“If it happens without intermediation, our experience shows that it rarely succeeds because donors don't have that kind of time to engage in detailed discussions[.]”
That is a quote from one of the groups we trust the most. We asked them whether from the beginning we would be able to go for unrestricted funding and what he thought of the concept. Their belief was that it would only be possible if the donors were willing to take up a lot of the monitoring role and be actively involved because otherwise it would be very hard for the donor to judge success at some future point in time. Their point was that they believed that the donor would not be satisfied with a report one year later detailing the use of his or her money if there wasn’t some predetermined way to measure the use through a project or target.
This comes from a respected group so we are taking it very seriously. However, our belief is that we can get donors to understand that they are funding social change and are part of this process of change. This process requires flexibility and non-project based funding to target a range of conditions. And through our discussions and reports, we hope to encourage such a system/relationship.
We do believe we can get donors to be satisfied with such reports one year later, but the concern expressed in the quote is valid. For this to work, donors are going to have to have the time to engage. What we need to do is make that time as little of a burden as possible.