Last week, Tides Canada partnered with the Government of the Northwest Territories to convene a workshop to investigate models for on-the-land programming to benefit local communities. The workshop also focused on advancing the idea of a “funder collaborative” to support this work.
Funder collaboratives have been used in other regions to address common issues of interest to diverse funders. A funder collaborative is formed when two or more grant-makers pool resources and share information. The model has delivered better outcomes in communities, provided financial and administrative efficiencies, engaged service receivers more appropriately, and provided opportunities for shared learning and evaluation. Tides Canada has used this model successfully in a number of our initiatives, including Northern Manitoba Food, Culture, and Community Fund and the Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project (OIYPP).
In the Northwest Territories, there has been an identified need for enhanced collaboration within and amongst all sectors to make best use of financial, human, and other resources to support, evaluate, and deliver on-the-land programming. The gathering last week was an opportunity to bring together local stakeholders to understand how the Northwest Territories could benefit from a funder collaborative model. Local participants included all regional indigenous governments of the NWT, relevant territorial and federal government departments, representatives from the three NWT operating diamond mines, and philanthropic agencies that fund in the territory.
At the workshop, participants heard from members of funder collaboratives in other regions on how they are working together to deliver better outcomes, including an increased ability to deliver programming that acknowledges interconnectedness of social, cultural, economic, and environmental outcomes.
Encouraged by the success of funder collaboratives elsewhere, government, indigenous, corporate, and philanthropic organizations committed to develop a funder collaborative pilot for the NWT, with a specific focus on on-the-land programming. Government and philanthropic organizations committed funds and assets for launching, implementing, and evaluating a pilot within a year.
We are buoyed by the progress and commitments made over the last week and will continue to share updates on this exciting work.