- 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.