Global Giving Round-Up
Overviews of best-practices around the world and links to learn more about them
Bishop Tutu Peace Foundation launches leadership project
The Bishop Tutu Peace Foundation (www.tutufoundation-usa.org), which was founded in Cape Town in September 2001, has just launched a program to create "leadership academies" in the US and Africa to develop "humane" leaders around the world. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors, the program aims to sponsor leadership workshops in conjunction with local universities and schools. In South Africa, the Foundation also sponsors the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, which will include a museum and archives.
Philanthropy goes online in Mexico
The Mexican media company Grupo Radio Centro was honored in May for its contribution to spreading knowledge about national and global philanthropy through a philanthropy portal that it launched on its website, www.to2.com, in September 1999. Since its launch, the portal, Canal Filantropía, which is updated daily by a three-person team, has provided more than 2,200 items of information on nonprofits organizations and giving trends in Mexico and around the world, according to the Mexican Center for Philanthropy.
Young professionals in Argentina create anti-hunger philanthropy
Young professionals at Argentinian companies have created a website called porloschicos.com ("forthekids.com") to encourage people who are to donate food to children living in a shantytown in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Severe poverty is rising in Argentina, which is in the midst of the worst economic crisis in its history; an estimated half of the country's population of 18 million now lives in poverty. Volunteers at the website, whose age averages 25, solicit donations from major and mid-sized corporations in Argentina; the companies pay for advertising exposure on the site, and income from these payments supports the donations to food pantries. A network of companies providing food, funds and "meal tickets" distributed to needy children facilitates the flow of both food and financial donations. The website also includes information on nutrition and hunger and advises nonprofit organizations on how to raise funds during periods of crisis.
Diaspora philanthropy from the US on the rise
Opportunities for giving in immigrants' homelands are on the increase, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which reported on wide-ranging initiatives within the United States to facilitate. Citing examples from countries as diverse as China, Brazil, Ireland and the Philippines, several articles in the May 4 issue examine how this trend came about and how it works. (Chronicle of Philanthropy, May 4, 2002)
Pen pal project drives Austrian cab driver to give
A trip to South Africa to visit one of many pen pals around the world ended in personal disappointment for Austrian cab driver Hannes Urban (the pen pal wanted to marry him; he just wanted a friend), but prompted him to start a charity called Wir Helfen ("We Help" -- www.wir-helfen.org) after he saw South Africa's poverty first-hand. Combining personal savings, fund-raising and volunteer support through Wir Helfen, Urban eventually funded a kindergarten for 30 children in a Cape Town township and has subsequently funded a medical aid project in Veracruz, Mexico, and collected food packages for slum-dwellers in Nairobi, Kenya. In the course of his projects, Urban has enlisted the help of airlines, pharmaceutical companies and other corporate donors for backing, while getting soliciting individual donations of clothing and other projects. (The Financial Gazette, April 26)
Corporate philanthropy growing in Lebanon
Corporate giving in Lebanon -- often a reflection of the giving by individual business leaders -- is growing, according to reports by the Beirut-based Daily Star, which in a two-part series in April described its growth. Scrutiny of Lebanese business giving was stimulated by a United Nations Development Programme project to promote stronger business-community relations, including increased philanthropy, on the local level. The articles quote Hala Beyhum, marketing manager at International Arab Bank in Beirut, saying that the company, whose regional pre-tax profit last year was US $312 million, donated 2 percent of 2001 profits in donations and equipment. However, most local companies don't disclose figures nor the names of organizations they support. This lack of transparency is in contrast to what is often considered best practice in other places. "We give to lots of people for charitable purposes and we established the Abdel Hamid Shoman Association, based in Jordan, in 1978 to promote development and education of people in the fields of science and humanities," according to Beyhum. She cites a policy of "[giving] money the traditional Arab way, silently and with a clear conscience, not for publicity." (Daily Star, April 27 and April 29, 2002)
African women take initiative in funding projects
The African Women's Development Fund (AWDF -- www.awdf.org), a fund-raising and grantmaking initiative, has been set up by three African women active within and outside Africa, and with a track record of successful empowerment interventions. According to an article in the Accra Mail, AWDF has collected over US $2 million from international institutional and individual donors, private foundations and sister funds. AWDF's International Fundraising Campaign is expected to raise up to US $10 million over the next three years. The founders are Joanna Foster from Ghana, Hilda Tadria of Uganda and Ethiopia, and Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi of Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Ms. Adeleye-Fayemi is former director of Akina Mama wa Afrika, an international development organization for African women. (Accra Mail, June 5, 2002 via AllAfrica.com)
Global Fund for Women honored for communications achievements
The San Francisco-based Global Fund for Women (www.globalfundforwomen.org) recently received Gold and Silver awards for excellence in communications in the 2002 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards Program. Sponsored by the Council on Foundations and the Communications Network, the program recognizes effective communications efforts to raise public awareness of foundations and corporate giving programs. The awards were presented at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Council on Foundations in Chicago in April. The Global Fund for Women supports women's rights organizations around the world, and is the largest foundation worldwide to focus exclusively on international women's rights. Since 1987, the Fund has given over $23 million to seed, strengthen and link over 2,000 groups in 158 countries.
Innovative "charity bank" to open in Great Britain
In a financial "first," a new bank will open in Great Britain in September that will offer a new source of affordable loans to nonprofit organizations and give donors the opportunity to commit their savings for both social and financial returns. Charity Bank (www.charitybank.org) is a project of Investors in Society, a social investment fund run by the Charities Aid Foundation that was launched in 1996 and now has almost 10 million pounds (about $14.7 million) in deposits. More than 200 charities have received loans so far.
Research project to study patterns of legacy philanthropy in Australia
Legacy and bequest fundraising consultant Sebastian Wilberforce is launching a research project for Australian charities designed to help them map the behaviour of Australians as will makers and givers (or non-givers) of bequests to charity. Market research company BRC Marketing & Social Research will conduct the survey.
Social entrepreneur aims to make money -- and make good
The Atlanta-based Hot Fudge Social Venture Capital Fund, created by Ben Cohen, co-founder of ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry's, has invested $1 million to fund a casual wear manufacturing company in downtown Los Angeles that pays above minimum wage, extends health and other benefits to employees, avoids sweat shop conditions and allows unions. Known as TeamX, the company is a modeled as a cooperative for-profit business and aims to show that investment -- even with a social goal -- can make money. (Los Angeles Weekly, April 1218, 2002)
Chinese-Americans discuss philanthropic leadership
A recent conference in San Jose, California, organized by the Committee of 100 (www.committee100.org, an organization of American leaders of Chinese descent, included a roundtable discussion that examined philanthropic patterns in the community, with a focus on the response to events of last September 11. The discussion mentioned the role played by WNBC news correspondent Ti-Hua Chang, who produced a 30-minute documentary on the impact of the events in New York's Chinatown, which is located near Ground Zero. In the documentary, Mr. Chang highlighted how the Chinese American community donated more than $1 million to the rescue efforts, which then-Mayor Rudulph Giuliani came by and collected. However, the leaders noted, as the "longer term impact of the disaster set in and unemployment in Chinatown rose, the mayor or anyone else in the government were nowhere to be seen." (OnPhilanthropy.com, May 5, 2002)
Philanthropy Ink: Business venture straddles philanthropy line in Bangldesh
A profile in the New York Times business section (May 26, 2002) describes how Bangladeshi-born Harvard professor Iqbal Quadir created a GrameenPhone (www.grameenphone.com), a mobile phone network in Bangladesh, aiming to empower poor people who lacked access to telephones, and make a profit in the process. It took just five years to do so -- last year, GrameenPhone's fifth -- the company reported $27 million in pre-tax profits, far more than many first-world start-ups, according to the Times. However, Quadir notes that the success would not have been possible without start-up support from investors with an overt interest in philanthropy, including Joshua Mailman, founder of the Social Venture Network; Arnold Hiatt, former CEO of Stride Rite; and Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade.
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