a highly controversial issue. As a small society of 1.7 million people, the reality of some 25,000 former political prisoners was a major challenge in terms of re-integration. The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI) took up the baton, working with former prisoners from five opposing paramilitary groups to ensure support for the peace process over a twenty year period (1994-2014). The work undertaken was not without political cost as it was often criticised by politicians who adopted a narrower view of peacebuilding. The study also recognizes and explores the sensitivities of philanthropic intervention at such times.

Framing Philanthropy for Peacebuilding

In addition to discussing the importance of funding locally and throughout the various stages of conflict, this new study also considers how independent funding can be most effective if internal foundation decision-making structures and delivery mechanisms are framed to take the specific environment into account. The political uncertainties of conflict-affected environments can bedevil logic models of decision-making, and the flexibility and funding deftness required to exploit pulse points of change can be difficult for some foundations to manage. Small grants, given in a timely and responsive manner, can more effectively deliver sparks of peacebuilding than many top-down programmes. The Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust working in Sri Lanka uses small grants to work with victims and survivors of conflict, while the Tewa Fund supports young people caught up in conflict in Nepal. Examples abound in the work of foundations that are members of the Peace & Security Funders’ Group.

In summary, here are a few key takeaways for funders from this research:

  • Invest time in understanding the complexities of violently divided societies and the challenges and opportunities for peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
  • Listen to local voices, and particularly those individuals and communities most impacted by the violence.
  • Be prepared to invest in programmes of action across all phases of the conflict cycle, not just during the post-conflict stage.
  • Ensure that internal structures allow grantmaking that is timely and flexible.
  • Think through the added value aspects that an independent funder can bring – connections, voice, developmental support, and information.

In addition, it is important to recognise the element of risk-taking and to encourage board members to embrace it as a key element of independent philanthropy. While accepting that individual funders may be worried about engaging on the frontlines of peacebuilding, a peacebuilding practitioner posed the question: “Are you going to leave people defenceless in the face of conflict or are you going to give them the tools to be able to resist what is happening to them?”  When it comes down to it, peacebuilding is a matter of life and death. What greater challenge for independent philanthropy to make a real difference?

Funding in Conflict-Affected Environments: Notes for Grantmakers is available in English, and the Summary Report is available in English, Arabic and Spanish.

About the author(s)

Independent Consultant
Social Change Initiative

Spotlight on Immigration

Immigration continues to be a complex issue sparking national debate and discussion in the United States. Foundations have invested over $12.5 billion in supporting causes associated with immigrants, migrants, and refugees in the United States since 2006. To help funders be more strategic and effective, Foundation Center has put together a roundup of some quick facts and resources from organizations that work on this issue every day. This list reflects views on immigration from organizations that are as diverse as the nonprofit sector itself. It is in no way intended to stake a particular policy stance, rather to spark thinking around philanthropy’s role in this landscape. We hope you’ll dig in, find what speaks to you, start a conversation, and continue to share your wisdom so we can all learn and work smarter together.

Immigrants are a key segment of the U.S. workforce, yet 42% fall below the poverty line.


Improving Immigrant Access to Workforce Services: Partnerships, Practices & Policies, Aspen Institute


Immigrants have started more than half of startup companies valued at a billion dollars or more in the U.S.


Immigrants and Billion Dollar Startups, National Center for American Policy (NFAP)


Immigrants account for about one-half of workers in the U.S. who have not completed high school.


Securing the Border: Defining the Current Population Living in the Shadows
and Addressing Future Flows
, American Enterprise Institute


Unauthorized immigrants account for one-fourth of the U.S. foreign-born population — and less than three percent of the total U.S. population.


Funders Guide: Grants and Immigration Status, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR)


Legal and illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than U.S. natives.


Criminal Immigrants: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin,

Cato Institute


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased the capacity of its immigrant detention system to add 45,000 immigrants per day.


Shadow Prisons: Immigrant Detention in the South, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Southern Poverty Law Center, Adelante Alabama Worker Center


Refugee children around the world are five times more likely to be out of school.


Missing Out: Refugee Education in Crisis, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)


Of an estimated 5.5 million U.S. children of unauthorized immigrant parents, 82% percent were US citizens.


Health and Social Service Needs of US-Citizen Children with Detained or Departed Immigrant Parents, Urban Institute; Migration Policy Institute


Arrests of undocumented immigrants have increased by nearly 40 percent since January 2017.


Funders Taking on Mass Deportation and Mass Incarceration, Philanthropy News Digest


Demand for foreign labor far outstrips the supply of H1-B visas.


Does Immigration Increase Economic Growth? , Manhattan Institute


One million immigrants receive lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. each year that puts them on a path to citizenship.


5 Key Facts About U.S. Lawful Immigrants, Pew Research Center


Have you funded issues related to immigration? Have a report or case study on this topic or itching to write a blog post? Share your wisdom with Foundation Center through GrantCraft, Philanthropy News Digest, or IssueLab

Editor's Note: Total foundation funding for immigrants, migrants, and refugees updated as of June 2018.


About the author(s)

Director of Knowledge Management
Foundation Center

Editorial Director/Publisher of Philanthropy News Digest
Foundation Center

Director of Stakeholder Engagement

Using the Triangle Approach to Build a Vibrant Civil Society and Drive Meaningful Change

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) began its engagement in the Western Balkans in 2001, with the goal of supporting a successful transition for the countries of that region from the wars and conflict of the 1990s to open and democratic societies. During this period of significant investment by foreign donors, a nongovernmental organization infrastructure was built in each of the countries of the Western Balkans. After about a decade of investment, as it became clear that these organizations did not have the capacity or power to push for change as a united force on their own, the RBF undertook an assessment of its Pivotal Place: Western Balkans program. Through the assessment, we explored how the RBF could best continue to support building the capacity of civil society organizations and bring together organizations with different skillsets, knowledge, and abilities to face the challenges of European Union integration and internal reform.

In addition, as by this time most donors had pulled out of the Balkans, there was strong interest in maximizing the impact of funding that was left in the region. In collaboration with strategic partners, we developed a funding approach, which later became known as the triangle approach, that aimed to support the creation of a strong, knowledge-based, credible, accountable, and viable civil society that has the capacity to hold governments accountable, tackle criminalized power structures, and drive meaningful change in an inclusive and bottom-up way, especially in countries emerging from conflict. A powerful synergy-building and grantmaking strategy, the civil society triangle has three components: think tanks that generate research, policy analysis, and recommendations; grassroots organizations that empower and engage citizens in democratic processes; and independent media organizations that conduct in-depth, investigative journalism on governance and matters of public interest.

When these types of organizations collaborate toward shared goals, their work is mutually reinforcing. Grassroots organizations articulate the needs and requests of the people they work with, which can be translated into think tanks’ policy recommendations and can trigger media investigations, while education and advocacy campaigns implemented by grassroots organizations utilize the research and analysis of think tanks and investigations conducted by journalists. Each point of the triangle plays a distinct role that contributes to, and is informed by, the other components. By having regular meetings about ongoing issues and by dividing responsibilities for specific, identified problems, the triangle stays on top of issues and can be ready to act immediately, making it easier and less expensive to mobilize on different fronts. The triangle can act as a watchdog and trigger mechanism on a variety of issues, such as expenditure of economic development funds, failure to enforce environmental protection regulations, manipulation of privatization and procurement procedures, and government accountability and transparency.

In 2007, three civil society organizations in Kosovo—the GAP Institute for Advanced Studies, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), and the Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ)—combined their talents to conduct town hall debates in 26 of Kosovo’s municipalities, prior to the municipal elections that year. GAP provided analysis of the candidates’ budget proposals, while FIQ, a foundation, enlisted its network of grassroots NGOs to recruit stakeholders in each municipality to be panelists and attendees, and to identify an appropriate venue. BIRN televised the debates, and its founder, Jeta Xharra, served as the moderator. The purpose was to allow the electorate to evaluate the platforms of the candidates to inform their votes.

Prior to the next election, BIRN returned to each municipality to reconvene the town hall meetings, play back the recordings of the elected mayors’ promises, and afford citizens the opportunity to question the mayors about their performance. In the subsequent municipal elections, the town hall debates focused on how to address the issues of greatest concern in that community, as determined by polls conducted by GAP. This contributed to a 50 percent turnover. In a region where democracy was practiced more in rhetoric than in actual political process, the town hall meetings broke the cycle of empty monologues by politicians and brought citizens’ concerns and budget monitoring to the fore. For the first time, a standard was set that could be used as a reference point in future elections.

The triangle approach puts citizens at the center of building and advancing civil society, utilizing their power to advocate for and achieve a higher level of accountability and transparency, and widening the space for participation by making them owners of the process. In effect, the triangle ultimately leads to the formation of movements for change. It forms a solid basis for a strong civil society sector that is able to check unaccountable power and dismantle vested interests, while resisting retaliatory behavior, infiltration, or becoming instrumentalized by the government.

Implementing the triangle is a multi-pronged approach. To ensure that civil society is positioned as a conduit between people and decision makers, funders should:

  • fund organizations that are connected to constituents and that live their missions;
  • allow ideas to flow both ways between organizations and the donor community, allowing ownership to remain with groups;
  • create space for emerging ideas, new leaders and geographic, cultural, and gender diversity, and be driven by a commitment to the issue at hand;
  • minimize the need for self-promotion, be ready to take risks, and commit to the long term, while remaining flexible; and
  • encourage a proper legal framework at all phases, so that the triangle, and civil society more broadly, is able to grow and develop.

The RBF’s Pivotal Place: Western Balkans program is organized around the triangle approach, using it as a funding strategy in Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo, and as the infrastructure for regional collaboration. To ensure the long-term sustainability and independence of civil society in these areas, the RBF is also supporting the development of Civil Society Houses; shared spaces and resource centers for civil society organizations. In addition to providing a physical home for civil society organizations, Civil Society Houses will serve as centers for connection, collaboration, and coordination for civil society within each country and between countries, including other countries in the region. In addition, Civil Society Houses will create space for nurturing new ideas and encouraging new leaders to join the sector.

Further reading: The Civil Society Triangle by Haki Abazi in Combating Criminalized Power Structures: A Toolkit.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, which just released the 2017 Peace & Security Funding Index, in partnership with Foundation Center. Click here to explore the Index and see who is active in the peace and security funding field.

About the author(s)

Program Director
Western Balkans Program
Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Vlog from the Field Jen Bokoff interviews Tin Gazivoda (OSIFE)

In this video, we interview Tin Gazivoda, a senior program officer at Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) about a new participatory funding platform for and by European activists. This video is the first of many where Foundation Center staff who attend conferences will sit down with foundation leaders to dig into themes emerging throughout the conference program to learn from them. These vlogs (video blogs...we're Internet savvy now!) are meant to be unpolished and off-the-cuff to share out in real-time what we're learning and hearing in funder gatherings.

This video was recorded on the last day of the Edge Funders Alliance conference in Barcelona, which brought together funders and activists (and activist funders) to discuss reorganizing power for systems change.

As always, we welcome feedback on content, and since this is a pilot of a new format, email me anytime with feedback: [email protected]. (Just don't comment on my hair...the weather did not do good things!) And, if you have tips for Tin and his collaborators, please feel free to email me and I'll forward it to him. 

About the author(s)

Director of Stakeholder Engagement

SDG Indicator Wizard

How Does Your Work Align with the SDGs?

The SDG Indicator Wizard helps you determine which Sustainable Development Goal(s) and Targets relate to your work. Enter your mission statement, strategy or goals, and the wizard will translate your strategic priorities into an SDG-compatible framework consisting of the relevant goal(s), targets, and indicators that are universally comparable.

The SDG Indicator Wizard Widget can be embedded onto any website and there is a mobile app available for both iOS and Android users. Search for SDG Wizard on iOS App Store or Google Play Store, download it, and see how your work relates to the SDGs from your mobile.

View Tool

New Ideas for Old Challenges: Shaking up the Nuclear Security Sector

Believe it or not, the world is still burdened by the existence of more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. That’s right, the immensely powerful and devastating weapons we think of as part of “Cold War history” are in fact a present-day danger. They do not discriminate, and their existence threatens literally everyone on the planet.

There are a considerable number of nongovernmental organizations that work to reduce the risks from these weapons. Using expert scientists, field organizers, policy advocacy, and media tactics, they seek to reduce the numbers and reliance on nuclear weapons. There is also a small community of foundations who fund these efforts; and this group has been more or less the same for over 30 years. This community of philanthropists and practitioners are highly knowledgeable and highly skilled, but they are working, by and large, on a 21st century challenge using 20th century tools and thinking. For example, most attention and efforts are aimed squarely at traditional institutions like Congress, the United Nations, and the treaties and laws that have governed the “nuclear game” for decades. While necessary, such approaches are not sufficient to fundamentally change the game. In fact, these same institutions and arrangements often help perpetuate nuclear weapons as much as they limit or constrain them. What is needed is a more “disruptive” approach.

Enter “N Square.” Meant to evoke the notion of a “public square” of discussion and debate around nuclear threats, N Square is designed to attract new ideas, people, and approaches that address this existential threat. Drawing from different sectors like media, technology, business, design, and art, N Square seeks to diversify the ways in which we think about nuclear threats, and the range of possible approaches to eliminating them. It is meant to bust open the conventional thinking about how to change nuclear policy, and allow anyone and everyone to participate in the effort.

N Square is a collaboration of four foundations – the Ploughshares Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund. These four funders recognized the need to “shake things up” with respect to how we approach nuclear threats, to attract new, effective approaches, and to introduce the existing nuclear security community to innovative tools and methods for enhancing their work. 

It is a decidedly “two-way street approach”. That is, N Square’s activities, investments and network building are designed to build effective bridges between the existing nuclear security community and other sectors and skill sets. For example, one collaboration that has blossomed through N Square’s “matchmaking” is a start-up company that is developing exciting new satellite sensing technology that could – potentially – allow detection of nuclear materials everywhere on Earth. N Square has fostered a partnership between this company and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey to develop tools that would apply to needs in detection and identification of such materials as a way to monitor global nuclear activities.

Halfway through its third year of a four-year trial, N Square has already engaged scores, if not hundreds, of people through networks like TED, PopTech, the Norman Lear Center at USC, Singularity University, and others. In the year ahead, these early network-building activities will – it is hoped – generate compelling new ideas, tools, and partnerships among people and institutions that would not otherwise have found each other before. Specific policy achievements are not the mandate of N Square, rather it is growing the ecosystem of brainpower and ideas brought to bear on nuclear risks. N Square will be a success if after its initial four-year test phase, it has resulted in a network of people and organizations that are actively engaged in working on solving nuclear security challenges that represent a variety of sectors, skill sets, and—most importantly—mindsets. N Square is also interested in growing the number and amount of philanthropic dollars devoted to solving this truly existential challenge. While N Square is an experiment, it is one with undeniable benefits to humanity should it bear even small fruit.

The Ploughshares Fund is a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, which just released the 2017 Peace & Security Funding Index, in partnership with Foundation Center. Click here to explore the Index and see who is active in the peace and security funding field.

About the author(s)

Program Director
Ploughshares Fund