Cambridge study: Strategic philanthropy doing well in Saudi Arabia


Alliance magazine


Giving in Saudi Arabia has been highlighted as a noteworthy example of strategic philanthropy by a new report from the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Systems Change in Philanthropy for Development: A Research Framework for Global Growth Markets’ was authored by Dr Shonali Banerjee, Research Associate at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy and Guest Editor of Alliance magazine’s upcoming issue on decolonising philanthropy. The study recommends that philanthropists pursue greater localisation alongside the utilisation of new financial instruments to optimise charitable giving.

Saudi Arabia has a robust culture of giving, with well-known national philanthropic institutions like the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, the King Khalid Foundation, and the Mawaddah Women’s Charity Association.

‘Some of our research in Saudi Arabia has revealed some really interesting insights about philanthropic transitions that are happening in the Kingdom but also in the Gulf, more broadly,’ said Banerjee to Arab News.

‘One of the key insights for the region, in particular, is that we all know that philanthropy, giving and being charitable has been a huge part of Gulf and Saudi society for a very long time, for many generations, but recently it has become quite a lot about the transition to what we at the centre call strategic philanthropy.’

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