Impact of Coronavirus emergency on social change-making (March 2020)
We don’t know how long the Covid-19 emergency will last. Charities, not-for-profits, community groups and mutual aid groups are now rightly focused on the immediate needs of the communities they serve, and on staying active so they can meet them.

SMK exists to support civil society change-making. So, the big question for us is ‘what is our role in all of this?’ Like so many others, we are asking what our mission looks like in this new environment. How do we keep asking the big question ‘how is change happening?’ We are now re-imagining our work in the new environment so that we can keep supporting change-makers, for the next few months or much longer.

At heart, we are a convening organisation. We bring people together to understand, learn and share. Now that in-person conversations aren’t possible, and with so many people’s attention turning to more immediate problems, we wonder whether our role is to:

• Maintain an eye on how efforts to create social change are themselves changing
• Understand how this emergency is revealing and publicising the need for systemic and cultural change, and
civil society’s ability to respond to that
• Spot longer-term risks to civil society’s ability to drive social change.

We want to invite you to share your own thoughts about this, what SMK can do to respond, and how we can share ideas more widely.

We’ve created a short questionnaire that asks how change-making and change-makers are being affected. It includes very open questions about what you, as civil society change-makers, funders or leaders, would most value from SMK – and how you might like to be involved. We’ll share our own conclusions over the next few weeks. And we may well repeat this exercise on a regular basis.
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