Amplifying African diaspora voice and expertise in philanthropy advice


Yvonne Moore


In the March 2017 issue, Alliance magazine associate editor Andrew Milner’s article Shading in the blanks on the philanthropy advice map explored the how the US and Europe might be exercising a distorting influence in the field of philanthropic advisory services. He also looked at those locations around the globe in which the sector has yet to develop. However, I would respectfully add to that analysis a failure to intentionally engage donors of colour of wealth, particularly those from the African Diaspora.

Sadly, many myths continue to overshadow the giving of Black families around the world including those that perpetuate we are not philanthropic, we hold no substantial or generational wealth, or that any wealth we do hold, especially for those of us from the African Continent, was derived from illicit means rendering our philanthropic endeavors illegitimate, or unworthy of living alongside the multi-general wealth of Western donors.

But more recently, a consistent uptick in remittances from the Diaspora to countries of origin on the Continent of Africa ($38 billion in 2018 to sub-Saharan Africa alone), coupled with an increase in stories of Diaspora philanthropy, I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme among colleagues in the advisory space. A desire to ‘learn more about my work’ or to ‘talk about how we can partner.’ Yet, sadly I’ve realised the desire to engage is a transactional scheme, with no real understanding of, or desire to explore the concerns, issues, or philanthropic goals which might personally resonate with families from the African Diaspora.

In an effort to dispel these myths and elevate philanthropic advisors from the African Diaspora, Moore Philanthropy has launched an initiative focused on building a global network and heightening the visibility of highly experienced philanthropic advisors from the Diaspora. The African Diaspora Philanthropic Advisor (ADPA) Network connects, educates and elevates philanthropic advisors and consultants from the Diaspora charged with guiding, influencing or leading the philanthropic goals of individuals, families and family foundations and trusts. We launched in August 2018 to an enthusiastic response, and the Network has already held meetings in New York City, Lagos and Nairobi with meetings planning later this year in Denver, CO and Dallas, TX.

The Network in no way suggest that Black advisors are the only practitioners equipped meet the needs of Black donors, it simply ensures all donors know they have a choice when deciding to select a knowledgeable professional with whom they may partner in their pursuit of philanthropic impact. The sector already has a great number of deeply experienced and highly trained individuals from the Diaspora, but we have found that many don’t realise this career path has been highly professionalised and is likely to be in significant demand in the future.

To learn more about the ADPA Network, or to connect to a philanthropic advisor please visit us at

Yvonne Moore is Principal philanthropic advisor at Moore Philanthropy

Comments (1)

Jacqueline Asiimwe

Exactly what we need at this material time, plus, we (at CivSource Africa) are also committed to elevating the stories of African giving to African causes because I believe these stories are not told enough. At a local level (in Uganda), CivSource even wants to explore what philanthropy means and is in our setting. How do Ugandans (and generally Africans) give and to what issues or causes do they give? How do we ensure this giving is not rendered invisible (much like the struggles we’ve had in the feminist movement to surface and shed a light on women’s invisible work in the household). So I am excited about this network and the potential is has for connection and for changing narratives and (hopefully) creating more equality in philanthropy.

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