Case study: Instilling a sense of co-responsibility in donors

Anderson Giovani da Silva

The Community Foundation for Greater Florianopolis (ICOM) operates in Southern Brazil in a region of deep inequalities. Over the 10 years since its establishment, ICOM has gradually moved its source of funding away from international and national grants to local support. However, there is a lot to do before the organization is able to operate solely with local donors.

People taking part in ICOM’s Vital Signs Report, looking at children and adolescents in Palhoça, Brazil.

During this process, the team has studied trends in giving and identified two groups of donors: a) younger donors, interested in short-term and creative initiatives, and using technology to facilitate communication and transparency; and b) an older and more financially stable generation, who prefers to be anonymous, is less subject to peer pressure and is emotionally driven by a cause.

But whatever their differences, both generations have not been easily convinced to give to non-profits, even where these are addressing a cause they are passionate about. The mind-set is that the government is ultimately responsible for tackling social and environmental issues, while non-profits have a supporting role limited to the provision of services.

Next Special feature to read

Case study: Developing community philanthropy in Vietnam – part-way there

Dana Doan