The international humanitarian response system faces multiple calls for reform and change, both from within and outside the system. Financing is the target of much of this criticism and it is clear that the current humanitarian funding and partnership models are not working. Local and national voices are marginalised, organisations are treated unequally, and current approaches do little to invest in the responsive capacity and sustainability of civil society for the long-term. Although an agenda and commitments to change have bubbled up to the global policy level, local and national actors themselves are often absent or timid in these discussions. The “localisation agenda” is being driven by international actors, sometimes well-meaning, but often keen to preserve the status quo. What is missing is a vision and agenda for change from local and national actors themselves, the confidence and tools to assert themselves and to demand something different. Financing solutions can be designed to inspire and incentivise change models and alliances, which in turn may be catalytic in changing global financing practices, yet there is a dearth ideas and proposals for practical alternatives to the current financing model.