A Commitment to Digital Infrastructure for Civil Society
As a result of the 2020 pandemic, civil society's dependency on digital skills, tools, and access has been made crystal clear and is neatly summarized by Lucy Bernholz, Director, Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford PACS: "Civil society is digital civil society."
Digital infrastructure is vital to creating robust, scalable, sustainable, and equitable infrastructure for the mission of civil society. Each element of infrastructure must be addressed through coalitional efforts such as data and technology platforms that are funded through public/private/social sector partnership or skills-building initiatives that advance data literacy and technical fluency. Such efforts may be open-sourced or private/social/community partnerships.
Take a Step toward Transformation: To be effective, the work of building infrastructure for civil society must be a collective effort. The Technology Association of Grantmakers is working with NetHope, NTEN, and TechSoup to advocate for digital infrastructure investment and align interested funders toward action. Learn more in our joint publication: Roadmap for Funders: Investing in Digital Infrastructure.
Join the Taskforce: Funders committed to moving forward together are invited to join TAG's cross-funder taskforce on digital infrastructure by indicating interest below. The taskforce will convene for a six-month period to build shared understanding, align funder efforts, and catalyze investment in outcomes-oriented effort.
Technology leaders at foundations are ready to meet the call to action for digital infrastructure realized during the 2020 pandemic. Now is the time to build a digital infrastructure initiative that is:
We are at an exceptional time. All foundations are being called to action and have an obligation to deliver and respond to the needs of the world. The entire philanthropic sector is being challenged to maximize impact. Foundations are finding creative ways of quickly allocating additional funds by issuing social bonds, streamlining processes, and reducing grantee burdens on application, due diligence, and reporting. Investing in shared platforms and integrated solutions to reduce this burden is not only a call but also an obligation."
- John Mohr, CIO, The MacArthur Foundation