In February 2021, The Global Fund for Community Foundation (GFCF) announced their participation in an exciting new partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will invest in community philanthropy development in eight countries.
The five-year, €24 million program will be implemented in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Palestine, and Uganda, and is led by a consortium of four organizations: the Africa Philanthropy Network, Kenya Community Development Foundation, GFCF and Wilde Ganzen.
In a bid to bring more understanding of the Giving for Change program to the development space, Philanthropy Circuit hosted the consortium to a live Twitter chat on 30 August, 2021. Through expository questions we set out to further add to the body of knowledge available about the program and its motives.
Using the #ShiftThePower and #AfricanPhilanthropy hashtags, participants from all over the world joined the insightful information sharing session. The GFC Consortium members were available to respond to questions and share knowledge on local-led Philanthropy, participation, and voice.
People centered, people led
Consortium members spoke to the power of community philanthropy and how if well harnessed, can bring about rapid development to the Africa continent. Above all, prioritizing community dwellers and banking on their knowledge of the environment is key in planning and implementing sustainable interventions.
According to Wilde Ganzen #ShiftThePower is truly people centered and people led. Without the people’s involvement, it will become another imported idea that won’t last the test of time. Communities are being empowered to own and lead their own development through the program’s initiatives.
The Alliance further reminds us that philanthropy and generosity are not alien to Africa. It is embedded in our DNA and not an import from the Global North. Africans have always been givers and now is the time to build homegrown systems and begin to see communities drive their own change at their own pace.
Promoting local agency globally
The Giving for Change program will maintain an explicit focus on strengthening rights and claiming capacities of communities in relation to public government structures.
However, another dimension of it relates specifically to challenging power dynamics, and establishing more equitable practices within the international development system itself. Program activities will include action research, training, and grants to stimulate local giving, which will be led in each country by national anchor institutions.
The role of consortium members will be to help “weave” dialogue, learning and exchange across the program itself, as well as beyond. Reaching global platforms and audiences as part of larger advocacy, and influencing efforts to transform development and philanthropic practice.