EFC, CoF and WINGS – Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative

Launched in Rome in June 2009, the Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (GPLI) has evolved into a two-year collaborative project to improve and develop the practice and impact of philanthropy in a global context. The GPLI is a joint venture between three major umbrella organizations: the Council on Foundations (CoF), the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and WINGS. It held its first task force meeting in Brussels in November 2010.

GPLI, co-chaired by Emilio Rui Vilar of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Bill White of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, will address three priority areas identified at the Rome meeting: improving the legal and regulatory environment for philanthropy in a global context; developing models for improving and increasing collaboration in global philanthropy; and identifying key opportunities to engage with policymakers and multilateral organizations as development partners. The Brussels meeting set the agenda for the next 18-24 months.

Initial work will focus on short-term actions in these three issue areas. These include exploring legal barriers and developing a joint strategy for reducing them; looking at the roles, responsibilities and capacities of existing institutions to support a range of collaborative models and approaches; advocacy outreach to the groups and organizations GPLI needs to be in touch with; and proactively positioning philanthropy as a valued development partner, starting with revising and disseminating the Principles of Accountability for International Philanthropy. GPLI will always aim to focus on activities that none of the participants or associations could undertake alone.

One major conclusion from the initial discussions is the importance of WINGS as a support organization for global philanthropy. The current geographic composition of the GPLI task force is limited – with the hosts and majority of funders coming from Europe and North America. WINGS will play a crucial role in ensuring voice and participation from Africa, India and China. Supporting the development of WINGS as a global network of associations will be important to the success of GPLI and to the emerging support organizations in Africa and Asia.

The partner organizations themselves will provide initial resources for the initiative, including funding a handful of initial projects. These will in turn suggest other larger projects. Fundraising for these will be coordinated through the GPLI task force. The task force will meet formally twice more during the lifetime of the initiative, in autumn 2011 and autumn 2012.

For more information
Contact GPLI project manager Gail McClure at mcclg@cof.org

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