Words into action: Advancing system change in philanthropic organizations. Part 2

By Eszter Filippinyi (Deputy Director- TAI)
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Based on TAI’s interview with Samie Blasingame, lead organizer of Collective Abundance – October 2023

I asked Samie Blasingame, lead organizer of Collective Abundance to tell us about the new participatory fund, Collective Abundance, that is being set up in Europe by the working group of climate justice activists that the Robert Bosch Foundation have funded.

Samie is a social justice facilitator and a climate justice organiser based in Berlin, and she is part of the Secretariat of a new initiative called Collective Abundance. 

Collective Abundance started with a group of climate justice activists from across Europe discussing what it means to devolve power within philanthropy. “We started our project by reaching out to other grassroots activists across the continent and talking with them about their experience in accessing funds, their experience with the mainstream climate justice movement, and what sort of avenues they saw necessary to push forward a stronger climate justice movement” says Samie.

The findings of this process contributed to an open statement that can be found on the Collective Abundance website. 

“Our aim is to create a stronger climate justice movement, and we plan to achieve that by working closely with different philanthropic organizations and through participatory grantmaking. Our process is very much rooted in organizing. It begins with bringing our partners together to have a conversation about what climate justice looks like in their country contexts, and how they want to prioritize actions and initiatives. Activists and grass root organizers will have full autonomy over how the funds are spent. This is a unique way of funding for climate justice that aims to use funding as a glue for the movement as opposed to creating unnecessary competition” clarifies Samie and she adds:

“We would like to raise and distribute 5 million euros over the next five years. We are on a good path already but could use the support of as many funders as possible. We look forward to being in conversation with interested funders and share our ideas and learning so far. If you believe in putting the power back in the hands of grassroot activists pushing for a better world, then I hope that you would join us and help us reach our goal to fund as many people and as many countries in southern and Eastern Europe as possible.”

If you are a funder and interested to learn more about this topic, we invite you to join TAI Funder call on Thursday, 2nd of November. At the call Samie Blasingame will share more insights, alongside with Eve Nagel, Senior Project Manager on Inequality, Global Issues at the Robert Bosch Foundation  (see our interview with her in September), and Romy Krämer, the managing director of the Guerrilla Foundation (see our interview with her in May). We will share take away after the call. Reach out to us for more details on the call!

Listen to the full conversation:

We also suggest you to read: Words into action: Advancing system change in philanthropic organizations. Part 1

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