Should you “Africanize” your philanthropy? Notes from the African Philanthropy Forum

Credit:2010 DeathFromAbove86

Credit:2010 DeathFromAbove86

In one of the more substantive trends in global philanthropy, African philanthropists are pushing the envelope to design methods of social investment more relevant to their cultures, contexts and needs. International and cross-border donors would be wise to track this evolution closely — to watch, listen and learn.

In a nice recap of the recent African Philanthropy Forum (Feb 24-25 in Addis Ababa) in the Huffington Post, Segal Foundation’s Director of Operations Ash Lauren Rogers notes,

“The challenge to Western philanthropists working on the continent is to learn from our African brothers and sisters. How can we ‘Africanize’ our giving to respond to a changing continent? How can we partner with African foundations to ensure that Africa’s unprecedented growth is inclusive and equitable?”

I’m curious about what exactly it means to “Africanize” giving. As responses to this broad question emerge, I would take it one step further and wonder not only how donors can rethink their giving practices on the African continent, but also how lessons learned from African philanthropic leaders can be applied around the globe. Different insights about reciprocity, society and community may forge new social investment models which could be welcome innovations in Africa and beyond.

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Original article: “Reclaiming Philanthropy”

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