The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the power of proximity. Locally led organizations across Africa that have their communities’ trust have often been better positioned to respond to changing needs when many international NGOs recalled their staffers to their home countries. But some of the same barriers that prevent donors from supporting local NGOs and civil society extend to philanthropy and venture capital, and it remains to be seen whether the lessons of COVID-19 will lead to more funding for African-led organizations.