ASF – Spotlight on international giving

On 11-13 October, 750 small foundation leaders joined the Association of Small Foundations in Austin, Texas for its 2010 national conference, the largest gathering of small-staffed and unstaffed foundations in the US. As part of a robust programme on a broad range of core, advanced and inspired philanthropy topics, international giving featured prominently.

Kicking off the conference, Austin’s own Donna and Philip Berber spoke at the opening plenary about the passion driving their giving and the impact they hope to achieve through A Glimmer of Hope Foundation. This works in Ethiopia to help the rural poor lift themselves out of poverty through an integrated approach linking water, education and employment. Donna also spoke about her international giving in the context of sessions entitled ‘Heart & Mind: Personal Experiences in Giving’ and ‘Funding Women and Girls to Change Community’.

The next day, ASF offered a three-hour learning lab called ‘International Grantmaking: Nuts and Bolts’. This interactive workshop allowed conference participants to learn from experienced global grantmakers, walk through the steps of creating an international giving strategy, and delve deeply into topics such as microfinance, giving through intermediaries, and working with local partners on the ground.

In addition, conference participants came together for an informal ‘Hot Topic’ conversation on ‘International Grantmaking and the Next Generation’ as well as a dine-around for international grantmakers hosted by A Glimmer of Hope. Both the hot topic conversation and the dine-around were great opportunities for ASF’s International Advisory Group members to gather with conference presenters and attendees to network, brainstorm, dream and connect with others interested in exploring international philanthropy.

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