Seven Steps for Funding System Change

A comprehensive guide 
for Funders, 
by Social Entrepreneurs

Ashoka Fellows frequently report that their most impactful work – the kind that is focused on system change – is generally the least funded. This presents a clear challenge and opportunity for funders to grow the impact of their funding by adopting a system change approach.

Fortunately, funding systems change is increasingly a focus and key topic of conversation among funders. However, much of this conversation is driven by funders only with limited input from social entrepreneurs themselves. The debate therefore misses out on the experience of those using the funding to work at the frontlines of system change.

To address this, we studied the perspectives of 20 Ashoka Fellows and other systems changing social entrepreneurs on how they experience funding as most effective in the context of their system changing work. The result is a comprehensive guide for funders exploring how a system change approach influences each step of the funding process.

We hope its recommendations and insights will contribute towards the development of an effective ecosystem for systems change.

If you would like to discuss the findings or collaborate with us on accelerating this greater shift, ​please get in touch with Florian Rutsch. Also, we have more to come very soon: please see our Ecosystem efforts for more information and stay in touch. 


With thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund for their generous support of this work.

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