Where Philanthropy and Civil Society Meet
Business + Intellectual Property Attorneys
CivSource–Africa is an independent Advisory Firm that seeks to refine the practice and footprint of philanthropy in Africa, for authentic civic engagement. We are pioneers in the space where philanthropy and civil society meet and seek to foster an environment that nurtures mutually beneficial relationships and stewardship of entrusted resources. We provide thought leadership on strategic financing models for effective philanthropy and civic engagement. We also facilitate open and informed conversations pertaining to philanthropic giving and civil society organizations.
Is short for civil society. Funding civil society strengthens their human rights work as critical partners in advancing good governance and development. Civ also ensures that our focus and that of funders remains the people and not the money.
We are a source of information and advice to funders on a spectrum of issues such as human rights, socio-political context, and other areas. To civil society we are a source of support to advance their potential.
Is the way we define the geographical, cultural and ideological space within which we operate, and it also speaks to our roots and grounding in our continent.
In January 2019, we organised a retreat for Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and Executive Directors (EDs) to connect and reflect on their leadership journeys. The 3-day retreat was attended by 19 CEOs/EDs. Here some of them reflect on the impact that had on their personal and professional lives.
Refining the practice and footprint of philanthropy for effective civic engagement in Africa
According to the 2018 Global Giving Trends, the top 5 donated to causes were Children and youth (15%), Health and wellness (10.8%), Animals and wildlife (10.5%), Human and social services (8.1%) and Hunger and homelessness (7.6%).
54% of donors worldwide preferred to give Online with a credit or debit card while only 10% used the traditional bank/wire transfer system. In Africa, however, the trend is slightly different with 32% preferring to give cash, 25% online, 15% through a mobile app/wallet and 14% by bank/wire transfer.
Each of these, however, have played or continue to play fundamental roles in mass -based action demanding political, civic and socio-economic rights. Each of these is based on the African continent. Yet not a single one, or any of the other multitudes of African-based movements, is referenced in any of the literature on philanthropy and social movements to the best of my knowledge. More
Darren Walker, the President of Ford Foundation says there should be loud “shouts” of ‘glorious tongues at the coming of hope’ for philanthropy in 2019.
In the era of great challenges that this crucial sector faces, such as the “undemocratic nature of wealth and philanthropy”, structural racism in many parts of the world and a “rigged economic system” that strengthen the economic and social structures that separate the haves from the have-nots..More
In the March 2017 issue, Alliance magazine associate editor Andrew Milner’s article “Shading in the blanks on the philanthropy advice map” explored the how the US and Europe might be exercising a distorting influence in the field of philanthropic advisory services. He also looked at those locations around the globe in which the sector has yet to develop. However, I would respectfully add to that analysis a failure to intentionally engage donors of colour of wealth, particularly those from the African Diaspora.
One benefit of participatory grant-making reflected on in the guide, is how it builds connectivity among grantees and strengthens social movements. Nadia van der Linde of the Red Umbrella Fund says participants continually emphasise how much they learn from their participation. “They connect with other organisations or people in the movement and see the benefits of solidarity and learning from peers. More
Oxfam just published a paper on the ‘shrinking civic space’ around the world. In the Paper “Space to be Heard: Mobilizing the power of people to reshape civic space” Oxfam notes that there is a relentless squeeze in dozens of countries on the activities of civil society organizations (CSOs) and activists. More