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#LiftUpPhilanthropy Campaign
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Unlocking Philanthropy's Potential.


What is #LiftUpPhilanthropy?


#LiftUpPhilanthropy is a global and open campaign to raise the strategic importance and value of the development of philanthropy. It is to raise funders’ awareness of the importance of investing in the support ecosystem, or infrastructure, that allows philanthropy to develop in growth, quality and diversity.

Funders interested in the development of the field, philanthropy support organizations, and other interested players are invited to join this global conversation, and adapt it to their own context and own it.



What change are we looking for?


#LiftUpPhilanthropy is a campaign and movement to:

  • Increase awareness of the critical importance of the philanthropy support ecosystem and its positive impact on philanthropy within the entire funding community, including foundations, individual philanthropists, and development and humanitarian funders worldwide.
  • Foster strategic reflection and collective discussions about this topic among funders and the broad development and civil society fields.
  • Increase support – in-kind and financial – for philanthropy support organizations to develop and be better equipped to promote philanthropy in particular and civil society in general.

Learn more about the campaign and discover how to engage at your own level by reading the guide, "Unlocking Philanthropy's Potential".



What is the Philanthropy Support Ecosystem?


It is a diverse tissue of organizations that contribute to the qualitative and quantitative development of private resources for common good: networks, professional support organizations, membership associations, academics, philanthropy media, non-profits promoting a culture of giving, giving platforms, data dashboards, etc.

They provide space for mediation and exchanges, stimulate philanthropy volumes, build capacity, provide thought leadership, work for an enabling environment and build standards and trust.



Why is it urgent to consider philanthropy development as a key issue?


The stakes have never been higher. On the one hand, the challenges are great. The level of unmet social needs in many parts of the world is huge, while the shrinking space for civil society presents daunting challenges. On the other, the opportunities are great. New philanthropic actors are coming into the field and opportunities exist to increase giving of all kinds.

The support ecosystem that can unlock the potential of philanthropy is under resourced and its role is little understood. According to WINGS research 72% of philanthropy support organizations are facing a sustainability issue while 89% rely at least partially on grants to operate. The sector is also very unevenly distributed with 80% of the expenses of the field being done in North America and 5% for the entire MENA and Asian regions altogether. The infrastructure is lacking where it is needed the most, and where it is more developed it faces a sustainability issue and a need for a stronger articulation.



Why is the reflection relevant for any funder?


 Investing in the development of philanthropy shouldn’t be a niche activity for a small group of funders; it is relevant for all funders to consider:

  • In their own self-interest, to benefit from a more favourable environment to operate in.
  • To leverage impact and increase the sustainability of CSOs/NGOs and the communities they support, both by generating new private resources and by ensuring that existing resources are better used.
  • Contributing to a new model of social development whose cornerstones are local hubs and more local leadership for development initiatives, and more collaboration across sectors.
  • As a cause in its own right, understanding that the act of giving is a key element of democracy. It builds trust and relationships and represents an important way for citizens to engage in society.  


How can I engage?

WINGS’ new guide, Unlocking philanthropy’s potential: A guide for funders to build strong philanthropy support ecosystems, help funders understand how they can contribute to unlocking philanthropy’s potential to build more resilient, sustainable and democratic societies.

It also provides a useful tool for philanthropy support organizations to foster strategic conversations with funders at their own level.

  • Develop a funding strategy for philanthropy’s development
  • Include philanthropy development as part of a sustainability strategy and/or create a specific programme area.
  • Actively participate in organizations and fund them, share expertise and non-financial capital.
  • Develop collaboration as a key way to achieve your social mission.
  • Join the #LiftUpPhilanthropy campaign
  • Engage in a collective discussion to see what are the gaps and opportunities in your country    and/ or country of intervention.
  • Contact philanthropy support organizations you are connected with and encourage them to add   the topic to their agenda for conferences, a specific working group, a dedicated event.
  • Share thoughts and best practices using social media, articles, individual conversations and  public communication opportunities to help bring the topic on to more funders’ agendas.
  • Use the hashtag #LiftUpPhilanthropy when tweeting and reporting on innovative and interesting  work that philanthropy is achieving. 


What can philanthropy support organizations do?

They are the central actors and are invited to take ownership on this campaign by adapting it to their own needs

There are many ways to engage: include the topic on the agenda of your conferences, create spaces for discussion among funders, share the Funders Guide with your network and use it in your debates, map the infrastructure to identify the gaps, get engaged with your peers in joint conversations and events, publish papers and articles, be active on social media using the hashtag #LiftUpPhilanthropy.

You can help contribute to building the case for our field by submitting stories and cases on the impact your organization has made. Check out the poster here, send us your impact cases, and be featured in our communications.

To help measure impact and communicate your work, check out the 4Cs guide- a self- assessment for infrastructure organizations that foundations can use too to help evaluate their work.

And for all: stay in touch with WINGS to inform the global conversation




  • What makes a strong ecosystem of support to philanthropy? Developed by WINGS, this paper provides information and key messages to guide the reflections of funders, philanthropy support leaders and other actors in developing their infrastructure and turning it into a proper ecosystem
  • How Community Philanthropy Shifts Power? What donors can do to help make that happen: Jenny Hodgson and Anna Pond’s report for funders looking to #ShiftThePower and strengthen community philanthropy. This report will help funders interested in developing grassroots philanthropy with the communities they support.
  • The Foundation Center, which maintains the world’s most comprehensive database on US philanthropy and, increasingly, on global grantmakers and their grants



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