This bumper special feature attempts a stocktaking of the wealth of philanthropic traditions around the world. The first group of articles, with Atallah Kuttab as guest editor, looks at how different types of philanthropy are developing in different regions. They include an article on how philanthropy in the Arab region is moving ‘from social giving to social change’ and Vineet Rai’s insightful analysis of what the field of impact investing needs if its promise is to be realized.
The second group of articles, guest-edited by Maria Chertok, focuses on the changing regulatory and policy environment for philanthropy – particularly timely in view of what seems to be a closing space for civil society in so many countries. However, as CAF’s Adam Pickering points out, positive changes are occurring alongside the negative ones. So, for example, in Egypt and Russia it is becoming easier to form endowments while the barriers to foreign funding are increasingly draconian.
Are the priorities of today’s donors different from those of earlier generations? In particular, do they care more about impact? This is the question posed by Timothy Ogden in the final part of the special feature. To help address the question we spoke to donor advisers, young donors and the senior historian at the Rockefeller Archive Center, among others. One suggestion is that donors who care about impact are more influential than they used to be – philanthropy’s ‘keystone species’, suggests GuideStar’s Jacob Harold.
Also in the September issue of Alliance: Hilary Pennington talks about the Ford Foundation’s philanthropy programme and the newly announced focus on reducing inequality; Doug Miller, founder of EVPA and AVPN, assesses the progress of venture philanthropy in Asia; and Manuka Henare looks at Maori gift exchange traditions.