As part of our co-created national associations “umbrella” strategy, the global MCLD secretariat hosts capacity-strengthening initiatives that are tailored to the needs of domestic civil society leaders across many countries. 

In 2022, we hosted two popular and lively courses (Network Weaving and Domestic Resource Mobilization) that generated a great deal of new learning from seasoned experts, peer sharing from experienced and innovative civil society leaders, and opportunities for “learning by doing” between classes.

A six-session course, 2022

Over a course of interviews with domestic civil society actors that participate in the Movement for CLD, a common theme emerged. Too often, community-led development efforts are thwarted by a kind of local inertia, where community members feel powerless to make change happen, and are waiting for international aid to come. Also known by the psychological term “learned helplessness,” this phenomenon is often linked to decades of top-down, outside-imposed, expert-driven development projects which designated the people whose lives were to be affected as passive “beneficiaries.”

Thus decolonization is called for, as well as a reality check–most communities will not receive international aid. Also, “cold” applying for international grants online can take a great deal of effort and have low odds of success. 

Enter Change the Game Academy. This Dutch-based group has developed sophisticated yet accessible guidance for civil society organizations, encouraging them to shift at least part of their focus to ‘domestic resource mobilization.’ A key message they elaborate on is that valuable “resources” come in many forms, including human, financial, and in-kind. For example, many communities have successfully advocated to their local government for improved public services. 

Change the Game partnered with the Movement for CLD to provide two seasoned trainers, Sharon W. Olang and Roda Mutiso. Sharon and Roda led us through six sessions on how to systematically approach domestic fundraising. We began by thinking ten years ahead…what would we like our individual and organizational legacies to be. Read some inspiring answers here. 

If you’d like to learn more as reported by our classmates about what they learned, click here. 
Excited about this clear and practical material? Change the Game has a great deal of free online content on their website…in six languages! In addition, Change the Game has dozens of national partners around the world who offer hands-on, gold standard training services. Find one near you!

Cover Photo: The Hunger Project, Johannes Ode, Doutin Benin