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How Can Funders Support COVID-19 Digital Response?

Donor Tech Salon
Online Worldwide - June 4 - RSVP Now
The COVID-19 pandemic has been disastrous on many levels, and the short- and long-term fallout of the crisis will have many faces, including political, economic, social, and health. The economic shutdown has already translated into changes in:
  • How people donate to nonprofit organizations
  • How foundations invest and give,
  • How much corporations and impact investors invest in social responsibility efforts.
Small, medium and large organizations are already feeling the impact of this reduction as some donors cut funding or shift from current programs to immediate COVID-19 responses.
As businesses close around us, we are also watching vital organizations furloughing staff and withdrawing programming. Meanwhile, governments are taking advantage of the crisis to curtail people’s rights, highlighting the fact that strong civil society is needed now more than ever. Yet many organizations have been crippled in their resilience by the sector’s history of short-term project funding over long-term investment.

One effect of this is weak digital capacities that have hindered civil society and non-profits’ capacities to more effectively respond to COVID and to digitally organize to ensure rights and freedoms are not irreparably lost. COVID-19 could be a time for new leadership, and a radical transformation of the system. It’s time we get serious about how to build back better in stronger, more inclusive, sustainable, and balanced ways.

Please RSVP Now to join us for our sixth Salon in the Tech in the Time of Coronavirus series to discuss the role of funders during COVID-19 Digital Response. We’ll kick off with short talks from:
  • Nancy MacPherson, Independent Advisor and former Managing Director, Evaluation at The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Sudhir Tawari, Managing Director, ThoughtWorks India
  • Sunita Grote, Deputy, UNICEF Ventures, and Innovation Fund Manager
  • Michael Jarvis, Executive Director, Transparency and Accountability Initiative
  • Lina Srivastava, Founder of Creative Impact and Experience Lab (CIEL) and entrepreneur-in-residence for GenderAvenger
Please RSVP Now to engage with your peers around questions like:
  • How can funders support the resiliency of civil society organizations?
  • What digital infrastructure and systems need to be supported (should have been invested in all along!)?
  • What examples of digital resiliency can we learn from?
  • Are hackathons, disruptive innovation, and challenge funds helping or hurting?
  • How are funders investing in civil society efforts in transparency, governance, quality data and ethical data collection?
  • How can donors support civil society to hold governments and corporations accountable at this critical time?
  • How can funders avoid contributing to data grabs and lack of accountability or surveillance capitalism in the face of their COVID funding and investments?
  • How should funders manage the shift in funding needs? What are the risks of pulling funding from existing programs and putting it into COVID rapid response? How will donors fund the long-term as needs shift?
  • Should foundations be dipping into their reserves/their endowments? And if not now, why not?
  • How should we all be rethinking and re-designing the whole system in this extraordinary time using the COVID response and recovery investments to ‘build back better’
Following key thoughts from our lead discussants, we’ll move into breakout rooms for a moderated discussion on their and your reactions, thoughts, and inputs.
Even online, space is limited to foster intimate conversations, so please RSVP now and be sure to note the Relevance section in your application to attend! Once we reach our discussion capacity there will be a waiting list!
Donor Leadership in COVID-19
June 4, 11am-1pm Eastern Time
RSVP required to attend
A link will be provided to confirmed participants

About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations, and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
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