As part of WINGS’ efforts to map philanthropy infrastructure around the world, the organization surveyed its network to learn more about who its participants are and what they do. Of 147 WINGS network participants surveyed, 52 replied, providing WINGS with the beginnings of a picture of the present global philanthropy infrastructure. Some of this information has been used to create an easy-to-read infographic that can be viewed on the WINGS website.
Based on respondents’ answers, we found that our network is young and growing fast: nearly half of the respondents were incorporated in the decade since 2000. The next five years will be crucial to see if the sector continues to grow or if it reaches a saturation point. As one would expect, older organizations are larger, have more staff and provide more services, but we also learned that they work more on advocacy and engage more in research. Perhaps this is because there are more basic tasks to be performed by newer organizations, or it might be because advocacy and research require a more established structure.
Of the 36 organizations that answered the section related to services, 15 reported that they provide services in all the following areas: advocacy; training for board members and staff; advice services for members; conferences and seminars; and information services. There is scope for further investigation as to whether there is an ‘optimal’ combination of services or if there is some development process at work in which organizations provide basic services first and gradually add others when they have reached a certain size and sophistication.
There are some gaps in the research, as data on associations and support organizations’ finances is still weak, as it is on the issue areas foundations work on. WINGS will continue working to gather and analyse as much data as possible, counting on the continuing support of its network in providing more information.
New chair for WINGS
Fernando Rossetti has stepped down after five years as chair of the WINGS board of directors. Dr Atallah Kuttab (pictured) has been elected as the new chair, starting on 1 January.