Funders views: Why infrastructure matters

Alliance magazine

Philanthropy infrastructure is a crucial tool that enables the realization of potential to nurture philanthropic pursuits

Yanni Peng of Narada Foundation, Vladimir Potanin and Oksana Oracheva of Vladimir Potanin Foundation and Ridgway White of Mott Foundation discuss the crucial importance of investing in philanthropy infrastructure and underline how a dynamic approach can achieve a greater scale of impact.

Yanni Peng, CEO of Narada Foundation

In 2007, Narada Foundation gave a three-year grant to Non-Profit Incubator (NPI), the very first incubator for non-profit organizations in China. And this is the first philanthropy infrastructure we invested in. The grant was used to cover NPI’s running costs. Within five years, the landscape of non-profits was totally changed – a substantial number of new grassroots NGOs had emerged and had begun to show their impact. The second piece of philanthropy infrastructure we co-initiated and funded is the China Private Foundation Forum where private foundations network and share learning and concerns with each other. We have funded it for nine consecutive years. Now known simply as China Foundation Forum, it has significantly energized the foundation sector in China and its annual conference is now regarded as the most influential networking platform for Chinese foundations. Its 2017 annual conference attracted nearly a thousand participants from foundations and non-profits including 200 foundation CEOs and board chairs.

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