The objective of basic funding is hinted at in its name: it is about establishing a firm, long-term basis to enable the campaigns and organizations we support to operate in a politically effective manner. It is based on the realization that flexibility in the use of grant funds and a long-term partnership with the funding foundation multiply the effectiveness of grants.
Surprisingly it is the conservative foundations in the USA that are the force behind this concept: they have been highly successful in initiating and financing the neoconservative rollback of the last few years – in contrast to many progressive left-wing foundations, which got bogged down funding a large number of small, short-term projects.
The purpose of basic funding – as opposed to campaign funding – is not to implement a certain defined activity, but rather to achieve a medium-term political or organizational goal. For example, the foundation and recipient could agree on an organizational goal of doubling the number of members – and thereby the organization’s financial base – within three years. They also decide on whether and how, apart from the financial support, Bewegungsstiftung should be involved in helping to meet the objective, for example through consulting.
The recipient can then use the money in whatever way seems most appropriate. It may, for example, go towards the general running of the organization, it may be used to free up capacity for campaigns, or some of the money may be held as contingency funds. This flexibility enables movements to react promptly to current issues and events without having to wait months for specific project grants.
Basic funding is provided initially for three to five years, which can later be extended. The long-term funding partnership is designed to enable campaigns and movements to concentrate on political debate and their planned agenda.