Global Giving Round-Up
Overviews of best-practices around the world and links to learn more about them
From the ashes: Philanthropic opportunities rise to help Iraq
Humanitarian fund-raising to help Iraq has been in full swing since the war began,. For example, an email message sent by MoveOn.org generated more than $600,000 within six days for Oxfam America, while other aid groups have reported a surge in giving. The Global Fund for Women (www.globalfundforwomen.org), has established a "Now or Never" campaign to mobilize aid the Middle East. Daniel Borochoff, President of the American Institute of Philanthropy, points out the importance of donors looking for groups with a track record in the country. One example of a group with a track record is CARE, which has been working in the country since 1991 and has provided support to over 7 million people, mostly via clean water systems and nutrition programs for children. InterAction, the association of US nonprofit organizations working on international development and relief, maintains a listing of groups addressing the crisis in Iraq on its website www.interaction.org. An ongoing challenge for international relief and development organizations is the need for continuing support beyond the surge in giving when a crisis is in the news. (Christian Science Monitor, April 17, 2003)
Taking a stand: Norwegian businessman sells manuscripts to fund human rights
Norwegian businessman Martin Schøyen is selling a portion of his world-class collection of manuscripts to expand funding of the Oslo-based Schøyen Human Rights Foundation. Formed in 1999, the foundation's principal objective is to "save human lives and combat contraventions of the Human Rights and the basic freedoms, and to promote and strengthen these" throughout the world. Schøyen's collection, which he started as a youth, contains more than 13,000 manuscripts, some dating back 5,000 years, from around the world, and is held in numerous libraries, principally in Oslo and London. Considered one of the greatest individual collections in the world, one of its hallmarks is that it is accessible to scholars rather than maintained as a private preserve. (Philanthropy in Europe, October 2002.)
Charity begins at home: New organization promotes East African philanthropy
Foundations and trusts based in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, as well as several global grantmakers, have recently formed the East African Association of Grantmakers to promote networking and best practices in regional philanthropy. At the organization's launch in Nairobi in February, Kenya's Minnister of Planning and National Development Anyang' Nyong'o urged well-to-do Kenyans and corporations to become part of this process as well. Charter members include the Tanzania Gatsby Trust, Chandaria Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kabaka Foundation, Kenya Community Development Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, Rattansi Education Trust and Social Action Trust Fund, the Kianda Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, World Conference on Religion and Peace, Private Sector Foundation and Hurinet. The emergence of the EAAG coincides with increased regional activity between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania brought about by the creation of the East African Community as well as the December 2002 elections in Kenya, which saw a peaceful and democratic political transition. A 1999 research study estimated that there were some 60 grantmaking trusts and foundations in East Africa, including some founded in the 1950s and earlier. Discussions to form EAAG began in February 2001 at the Ford Foundation's Nairobi office. (Business Times, Dar Es Salaam, March 17, 2003)
Slaves no more: Ghana museum promotes public service and philanthropy
The new Elmina Java Museum opened in Elmina, Ghana, in February, with the dual goals of highlighting the legacy of Dutch presence in Elmina and promoting public service and philanthropy. Located in Elmina Castle, the museum chronicles the history of the Dutch during its rule of the Cape Coast colony, including the active slave trade in which many slaves were shipped not to the Western Hemisphere but to the Dutch colonies in the East Indies. It also examines the interactions (and intermarriages) between Dutch governors and the Ashanti people. The museum is funded by the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation in memory of Edward A. Ulzen, a founder and first registrar of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and later lectured in the Universities of Zambia, Botswana and Lesotho. Mr. Ulzen later served as project coordinator for the Family Health Broadcast Programme of the Union of National and Television Organizations of Africa. The Ulzen family traces its roots to the 18th century Dutch occupation of Ghana (then known as Dutch Guinea), when Dutch soldier Jan Ulsen was assigned to Elmina. The museum also aims to support local tourism and educational projects; the Ulzen family, which includes a branch in the United States, plans to turn all proceeds to the Elmina community, with the goal of supporting general education (including higher education scholarships), public health and the arts. (Accra Mail, February 13, 2003)
Philanthropy helps Bolivians preserve and expand cultural traditions
In 1985, with the help of prominent Bolivians, Peter McFarren, the son of Methodist missionaries who was born and raised in Bolivia, established the Quipus Cultural Foundation (www.quipusbolivia.org), which aims to preserve and expand Bolivian cultural traditions. In the 18 years since its founding, Quipus has built children's museums in the cities of La Paz and Sucre, published books about Bolivia, created programs to support and promote Bolivian cultural traditions, and established a range of civic, cultural and educational alliances with organizations and institutions within and outside of Bolivia. A crafts development project aims to promote local craft production, especially by female artisans, as a vehicle for cultural and economic development, and to help market the crafts. Quipus draws on support from multilateral, corporate and individual donors worldwide as well as locally. The word quipus refers to knots used by Incas in the Bolivian Andes for counting.
Indicorps recruits Indians in the US and Canada to support nonprofits efforts in India
Three siblings of Indian heritage raised in the United States have created Indicorps (www.indicorps.org), a nonprofit organization to enable non-resident Indians to take part in public service programs in India. Its motto is "Service for the Soul." The program features a one-year competitive public service fellowship that requires significant individual initiative with direct involvement in international development; fellows selected for it are given an extensive orientation and are then responsible for implementing projects identified by local development experts. A short-term program requiring a minimum of six-weeks' commitment is another option for volunteers, as is a Senior Corps for volunteers who are 50 or older and willing to commit at least six months work with Indian non-profits. The program currently accepts applicants from the US and Canada, but in 2004, Indicorps will be open to non-resident Indian applicants from anywhere in the world.
The art of giving: GIVE Foundation strengthens Indian philanthropy and the third sector
With the mission of "Giving Impetus to Voluntary Effort," the GIVE Foundation (www.givefoundation.org) has been formed to strengthen NGOs in India by providing assistance in fund-raising, grant management, capacity building, corporate-nonprofit partnerships and other areas to increase their impact and efficiency. With a board of business and nonprofit leaders and a staff with extensive nonprofit and business skills, GIVE offers an viable model for linking the public and private sectors, including an on-line giving portal (which also offers the opportunity to buy crafts from NGOs) and a social initiatives fellowship program to encourage young Indians interested in careers in health, elementary education or microfinance. GIVE's program office is based in Ahmenabad and its marketing office is in Mumbai.
Impact of Chinese-American philanthropy on the rise
Although there are no "hard figures" to calculate the philanthropy of Chinese-Americans, it is growing in size and impact, according to Leslie P. Norton of Barron's magazine, who describes major gifts to museums, universities and hospitals from individuals whose wealth is self-made and relatively recent. Examples include a $25 million donation by money manager Lulu Wang to Wellesley College, an estimated $14 million gift by Charles Tang to enable the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to purchase major Chinese paintings and update its Chinese art galleries, and many millions of dollars donated by computer entrepreneur An Wang to various New England institutions. Although a survey by the Committee of 100, an organization of prominent Americans of Chinese descent, indicates lingering negative or ambivalent attitudes towards Chinese-Americans, philanthropy can help "Americans learn more about Chinese civilization and culture" as Tang puts it. (Barron's, December 9, 2002)
US philanthropist urges British counterparts to give more
Cuban-American billionaire philanthropist Alberto Vilar is exhorting his counterparts in the United Kingdom to be more generous. Comparing US philanthropic patterns with those in the UK, he says that British philanthropists can -- and should -- open their pockets more. While British philanthropists counter that tax laws work against greater charitable generosity, Vilar contends that the very rich have failed to set an example. "Everyone should share their wealth, but when you get $5 billion or $10 billion and you're not giving anything away, it's really ludicrous," he told The Times of London during a visit in February. (Times On-Line, February 6, 2003)
Global Philanthropy Forum to hold second annual Conference on Borderless Giving
The second annual Conference on Borderless Giving of the Global Philanthropy Forum (www.philanthropyforum.org) will take place June 5-6 at Stanford University, where participants will discuss critical issues related to advancing public health, universal education, environmental sustainability, political and social participation in three regions where poverty persists: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Andean countries. Breakout sessions will include topics such as Building Civil Society in Asia, Models of Engaged Philanthropy in Africa, Lessons Of Microcredit, and Investing in Children. The extensive lineup of speakers and discussion leaders includes Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, Graça Machel, Chair of the Foundation for Community Development of Mozambique, Maria Otero, CEO of ACCION International and John Morgridge, Chairman of Cisco Systems. Attendance at the meeting is by invitation only. A Latin American summit will follow in the fall.. The Forum's website has many resources to guide current and potential philanthropists on resources for giving.
Philanthropy Ink: How venture philanthropists have created new giving model
Venture philanthropy, an entrepreneurial approach to supporting nonprofit organizations that became popular in the 1990s, has spurred real changes in philanthropy practice, despite questions about its absolute impact, according to John Quinterno, Assistant Director of the Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Writing in the February 2, 2002 issue of Philanthropy Journal (www.philanthropyjournal.org), Quinterno contends that the business model used by venture philanthropists to support nonprofit organzations has helped strengthen the organizations' operational capacities in a way that prior philanthropy practice did not. An important aspect of venture philanthropy is its focus on long-term success and accountability. However, Quintero notes, it's hard to measure the success of venture philanthropy's giving for two key reasons: there have been too few examples to make it easy to measure, and the ultimate goal of the recipient groups is to generate social returns, not financial profit.
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