Conference Highlights

Key Highlights Day 1

Keynote Address

  • A key element of building resilience involves harnessing the power of local philanthropy organizations as they have a deep understanding of the issues facing their communities, so they are best placed to drive sustainable change.
  • Philanthropy rooted in the communities is another way we can ensure philanthropy efforts remain resilient. Local philanthropy has a large advantage and is uniquely positioned to support recovery efforts post-crisis.
  • Based on experience and new realities, there is a need to shape the African narrative for giving to ensure that practices are sustainable and responsive.

Day’s Plenary: Sailing the disruptive wave, establishing meaning for Philanthropy in emerging realities

  • To re-engineer Philanthropy, we need to be bold and, in most cases, unconventional.
  • In our quest to globalize African Philanthropy, we should never reach a point where we look down on what is happening at the local level.
  • It’s important to note that young people are just as active philanthropists, maybe even more aggressive in advancing the practice; they lack support, empowerment, and trust.
  • As African Philanthropists, it’s important to note that we cannot tell our own stories without data; we need to invest wholly in research.
  • African Philanthropy does not exist in a vacuum; we need to invest time and resources in strengthening local capabilities and capacities.
  • In our quest to drive programs that curb poverty, achieve sustainable health care, or reduce inequality through

African Philanthropy, let us not forget to adjust our programming to advance the fight against climate change.

  • It’s the local leaders and local philanthropist that understand the challenges of their communities.
  • Philanthropy should support civil society organizations for who they are and not change them into what they want them to be.
  • For the future sustenance of African Philanthropy, we need to reach a point where the private sector, public sector, and philanthropy sector work hand in hand.

Parallel Session 1: Community Philanthropy Isn’t Coming – It Has Arrived

  • In Africa, we cannot track individual giving; yet individuals in Africa give, and they give a lot. We need to be more accountable as regards individual giving.
  • Donors need to understand the communities with whom they work. They need to earn the trust of the communities and not come in as a controlling entity.
  • Community Philanthropy has not been ignited because of COVID: these practices have been ongoing, we only need to reorganize these efforts.
  • No community is too poor to fend for itself. It’s about taking the time to understand what assets are there & how to deploy them appropriately.

Parallel Session 2: Re-imagining grant making in East Africa through a decolonization lens

  • There needs to be an appreciation of the fundamental challenges in the global south and humility from the Global North to facilitate unrestricted funding.
  • Most international donors and NGOs are observers who report inequality and injustice; but do not participate in solidarity with movements on the ground.
  • In one voice, unity within the local organization’s and consensus on priority areas must be brought out to facilitate relevant interventions and programme designs.

Parallel Session 3: Collaborations for community philanthropy in building resilience: A case for Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda

  • The pandemic has revealed the need to build the capacity of the community to respond to disruptions.
  • The community has to be at the centre of all interventions; there should be proper involvement from start to the end.
  • We were telling the stories of communities going through different challenges to inspire others.
  • The need to adapt to new skills and knowledge to use technology to change our communities.

Parallel Session 4: Wellness and Wellbeing

  • Your business is as healthy as you are! Physically, mentally and social well being.
  • It does not cost the organization so much to put up a wellness committee to help the employees thrive versus having stressed employees.

Parallel Session 5: Media and Philanthropy

  • Media is an informative way of Philanthropy; it’s an important tool that should be harnessed as a medium to sharpen the narrative of African Philanthropy.
  • Media and Philanthropy should go hand in hand because as one entity spearheads impact, the other entity spearheads the spread and circulation of this impact.
  • Media helps society understand that Philanthropy is not alien to Africans; African’s give at all times.

Key Highlights Day 2

Keynote Address

  • The private sector contributes at least 60% to health, education and tourism. There needs to be an understanding that the private sector gives what they have. Therefore, the profitability of the business sector is key in ensuring the sector engages in philanthropy.
  • There must be an alignment and nexus between the interested players in philanthropy; otherwise, there is no chance of collaboration.
  • Foundations, trusts, and societies are the product of the fast-paced nature of the private sector. To run their philanthropic exploits efficiently, corporations have resorted to consolidating their efforts
    in models such as foundations and the like.
  • Private sector needs an enabling environment to be profitable; it is only when they are profitable that they can give.

Day’s Plenary: Stretching the band, failing forward for Philanthropy to SOAR

  • Africa is giving more to the world than it takes, and this needs to be consistently re-emphasized.
  • Africans have always viewed philanthropy as a duty, and therefore, there is little recognition when it comes to philanthropic efforts. This is an element that needs to change if philanthropy is to shift the tide with High Net worth Individual giving (HNWI).
  • Philanthropy is not a silver bullet. It must be married to advocacy and government accountability to ensure a coherent, effective ecosystem.
  • As philanthropy talk about re-engineering, it should not drift away from the three important models spearheading philanthropy. These are Peer to peer forms of giving, Intermediary Philanthropy and High-Net-Worth Based Philanthropy.
  • African philanthropy faces a sustainability challenge; this challenge should be dealt with if we have to re-engineer philanthropy for sustainable impact; therefore, there need to be long term endowments
    for a lot of movement to be achieved.
  • African philanthropists must retrospect and ask themselves the following questions: if growth is their ultimate desire: Do you do what you said you would do? Do you do it within the time? Do you do it within the budget? Do you make the impact you said you would make?
  • Corporates should not colonize the communities; work can be done using their systems, and success can be measured within those native structures.
  • Corporates need to: move from events (cleaning, feeding and other one-off exercises) to programmes to ensure impact and move from cheques (one-off heavy investments) to multi-year grants (consistent long-term endowments) to necessitate real change.
  • Corporate characteristics need to be married into philanthropies to achieve a fertile middle ground.
  • Key Performance Indicators and impact indicators can be translated into philanthropic efforts to ensure the impact is being measured and the objectives are constantly being monitored and evaluated.
  • Philanthropy actors need to accept that impact is hard to measure in the short term, and we have to change our goalposts by adopting innovative short-term measurements.
  • Philanthropies need to bring out their impact analysis tools to draw corporates and look beyond offering incentives for public relations.
  • The shrinking aid and movement of countries to higher income levels (that do not meet aid criteria) has necessitated the integration of civil society and the private and public sectors to advance the SDGs.
  • The shift in resources has allowed philanthropy to catalyze the unlocking of private capital for development.
  • Infrastructure around philanthropy has grown significantly. The question is how philanthropy can leverage its strength by building coalitions, moral ground and strong value systems, flexibility and adaptability, and quick decision making to catalyze the de-risking investments in the African continent. Philanthropy can be a driver of this rather than an afterthought.
  • The SDGs can perforate silos and develop new partnerships and models that can position philanthropy at the centre of the development table. The time is netted to drop our egos, logos and silos, and converge for impact; everything else is hot air.
  • Philanthropy is a well-placed sector in achieving sustainable development goals. To do this, Philanthropy needs to talk about the walk of leaving no one behind as African Philanthropists. Philanthropy can lead the change.

Parallel Session 1: Strengthening Philanthropic Partnerships through a Shared Value Model

  • Adaptation challenges can be achieved by working through a shared value model. This can be developed through constant communication to build trust and relationships, a dedicated secretariat- comprising independent staff that ensure alignment and achievement of goals and values, and system leadership- to motivate and foster accountability.
  • Communities need to be respected and not bullied. There needs to be a listening culture to achieve impact and movement in the philanthropic sector. Otherwise, initiatives cannot be termed philanthropic if they are not welcomed.
  • Constant referencing of initial agreements is necessary to ensure everyone is playing their role and for adjustment when contexts change. Reckless promises from both parties should be avoided to foster trust and manage expectations.
  • To meet the needs of communities, we need to build their capacity to voice their needs and share their ideas. These communities are richly acquainted with their needs. There needs to be sensitivity, space,
    and know-how to share comprehensively what they require, which will help identify fertile ground for long-term impact.

Parallel Session 2: Transforming Aid and Philanthropy to Accelerate Community-led Change

● Trust and relationships are at the heart of being community led. It is not about the what, but about the how.
● Traditional development terms perpetuate inherent power structures and dynamics and every interaction we have using these terms just strengthens this traditional aid system. In order to shift power we need to continuously reflect and check our language and biases.
● It is important to be humble and patient when it comes to language and be comfortable with complexity and contestation. It is also important to hold space for and channel funding to marginalized groups to do the imagining and develop language and concepts around what the ideal world looks like.
● When working with disability-led groups, it is critical that we bring a person-centered approach to meet the needs of partners. There is no one-size fits all template. Strong relationships and a commitment to being community-led allow us to meet local partners where they are and use their emerging definitions, timelines, and indicators of success.
● Alternative funders and funding models exist and are also on the rise in East Africa, but slowly and still in pockets. Investors interested in supporting these often don’t know where to start. We need to invest in knowledge generation and sharing to build our collective understanding of these models and how to best support them.
● Being community led means being flexible, adaptive and agile. We have to ensure we are centering community-led local actors at every step. This requires letting go of the expectation to deliver as planned and to avoid imposing our wisdom or learnings on partners.

Parallel Session 3: African-led and Community Philanthropy: Intersections of Equity, Agency and Sustainability

  • Philanthropy opens the opportunity to support the restructuring of funding to allow the building of organizations rather than just implementing partnerships.
  • Africa led Philanthropy, opening the purses is one thing; there ought to be access and readiness to partner at the community level.
  • Define your success and describe what the success of the program will be. This will lead to organizations being accountable rather than being made to fit in a “logical box.”
  • Deconstructing structures in philanthropy that have denied community org standing on their own is an important factor to be considered for grassroots organizations to thrive.

THE MARKETPLACE – building networks, promoting innovation

  • The Next Step Foundation is creating an Artificial Intelligent (AI) diagnostic tool to predict hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of fluid in the ventricles (cavities) deep within the brain in young kids.
  • CBM Tanzania aims to advance infrastructure development to ensure that newly built infrastructure is accessible to persons living with disabilities. CBM Tanzania champions a way of working with the
    community so that they are supported and respected to ensure they feel worthy included in our ecosystem.
  • Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) focuses on promoting local philanthropy, evidenced by their engagement with grassroots organizations and support to special interest groups such as the disability community. Their efforts in promoting local philanthropy led them to partner with Giving
    Tuesday. Since then, over 100 million Tanzania Shillings have been raised with over 50 organizations, numerous volunteers being part of the movement throughout the country.
  • Blood: Water is launching the leader collective; evidence of community voices and putting them at the centre of development. Membership to Leader Collective is open to CSO’s, development organizations aligned to the values of the community-led way of working. The leaders build
    community, thought exchange, learning events, extend access to resources and tools.
  • Brac International: Developed a digital early childhood education in partnership with the Government and Media (The Tanzania Broadcasting Corp). Their system has seen increased uptake.

Key Highlights Day 3

Keynote Address

  • Among the issues that the sector requires for an enabling environment to thrive include legal/policy and strong infrastructure and stem ecosystem. It was noted that are specific laws govern the philanthropy sector. An Africa, only a few countries are in the process of changing this narrative. Strong infrastructure will help us to establish a well functioning ecosystem and make the field more effective and grow home-based solutions. five5 areas need attention.
  • 1. Registration of philanthropy organizations
  • 2. Taxation
  • 3. Policy engagement
  • 4. Government involvement
  • 5. Resource mobilization
  • Philanthropy needs to work with various stakeholders from private, religious organizations, private sector, religious organizations, government, civil society. Very little can be done when we work alone we need all hands on deck! We cannot dream of an enabling environment if we do not support
    each other and support our own.
  • Governments cannot address all issues, and therefore there is an opportunity for the philanthropy sector to work with communities where the government are unable.
  • The call to action for philanthropy is to come together, have the collective power to influence favor able conditions, strengthen community foundations, build trust among all stakeholders and strengthen accountability mechanisms.

Day’s Plenary: Building our muscle, collaboration in growing philanthropy – The emerging role of associations in informing standards and frameworks for philanthropy growth in Africa.

  • African Philanthropy should be made a driver of Community-led inventions. We cannot continue to work alone and we need to work together. Let’s use collective power for philanthropy to drive social and systems change.
  • We should not use the same techniques and channels in our quest to drive change in the Philanthropy sector.
  • If we want to solve a social problem, we need to build Trust and Social Cohesion.
  • To enhance an enabling environment, we need to move from survival mode to growth, therefore is a need to collaborate and find ways to unlock local capital.
  • Governments are overstretched and donor funding is shrinking, and the big question is – Where do we get the funds to bridge the gap? The answer lies in private capital, and philanthropy is well placed to catalyze the crowding of private capital into social investment. There are several market-driven models that have been tried and tested in the Global North, and we in Africa can borrow and domesticate for local implementation.
  • There is a need to reduce the reliance of African s’ NGOs on foreign donors.
  • When Philanthropy support organizations collaborate, they can develop the philanthropic infrastructure with a more collective approach to support philanthropists at the grassroots.
  • To build a movement, these global movements should have roots in the regional and local environment. We need to localize our work, or we will not be successful. For this to happen, there is a need to mobilize communities, private and public sectors to build successful African ‘philanthropists’
    movement, which can then push for an enabling environment.
  • We must strategize on how we are communicating the work we are doing; data, transparency and impact assessment is key for repositioning philanthropy.
  • Let us leverage the momentum gained during COVID-19 for more progressive initiatives that build a long-lasting standing in our quest to champion policy reform for an enabling environment for philanthropy.
    There is a need for philanthropists in Africa to engage with the government than shy away; philanthropists can drive policy change in Africa if they work collectively.
  • From the breakout sessions, the discussions focused on building a strong infrastructure, specifically feedback mechanisms and reimagining philanthropy in the era of technology. In addition, a discussion on the legal and policy frameworks being used in the sector within the region.

Parallel Session 1: Completing the Circuit; Strengthening feedback mechanisms between civil society and funders towards building an enabling environment for philanthropy.</h4

  • Feedback should be implemented from the inception of the donor-grantee relationship not at the end of the project.
  • Power dynamics cannot be ignored when it comes to the type of feedback mechanisms employed- there needs to be a shift in this area to foster truthful feedback.
  • Feedback is premised by good communication and should not be viewed as one way- funders need to give their grantees feedback to help their learning and growth.
  • The structure of philanthropy needs to be reviewed to allow leveraging of gains, appreciating Feed back, and a language that allows partnership building to balance the supply and demand of philanthropy.

Parallel Session 2: Reimagining philanthropy in the era of Technology

  • If you want Technology to work, you must make it available to all the people.
  • For funding purposes, technological needs have to be articulately communicated by the parties involved, e.g., Technology services, private sector (business people), writers etc
  • One of the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is that Technology needs to move faster, given the rate that the virus spreads throughout the globe.
  • Essential fundamentals like power and the internet are needed to move Technology to higher levels, especially in rural/hard to reach areas.
  • There is a need for an ecosystem where the scientists can collaborate, i.e., from the lowest level, e.g., lab technicians, researchers to the highest level of experts in the development of solutions for use by all
    (from communities to private sector, government).
  • Technology does not have to be international but also includes local innovations.

Parallel Session 3: Law and Philanthropy: Sustainable Development from the Ground Up

The session highlighted some of the strategies being used to mobilize community giving of time, money and finances to include;

a) building of ownership and participation by communities/members
b) accountability – reporting back to the communities on the progress, successes and challenges,
c) documenting the process and acknowledgement of community efforts and
d) Trust – be a trustful organization/network and community in their interests and their intentions.

  • The lessons drawn so far include a willingness by individuals and corporations to support philanthropy, having a common understating of the initiatives supported by communities and partners for common goals and results, there is a lot of resources, be it time, skills and finances in members
    and individuals for philanthropy to be tapped by organizations and need to change of attitude within organizations and philanthropic networks to be in a position to effectively use and mobilize giving and capitalize on communities as an additional source of resources. Recommendations.
  • Organizations have to engage and enable the community to take part in addressing their own needs.
  • Philanthropic giving is successful if it addresses the needs of the people. Need to be human/people-focused.
  • Be accountable and transparent in the initiatives, resources and expenditures.
  • There is a need to have a favourable legal framework that supports the establishment and operations of philanthropy.

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