With Collective Action Comes Greater Impact

by Oxfam Canada | January 11, 2023
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Background media: A woman and two boys wash their hands outside surrounded by trees.
Photo: Carlos Zaparolli/Oxfam

Collective action is a way of life at Oxfam.

As part of a global confederation, our humanitarian responses, our advocacy campaigns, and many of our international development projects are coordinated among Oxfam's 19 affiliates. And more: we all work collectively with in-country partners, from grassroots women’s rights organizations and small-scale cooperatives to national NGOs and government departments. Each partner has a stake, each is valued.  

The Impact Fund 

A large black chalkboard reads : 'My commitment to end poverty, fight inequality and advance women's rights is ...'. Handwritten answers to the prompt fill the chalkboard.

Messages of solidarity from supporters at a prior Oxfam Canada event. Credit: Caroline Leal/Oxfam


Perhaps that's why we so appreciate the collective action of our donors through the Impact Fund. The Impact Fund was created to increase reach and impact in our collective fight for equality and justice. It's a challenge fund used to recruit new donors and motivate new donations from existing supporters. Current and former board members, staff members and invited donors contribute to the fund, which is then used to match revenue from special, time-limited fundraising campaigns.

Contributions to the Impact Fund and the associated matched donations, bring more resources to our advocacy campaigns, long-term development projects and humanitarian relief work. Donors who invest in the fund know that their dollars, in addition to supporting Oxfam’s programs, are being leveraged to generate even more revenue for this important work. 

Match Campaigns 

Match campaigns are proven to be a highly effective way to increase funding and inspire others to donate, so we can reach more people and have greater program impact.  

For example, last year for Giving Tuesday 2022, $50,000 of Impact Funds were used to offer a 2x match for Giving Tuesday plus an additional $25,000 for a special direct mail match offer. Both of these campaigns are addressing the current hunger crisis in the Horn, East and Central Africa, while keeping up the pressure in our advocacy and feminist agenda. 

In 2021, $75,000 of Impact Funds were used to match Oxfam's 2021 Giving Tuesday campaign, which inspired an additional $127,000 in just one day! In this way, our donors came together to give more than $200,000 to advance urgent response efforts in the Triple C threats: climate crises, conflict and COVID. 

Collective Action 

Right now we are seeing conflict, crisis and rising costs push people further into poverty, and women are feeling this the hardest. When we come together in times like these, it is a very real and tangible way to show support for people whose lives are being uprooted, forced to flee their homes and fight for their rights.  

We're inspired by this kind of donor action. It's a great example of how working collectively for a common cause drives the results we need to make lasting change.  


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