AGN – Resources for building sustainable philanthropy in Africa

According to the MDGs 2013 progress chart, Sub-Saharan Africa is making insufficient progress on developing global partnerships. In the world of African foundations, at least, this situation is changing, and conversations are starting to explore ways in which African resources, particularly community resources, can be institutionalized to meet national and international development goals.

In partnership with the East Africa Association of Grantmakers, African Grantmakers Network (AGN) convened a peer learning event on 23 July in Mombasa, Kenya where 25 organizations gathered to explore: the availability of resources for investment in Africa; structures, systems and platforms required to raise resources for philanthropy; the extent to which grantmaking plays a role in sustainable philanthropy development; sustainability of foundations in communities; and the link between business and philanthropy.

The Kenya Community Development Foundation, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Kagiso Trust showcased investments of significant resources both in strengthening capacities of local organizations and in their investment portfolios.

Acknowledging that resources for development cannot be isolated from the business climate that generates them, some of the best sustainability practices came from the business side. These included periodic advice by fund managers on investment trends, regular monitoring of investment portfolios, provision of institutional policy support to investee organizations, and good corporate governance.

The event resulted in common needs being identified by members, including replicating of social investment models that employ commercial investment principles as well as promoting linkages and partnerships with business.

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