The +1 Global Fund uses a network-driven model, in partnership with globally recognized organizations, to discover locally-led and earlier-stage initiatives working to improve outcomes within vulnerable and last-mile communities in the Global South. There are multiple +1 “Cycles”—such as for WASH, Food Security, and Health in Africa—each dedicated to a specific issue and region and supported by multiple funders. Each +1 Cycle taps existing networks to identify organizations through a cascading series of recommendations and nominations.
<aside> 💡 The name “+1” comes from the pay-it-forward ethos of the program. Proximate changemakers and experts nominate up to 3 organizations for support. And those selected for support are then invited to nominate their peers & partners for support.
In developing a funding model powered by trust-based networks and peer-nominations, we are striving to nudge ourselves and others within the philanthropic sector to:
Most large-scale societal problems are held in place by a complex status quo that is resistant to change. Breaking through that status quo often takes a suite of innovations and an ensemble of changemakers—social entrepreneurs & innovators, activists, community leaders, government agencies, businesses, funders, and others—targeting different parts of the system in parallel. Yet, despite their best intentions, many are too often unable to find and support each other, exchange knowledge and resources, or collaborate towards catalyzing change.
This is particularly true in the Global South where those most proximate to vulnerable communities and the context—and therefore more likely to break through the status quo—are often disconnected from power-holders, which typically reside in the Global North (funders, networks, etc). In turn, Global North funders too often privilege expat leaders, countries with strong infrastructure, and organizations with connections to the “right” networks. One result of this dynamic is that high-potential, locally-led initiatives often struggle with amplifying their impact and strengthening their organizations, while the support they do receive is often restricted or tightly controlled.