In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of philanthropy infrastructure, WINGS is mapping research and teaching institutions across the world that offer services and programmes on philanthropy.
Our preliminary assessment resulted in a list of 56 institutions located in all regions of the world, including 2 in Africa, 2 in Latin America, 3 in the Middle East and 6 in Asia. As expected, the largest number are located in the US and in Europe. Partly, this reflects the fact that we are not aware of all the institutions that are out there.
We conducted a short survey with these institutions to learn more about them. Our survey clearly indicates that this is a growing field: many of the surveyed institutions had been created in the past five years.
With regard to the main focus of activity, research comes first for most surveyed institutions. Second is higher education, with institutions offering degree programmes in philanthropy. As expected, most of this activity is taking place in Europe and the US, but we found interesting programmes all around the world, such as the newly launched Chair in African Philanthropy in South Africa. The third most frequently mentioned primary activity is continuing education, which includes short courses, seminars, certificates and diploma programmes.
Interestingly, we came across 10 institutions that combine research or teaching activities with consulting. This is something we would like to explore further to see if this is emerging as a good business model for bringing revenue to these institutions.
Finally, when asked about challenges, most institutions mentioned lack of funding for their activities and for scholarships to allow students to attend their programmes. Respondents also mentioned lack of support to engage in work of regional and international scope.
What next? First of all, we will continue our efforts to map philanthropy research and teaching institutions worldwide. We also want to explore opportunities for collaborative research that crosses boundaries and regions, to facilitate the exchange of best practices, and to establish a repository of published studies at WINGS Knowledge Center.
We shared the survey results in a webinar on 20 June and we will continue this conversation at WINGSForum 2017, which will take place in Mexico City on 22-24 February 2017.
To listen to the webinar, click on Knowledge on the menu bar and then click on Webinars
The Alliance special feature in March 2017 will be: Philanthropy studies – an expanding field?