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The sector has undergone significant changes driven by the desire to achieve greater impact. The turn of the 21st century saw the emergence of “New Philanthropy,” which brought about new players, innovative giving vehicles, and revolutionary strategies. The tech industry’s explosive growth played a key role in this shift, leading to the rise of younger and more diverse grantmakers who are more engaged in philanthropy.

However, our time’s unprecedented global shifts and complexities impose immense pressure on the sector to evolve strategically and enhance its effectiveness. The evolution requires a comprehensive strategy beyond just expanding activities and focusing on broadening the scope and deepening the impact of philanthropy. The grantmaking space must adopt refined methodologies that align with their diverse objectives and unique characteristics to achieve sustained and meaningful growth. These methodologies must ensure that our efforts are practical and strategically synchronized with broader societal goals.

At the core of this conversion is the imperative to fortify feedback mechanisms within the grantmaking process. Establishing a more adaptable and responsive framework is crucial, achieved through the deliberate engagement with and incorporation of feedback from grantees and the communities they serve. This varied approach enables grantmakers to precisely refine their strategies, guaranteeing that their initiatives are directly responsive to the precise needs and challenges of the intended beneficiaries.

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To achieve this, grantmakers could embrace diverse giving methods to address communities’ complex and multi-dimensional challenges. By exploring and adopting a broad spectrum of funding mechanisms, you can formulate more agile and responsive strategies, moving beyond the traditional confines of grants to include a variety of financial tools tailored to achieve distinct objectives and outcomes. This potential for positive change is in their hands.

Equally critical is the adoption of trust-based grantmaking practices, recognizing the imperative of relational dynamics in the effectiveness of philanthropic endeavors. Trust-based grantmaking encourages a shift away from overly prescriptive criteria towards a more flexible, empathetic approach that values the insights and inputs of grantees. By fostering relationships built on mutual respect and understanding, grantmakers can more effectively address systemic inequities and unlock the potential of underrepresented communities. This model aligns philanthropic practices with a broader commitment to fairness and inclusivity, ensuring that every investment contributes to a just and equitable society.

Moreover, integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles into the grantmaking process has become a fundamental focus, underscoring a sector-wide commitment to fairness and representation. By embedding DEI principles, grantmakers are better positioned to ensure their initiatives are comprehensive, inclusive, and reflective of the diverse needs and contexts of the communities they aim to serve.

The imperative to scale impact is at the forefront of this strategic evolution. As communities face increasingly multifaceted problems, the ability to extend the scope and influence of our efforts becomes critical. Scaling involves expanding programs’ geographical or demographic reach and deepening the impact through enhanced engagement and support within grantee organizations.

In conclusion, the 2024 East Africa Grantmakers Summit provides a unique opportunity to unite grantmakers worldwide to address these multifaceted challenges. This summit is set to empower grantmakers, enabling them to refine their strategies and operations in alignment with the evolving demands and to ensure their endeavors resonate intensely with the communities they aim to uplift.

This summit is designed to facilitate substantial connections and collaborations, providing an excellent opportunity to engage with like-minded professionals who share a commitment to grantmaking excellence. It offers a conducive environment to deepen your learning from geographical and peer-related perspectives, enhancing your ability to implement effective strategies within your work. Furthermore, the event is ideal for strengthening existing relationships and cultivating new partnerships. You will also explore critical issues facing the sector presently, understanding what is at stake and how to navigate these challenges effectively. This will entail:

(i) Assessing

This encompasses a thorough evaluation of the current environment. Grantmakers will systematically review existing initiatives, measuring their impact and relevance against the setting of global shifts and local needs. This involves leveraging data and analytics to gain insights into current models’ effectiveness and identify areas necessitating strategic recalibration.

(ii) Architecting

This will involve deliberately designing and structuring resilient and adaptable strategies to the dynamic global context. Grantmakers will explore innovative giving models, collaborative ventures, and integrative strategies emphasizing sustainability, equity, and systemic impact here. The summit will act as a collaborative forum for ideating and crafting these strategic frameworks, drawing on rich global best practices and innovative case studies to guide the architectural process.

(iii) Advancing

This focuses on the practical implementation and scaling of these strategically designed initiatives. It will entail moving beyond conceptual frameworks to execute actionable plans to achieve measurable and sustainable outcomes. Grantmakers will explore methodologies for effectively operationalizing and scaling strategic initiatives during the summit.

Day One - July 8th

8 July 2024 | 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Trust-Based Grantmaking: Confronting Systemic Inequities

This session will delve into trust-based grantmaking as an emerging approach in philanthropy designed to dismantle systemic inequities ingrained within traditional funding mechanisms historically influenced by racism, patriarchy, and other forms of oppression. It will emphasize the importance of listening and feedback mechanisms, shifting from merely questioning the importance of listening to exploring effective strategies that ensure all voices, particularly those of marginalized communities, are heard and valued.

Areas of deliberation:

8 July 2024 | 12: 00 PM – 1:00 PM Connect, Collaborate, and Create Opportunities.

Midday is the ideal time to expand your circle. Discuss how you can support each other’s work, share invaluable resources, and maybe even kickstart a joint initiative!

8 July 2024 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch and More Networking

Enjoy a lunch as nourishing for your network as it is for you. Sit down with fellows to uncover collaborative opportunities and enhance your strategies over great food.

8 July 2024 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Advancing Social Justice: Systems Reform in Grantmaking

Social challenges have grown more complex and pervasive, and the imperative for deep systemic reform cannot be overstated. As the tides of inequity swell, the potential of philanthropy must be harnessed to dismantle the entrenched structures that perpetuate injustice. Social justice, once a peripheral consideration, now demands a central role in shaping grantmaking strategies. This session is designed not only to reflect on this shift but also to drive it, challenging outmoded paradigms and advocating for radical changes in how we conceptualize and execute philanthropy.

This session will address:

8 July 2024 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Connect to Innovate

Grab a bite and swap stories. This is your chance to pick up new strategies and fine-tune your approach to giving. Let’s learn from each other’s successes and stumbles!

8 July 2024 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Dinner

Cap your day with a feast for the senses! Join us for an evening gala where great food meets great moves. It’s your chance to let loose and enjoy the rhythm.

Day Two - July 9th

9 July 2024 | 8:00 AM – 12:00 PMHarnessing Emerging Giving Vehicles for Influential Grantmaking

This will involve critical mastery of emerging giving vehicles such as Direct Giving, Donor-Advised Funds, Impact Investing, etc., which are essential for grantmakers seeking to navigate the complexities of contemporary philanthropy effectively. These tools offer strategic benefits, including enhanced flexibility, targeted impact, and alignment with personal or organizational values. These are crucial for adapting to the evolving landscape of donor expectations and societal needs.

Topics of Discussion:

Take a break and broaden your network at our Midday Mingle. Who knows? Your next major initiative might spark from a chat about pooling resources over this hour; make it count.

9 July 2024 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PMLunch and More Networking

Lunch is not just about the food; it’s about feeding new ideas, too. Share a meal and discuss how we can make a bigger, bolder impact in philanthropy. You might even find yourself brainstorming with a guru who can help advocate for policy frameworks that support our activities—amazing, right?

9 July 2024 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMScaling for Impact – Strategic Innovations for Expansive Grantmaking

This will explore advanced strategies and operational innovations essential for grantmakers aiming to scale their impact effectively. The focus will be on enhancing the systems and infrastructure necessary to support large-scale operations without compromising efficiency or effectiveness.

Core subjects:

9 July 2024 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PMBridge Ideas, Build Futures

Wind down the day with a creative twist. Meet peers who are eager to share and discover new practices in philanthropy. Exchange your best methods and learn what’s working for others—it’s the perfect scene for that next big idea to rise from a casual chat here!

9 July 2024 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PMDinner

Shake off the day’s activities and enjoy an evening of delicious dining, lively music, and spirited dancing. It’s the perfect setting to unwind, connect, and finalize those promising ideas with your peers before they depart.

Coming soon….

Your well-being is our primary concern, and we are committed to ensuring your health and safety throughout the summit. We adhere strictly to established safety measures to maintain a healthy environment and to provide you with a secure and enriching experience. Please visit our website regularly for the venue’s latest updates and specific safety procedures.

Be assured that we are working closely with the venue and safety experts to implement health and safety protocols that will be adapted based on the public health situation at the time of the event. Before the event commences, we will inform participants of any updates or changes to the health and safety measures and requirements.

We anticipate pleasant weather in Nairobi with average temperatures around 16°C (62°F), peaking at about 22°C (72°F), and dropping to lows of approximately 11°C (52°F). We suggest packing versatile layers, including sweaters or jackets for cooler mornings and evenings and comfortable clothing for daytime activities.

Your proactive participation is essential for maintaining health and safety during the conference. We encourage you to bring your essentials, such as prescribed medications. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have specific health or well-being needs. Ensuring your safety is a collective effort.

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