Sector Event: Funder Briefing: Supporting Social Sector Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 -
10:00am to 11:30am EDT
Virtual Meeting
Add to Calendar

Presented by Philanthropy Massachusetts

“Like a body without a backbone, a sector without a strong infrastructure will crumble.” (Gibson).

In the United States, the social sector is comprised of groups and organizations working to address some of our country's most pressing needs. These organizations are supported by a network of social sector infrastructure organizations. The Urban Institute Social defines the groups as “an ecosystem of providers that offer services focused on sustainability, learning, relationships, and influence to social sector organizations, groups, and individuals.” The author notes that “a robust support system—the social sector infrastructure—can help the social sector meet its full potential.”

Despite an increase in understanding of and funding for capacity-building for direct-service nonprofit grantees, this hasn’t translated into an increase in funding for the backbone sector infrastructure organizations. Locally, .6% of funding supports the infrastructure that helps each of us be better/more effective, and to thrive in carrying out our respective missions. On a national scale, the figure is a tad better - 1%.

In this session, presented in partnership with Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation, we will explore the following questions:

  • What does sector infrastructure mean?
  • What are rationales for funders investing in it?
  • What are specific, effective ways to support the overall sector?
  • What are the connections between funding direct service / on-the-ground work and sector infrastructure?
  • What is the connection between sector infrastructure work and racial equity?

Featured speakers will shed light on what their organizations are doing to help address social sector needs. From policy engagement and knowledge and practice-sharing to building inclusive organizational cultures and collaboration, there are many ways funders can support the underlying infrastructure of the sector.

This session is an opportunity to hear from and meet representatives working in this arena, as well as gather with other funders interested in supporting this work. You’ll walk away having a deeper understanding of why your investments in sector infrastructure, though seemingly not urgent, are critical and ways it can be done.

For more information and to register, visit the event page.

Event type: