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Changes, challenges and opportunities for hospice and palliative care fundraising in 2017

Author: Dermott MacDonald, WHPCA Fundraising Consultant
20 March 2017

2017, like 2016, looks like being a year of huge and complex change for the global development community.

More than ever, the world needs generous and co-ordinated funding support from global donors to address the escalating and merging crises of global migration, population displacement, failed states and famine on a scale not seen since 1945.

However the aid sector has been shaken to its core by the shift in public and political opinion with increased scepticism about the benefits of tax-payers money funding development aid.

Brexit, Trump and European populism have put development budgets under the microscope and resulted in cuts and a shift in focus with development aid being increasingly channelled to respond to North American and European foreign policy and security concerns.

All the major international donors have all been impacted. DFID’s 0.7% of GDP target in the UK is under pressure, with DFID’s funding being eyed up to pay for trade and investment in a post Brexit world, the EU has largely frozen grant funding and is channelling increasing amounts to the migrant and refugee response in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The USAID budget under Trump looks set to be cut drastically.

For local, national and international palliative care NGOs, this new and fluid funding reality presents obvious challenges as well as opportunities. With less institutional grant funding available the sector needs to focus on diversified funding streams including from trusts, foundations, private philanthropy and in house social enterprise initiatives.

More needs to be done to co-ordinate approaches and work collaboratively within the palliative care sector and wider health and human rights development sector.

 Also palliative care needs to adapt its programme model to support emerging needs and demands due to conflict, fragility and displacement of populations on a massive level, especially on how this impacts the young, older people, the vulnerable and marginalised including those living with serious illness and life limiting conditions.

In addition, the palliative care community needs to develop strong models of development best practice and evidence impact and value for money of these approaches and share and disseminate this to the widest audience globally.

In doing this palliative care NGOs as well as the programmes they deliver, can attract and grow donor funding support.

This will also help facilitate the inclusion and integration of palliative care into the broader global Universal Health Coverage policy, advocacy and resource allocation agenda.

Scoping for donor/funding support

Keep up to date using the following development and funding sites (also consider geographic donor websites, e.g.: EU delegation for Zimbabwe or DFID Ethiopia website pages for latest opportunities).



Europe Aid:

Funds for NGOs:


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