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Enabling Environment
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Enabling Environment

Philanthropy and civil society organizations depend on a positive environment that enables the accomplishment of their missions. Worldwide, philanthropy is facing a concerning trend as civil society organizations deal with heightened control and excessive, unwarranted restrictions on funding, both locally and internationally. In the domestic arena, barriers on the ability of civil society organizations to incorporate, operate and receive funding are pervasive in far too many locations. With respect to the international context, over the past several years, dozens of countries have adopted new laws and regulations that hinder cross-border funding, often under the guise of protecting security or preserving sovereignty. Organizations supporting philanthropy are both impacted by these trends and have an important role in addressing barriers, and possible approaches and strategies to address these barriers and improve the environment for philanthropy.

As a global association of organizations supporting philanthropy, WINGS is committed to contribute to the creation of a more enabling environment for philanthropy and civil society globally.


WINGS latest activities

Workshop on enabling environment
February 21st, 2017, Mexico City

WINGS gathered 50 people from philanthropy infrastructure organizations, foundations and other institutions working for creating a more enabling environment for philanthropy and the civil society in Mexico City, aiming to identifying concrete actions and collaboration, avoid duplications and developing synergies among actors addressing enabling environment issues.


International Meeting on the Enabling Environment for Philanthropy
March 10-11, 2017, Lisbon

On March 10–11, 2016, 35 representatives of philanthropy infrastructure organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America met to discuss the current situation regarding the enabling – or disenabling – environment for philanthropy; the role of philanthropy support organizations in addressing barriers, and possible approaches and strategies to address these barriers and improve the environment for philanthropy. The meeting was hosted by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and resulted in a document with the meeting proceedings that presents a comprehensive picture of the global scenario for philanthropy, highlights regional perspectives, showcases examples of global cooperation in place, defines possible responses for the problems in place and looks into the future by presenting a ‘road map’ for the global philanthropy community.


Meeting materials:

Enabling Environment for Philanthropy: An international convening of WINGS - Meeting Proceedings

Enabling Environment for Philanthropy: An International Convening of WINGS - Roadmap

Background Paper

The Index of Philanthropic Freedom: Selected Country Reports


Recommended reading

State of Civil Society Report 2016, CIVICUS

Challenging the Closing Space for Civil Society: A practical starting point for funders, Funders' Initiative for Civil Society

Closing Space: Democracy and Human Rights Support Under Fire, Thomas Carothers; Saskia Brechenmacher 

You can find more publications about enabling environment at WINGS Knowledge Center by selecting the category “Enabling Environment” in the search.

You are also welcome to contribute to WINGS Knowledge Center by submitting your publication HERE!


Call for cases on enabling environment

Giving visibility to relevant experiences and their learnings is an important way of building knowledge and contributing to the development of an agenda. WINGS wants to contribute to the development of a more enabling environment for philanthropy and civil society by showcasing its members and partners experiences. If you have an experience on the promotion of a more enabling environment that you would like to share with your peers, please submit it to WINGS by send a description of the case to Julia Catani – Please make sure to read the guidelines before submitting your experience.





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