I’ve worked in Non Profit too now for 20 years and this is a very important question for this community. NGOs (Non governmental organisations) and ‘Quangos’ (quasi-non governmental organisations - that’s a judgement by the way) are utterly dependent on government money. Hence the existence of this Quango word next to NGO. The problem is threefold: firstly NGOs and their personnel live from project to project. It is very difficult to build & keep expertise with uncertain income. Secondly this creates a political/content dependence: Because the alternative is to be a Quango (no NGO will ever call itself that for obvious reasons) and then you are very closely related in policy, outlook and work, to what the government wants. And Thirdly what then happens is that NGOs strike back by slowly ideologically taking over the units in government that run development & foreign policy, cornering the debate. Or…they stay within an overton window of debate that the government wants them to stay in. So it’s a complex situation, but having a parallel option to finance NGOs will contribute to more diversity and debate.
NGOs can not make this innovation on their own and need help with this, but it would potentially have enormous consequences. Just one idea: The big NGOs are ‘secure’ but also stale in what they occupy themselves with and run a limited number of people who walk back and forth from government to non-profit. So it would be good if more small, new foundations & NGOs could come up with new solutions, the older ones can’t. There are many NGOs and networks that might be interested, but - and this is a little stab at my folks here - they’re often not technicians, except a small bunch. So this disconnect needs to be overcome.