Princess Banderi bint Abdulrahman AlFaisal is the CEO of the King Khalid Foundation, and granddaughter of King Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who ruled Saudi Arabia from 1975 until his death in 1982. She tells guest editor Joanne Bladd the inside story of the foundation, and how it has evolved with the times.
Bold philanthropy in Saudi Arabia
As a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, and as CEO of the King Khalid Foundation, how do you feel royal philanthropy differs from other forms of giving?
I think the fundamentals in many ways aren’t that different to mainstream philanthropy, but it is perhaps more personal. One of the challenges is safeguarding the name, and there is also the aspect of legacy, which I think is specific to royal philanthropy. For King Khalid Foundation, the family has a sense of wanting to preserve the values they grew up with. Every day, King Khalid would hold an open majlis where he met with people from every strata of Saudi society, who would come to talk to the king and to ask for his help. The family grew up in an open household, and King Khalid led by example. He gave of his time, his effort, and his resources – and the family wanted that to continue.