The WONCA Collaborative Fund: A Catalyst for Innovation


WONCA is thrilled to introduce its Collaborative Fund, a pioneering initiative that leverages the power of crowdfunding to fuel innovation and collaboration within the global family medicine community. As we eagerly await the upcoming announcement of the winning projects, let's delve deeper into the transformative potential of this fund.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a modern approach to raising capital through collective contributions from a large number of individuals, typically via the internet. It democratizes the funding process, allowing for smaller donations from a diverse group of stakeholders, and actively engages the community in the projects they help fund.

Imagine a project requiring $10,000 for completion. Instead of seeking a single large investor, the project can be funded by 200 people each contributing $50. This broadens the range of stakeholders and allows more people to contribute to projects that matter to them.

The Vision Behind the Collaborative Fund: More Than Just Funding

The WONCA Collaborative Fund is a multi-faceted initiative designed to serve as both a financial resource and a strategic tool. It acts as an incubator for small projects that are in the ideation and experimentation phase, providing crucial 'seed' funding. This enables these projects to potentially scale up and attract additional donors or grants for further development. This seed funding aligns with WONCA's broader mission to advance the field of family medicine globally.
Simultaneously, the fund aims to foster innovation and collaboration among our Working Parties (WPs) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). By leveraging the innovative approach of crowdfunding, we are democratizing the funding process, empowering these groups to bring their groundbreaking ideas to fruition.

Scope of Projects

The fund is designed to support projects across a variety of domains, including:
- Capacity Building
- Training Activities
- Policy Development
- Advocacy
- Research
We have encouraged potential applicants to think creatively within these domains, emphasizing that the fund is open to a wide range of innovative ideas.

Leveraging Our Donations Platform

WONCA maintains a general donations page, which has been in the experimental phase since May. This general fund serves broader organizational needs and supports the overarching goals of WONCA. We are now launching a second campaign for general donations. For more information, visit WONCA Fifty Years Caring for People Donations.

How the Collaborative Fund Differs
To ensure targeted support for our innovative projects, WONCA is enhancing its donations platform to feature individual pages for each selected project. These dedicated pages will provide a comprehensive description of the project along with a specific call to action to donate. This targeted approach allows donors to contribute directly to projects that resonate with them, ensuring that their donations are allocated precisely where they intend.

The Selection Committee

We are pleased to announce that we received a total of 11 project submissions for the WONCA Collaborative Fund. To ensure a balanced and thorough evaluation process, we assembled a selection committee comprising experts from diverse areas within the field of family medicine. This committee has completed its rigorous assessment and the results will be announced shortly.
The members of the selection committee are:
• Val Wass, Honorary Treasurer of WONCA
• Doris Young, Professor of General Practice at the University of Melbourne
• Herny Lawson, Vice Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons
• Warren Newton, President of the American Board of Family Medicine
• Harris Lygidakis, CEO of WONCA
This committee was meticulously chosen to ensure that each project received a fair and comprehensive evaluation, aligning with WONCA’s standards and objectives of the WONCA Collaborative Fund.

Opportunities and Expectations for Project Winners

Winners will have the unique opportunity to pitch their projects during the third day of our Council Meeting in Sydney on October 24. Additionally, they will be able to meet participants in our dedicated exhibition booth located next to WONCA's booth. Various promotional activities are also planned to inform both the WONCA community and the general public about these innovative projects. These are not just opportunities for exposure but also for networking and potential collaborations.
Winning projects will have 4 to 8 months to raise the required funds through donations. Once funded, they will have up to 2 years for implementation. This timeline ensures that projects have adequate time to secure funding and execute their plans effectively.

Building a Sustainable Ecosystem for Innovation and Growth

The WONCA Collaborative Fund is more than a one-time initiative; it's a blueprint for ongoing innovation in the global family medicine community. Our goal is to make this fund an annual event, providing a consistent source of 'seed' funding for early-stage projects. These projects, once scaled, are expected to contribute broadly to family medicine, from capacity building and training to policy and advocacy.
By making the fund recurring, we ensure a continuous influx of fresh ideas. Each cycle will build on the successes and lessons of its predecessors, creating a dynamic ecosystem where innovation is not just encouraged but systematically nurtured.


The WONCA Collaborative Fund is not just a financial initiative but a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and community building. It offers a unique platform for projects to grow from ideation to implementation, and potentially scale up to make a lasting impact.
We extend an invitation to the entire WONCA community and beyond to participate in this initiative. Your contributions, whether as project participants or donors, are vital for turning this vision into a reality.

For more details, visit WONCA Collaborative Fund.