Global Giving Round-Up
Overviews of best-practices around the world and links to learn more about them
Forbes magazine recognizes "Heroes of Philanthropy" in Asia
For the first time, Forbes has compiled a list of top philanthropists in 12 countries -- people it says are "not only some of the largest donors but also some of the most interesting -- generous folks who may not make one of our rich lists but who put a hefty share of their money into much-needed, and sometimes unusual, projects." Forbes identified four people from each country. From the Philippines, it included Global Philanthropists Circle Member Oscar M. Lopez and his compatriot Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who have both been covered in Global Giving Matters.
(Forbes, March 10, 2008; Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 7, 2008)
Australian philanthropist supports health of indigenous people
Greg Poche, who made his fortune in transportation, has now turned his attention to philanthropy. He recently contributed Aus$10 million to the new Centre for Indigenous Health, which helps indigenous people in the state of New South Wales. Poche pointed out that "So much money has been thrown into indigenous health and other support over the years. And it really hasn't made any difference." He is hopeful the effort he supports will be different. Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales and Chancellor of the University of Sydney that houses the initiative, commented, "[The Centre] will be an incredible means by which we can draw more indigenous workers into collaborating and training, because that is the way to be effective in our journey of transformation. Mr. Poche's philanthropy will mean we can afford to pay more staff from indigenous backgrounds, as well as non-indigenous staff."
(Sydney Morning Herald, March 1, 2008)
Bronfman Prize awarded for effort to ease burden of women in Darfur
Los Angeles' Rachel Andres has been named 2008 recipient of the $100,000 Charles Bronfman Prize (www.thecharlesbronfmanprize.com), which is awarded to a person or team under 50 years of age, whose Jewish values contribute to the betterment of the world. Andres directs the Solar Cooker Project of Jewish World Watch that raises support from local synagogues and community groups to fund provision of solar cookers to women and girls in refugee camps along the Chad and Sudan border. By reducing the need for these women to search for firewood, the program helps them better avoid rape gangs and also helps protect the fragile local environment. About $1 million has been raised from 20,000 contributors, mainly in $30 donations, providing 15,000 solar cookers. Andres is rolling her prize money into the project as well.
(Jewish Journal, March 14, 2008)
Conference examines philanthropy in Arab world
A recent high-level conference in Dubai, entitled "From Charity to Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy," pointed out several key themes in advancing the effectiveness of philanthropy in the Arab world. The conference was convened by Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who recently endowed his foundation (Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation -- www.mbrfoundation.ae) with $10 billion. At the event, Prince Turki bin Talal of Saudi Arabia called for more openness and communications about philanthropy, saying "Philanthropic organizations cannot work from within the walls as fences conceal secrets." Another theme was the importance of public-private partnerships. Participants also examined the legal systems in both in the Arab world and other countries, as well as their impact on giving in the region. While an improved legal environment for nonprofit and philanthropic activities was viewed as vital, participants also pointed to the adverse impact the United States anti-terrorism efforts are having on regional philanthropy. One participant complained of U.S. investigators repeatedly examining his donations. That sort of scrutiny can undermine efforts to make philanthropy more visible. Nonetheless, philanthropy, and interest in improving its impact, are growing in the Arab world. Conference speaker Salvatore LaSpada, chief executive of UK-based Institute for Philanthropy, pointed to the massive increase in wealth and the second generation entrepreneurs from the wealthy families who are looking for social returns in a more organized way.
(Christian Science Monitor, February 8, 2008; Khaleej Times, January 22, 2008; Kingdom Foundation press release)
First World Congress for Muslim Philanthropists held in Istanbul
More than 200 participants from over 31 countries came together for the first World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP -- www.thewcmp.net), held in Istanbul in March. Like the "From Charity to Change" conference in Dubai, much of the discussion focused on improving the effectiveness of philanthropy through approaches including cross-sector partnership that leverage the resources and strengths of several sectors, and more focus on communications and management. Participants included including the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu; Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; and UK Minister of International Development Shahid Malik.
Peggy Dulany talks philanthropy in South Africa
During an event to launch an educational initiative in South Africa's Western Cape, Synergos' founder and Chair Peggy Dulany shared her ideas on the importance of philanthropists playing a bridging role in society. "Too often philanthropists see [only] giving and giving money...[They] have the potential to give that access, or make those connections." Nonprofit organizations such as Synergos can support this, by providing philanthropists with skills in bridging, and by working to create mechanisms for poor and marginalized people to connect with policymakers and other parts of society.
(Business Day (South Africa) March 28, 2008)
Recruitment begins for Synergos Senior Fellows
The Synergos Institute is currently accepting applications for its next class of Senior Fellows that begins January 2009. The Senior Fellows Network is a leadership development program comprised of distinguished international civil society leaders committed to working collaboratively for social change. Synergos Senior Fellows participate in a three-year learning, service and action program that aims to build their skills, spread their knowledge, and deepen their impact. Details on how to apply are available at www.synergos.org/fellows/; applications are due by June 27.
Ray Chambers appointed as UN Malaria Envoy
In February, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed Global Philanthropists Circle Member Ray Chambers as his Special Envoy for Malaria. Chambers, the former chair of Wesray Capital Corporation, will lead an ambitious bid to cut deaths from the disease in the next few years. The mosquito-borne disease kills an estimated one million people a year, and is the number one killer of children under five in sub-Saharan Africa. According to a Reuters article, Chambers told a UN news conference he foresees a "massive public-private partnership" to raise $8-10 billion over the next four to five years. As co-Chair of Malaria No More and Millennium Promise, he had already invested substantial resources into eradicating the disease. Chambers' work was explored by Global Giving Matters in 2006.
(Reuters, February 15, 2008)
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