From giving for charity to giving for development

Published By UNNGOF |  November 18, 2022

At the 2022 APN assembly, UNNGOF organised the second annual Philanthropy Symposium themed; Realities of Community Giving.

The discussions from the panellists ranged from changing the narrative to giving towards development to improve key social indicators to how foreign funds have created a group of beggars and a dependence syndrome. 

It was emphasised that we are all results of giving since, in our culture and tradition, it was rare for a child to be raised in one home, and therefore we were raised by the community. This shows that giving is not new, but there is a need to engage all practitioners to give creatively to achieve sustainable development.

Women were highlighted as a group that has continuously made efforts to give towards development, especially through their merry-go-round community groups.

Further, realities show that people mainly give to social causes, which are short term and those who do rarely receive accountability. Additionally, there needs to be more documentation of the impact of giving.

As part of the Assembly, UNNGOF also organised a session on local fundraising themed; From Theory to Practice: is local fundraising a one size fits all? Can all types of organisations raise funds locally?

The panellists deliberated on whether Local Fundraising was viable for all organisations, especially those working on advocacy and governance. One of the panellists echoed that local fundraising fits all situations if organisations are to dissect the local resources and match them to what fits them.

It was stressed that for local fundraising to work, organisations should identify individuals with specific skills to carry out the local fundraising initiatives. Another discussant emphasised that local fundraising necessitates collaboration models and the ability to leverage resources from the community. 

Additionally, a change of mindset was pointed out as a key element in translating the diverse resources in the community into philanthropic efforts. However, the only challenge is to ensure that communities can identify their potential and realise that giving is not limited to funds.

At the end of this session, Ms Sarah Pacutho, Master Trainer of the Change the Game Academy, urged civil society actors to build trust, remain accountable and passionate, and let go of formalities to reap the fruits of local fundraising.

Speaking at the Assembly, Mr Evans Okinyi, Chairperson of the Africa Philanthropy Network, highlighted the need for strong ecosystems and strengthened local capacity to achieve sustainable development. He added, “We have to listen to the young people, without them moving forward will be a challenge.”

Ms Jacqueline Asiimwe, CEO of CivSource Africa, encouraged African philanthropy actors to remain curious and dare to do something new that will create social impact.

The Assembly was a true testament to our citizen-centred nature and the value we place on partnerships as UNNGOF, especially in philanthropy.