Centre for Strategic Philanthropy established at University of Cambridge Judge Business School


Alliance magazine


A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. The Centre will be dedicated to examining strategic philanthropy within and from the world’s highest-growth markets, including Africa, developing Asia, and the Middle East, at a time when philanthropy’s role in building social and environmental resilience is seen as increasingly essential.

‘Today, well over a trillion dollars of private philanthropic capital, more than triple the annual global development and humanitarian aid budgets combined, is deployed every single year. The evidence is also overwhelming that the world’s emerging economies are becoming an increasingly powerful source of philanthropic capital and social innovation,’ said Badr Jafar, Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy.

Jafar, a signatory of the Giving Pledge and alumni of Eton and Cambridge University, has provided a five-year grant to the Centre which will cover costs of key staff, research funding, and educational programming. The Centre will aim to become financially self-sustaining over the next five years through its activities. 

Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

Left to right: Professor Christoph Loch, Director of the Cambridge Judge Business School; Badr Jafar, Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy; and Professor Stephen Toope, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge signing the agreement for the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy on 25 September 2019​.

Through a combination of research, executive education, and the convening of diverse stakeholders, the Centre hopes to become a leading hub of actionable knowledge to catalyse even greater philanthropic impact from the world’s fastest growing regions. It also plans to work with institutions and practitioners in these regions in order to encourage collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and insights.

The Centre is being launched in the midst of a fourth wave of globalisation that is resulting in a reallocation of economic power southward and eastward. Last year, the top 30 fastest growing economies in the world were all in emerging markets. It is estimated that many trillions of dollars will be passed on from one generation to the next in these regions over the next 10 years, with close to $2 trillion wealth transfer by 2030 within Asia alone. This period of new wealth creation and intergenerational wealth transfer is expected to lead to a significant increase in philanthropic activity both within and from these fast-growing economies.

‘We are seeing an explosion of wealth generation that is creating philanthropists who can, and will, reject the norms of the past. Through the work of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School, we will be examining how we capture this diversity while also engaging with philanthropists from the target regions to support them in maximising their impact,’ said Professor Christoph Loch, Director of the Cambridge Judge Business School.

One of the first research projects undertaken by the new Centre will examine responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by philanthropists and foundations in high-growth markets. The Centre’s other projects so far include a comprehensive analysis of existing research related to philanthropy in the world’s high-growth markets to understand what is already known on the subject, and a practical needs assessment being conducted in direct consultation with philanthropic practitioners, academics, and other stakeholders on the ground in the world’s fastest growing regions.

For more see: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk

Join Alliance and the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy on Wednesday 1 July, 15:00 BST for a webinar examining how the study of philanthropy can contribute to social impact. Registration here.

Alliance is interviewing the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy’s founding patron Badr Jafar for Alliance Extra on 7 July. Subscribe to Alliance to make sure you don’t miss it.

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