Interview with Laurence Lien

Laurence Lien, former CEO of NVPC, on his latest venture, the Asia Philanthropy Circle. “We hope to mobilize philanthropists in Asia, for the purpose of learning, sharing, exchange and joint action.”

The state of impact investing, Day 2 of the COF conference — bubbles and unexplored frontiers

Timothy Ogden (Sona Partners) comments on the state of impact investing in his recap of Council on Foundations’ annual conference. “It is the organizations that are still managing their corpus in-house, and therefore have a real chance of looking at their grantmaking, impact investing and fund management holistically, who are going to do the more interesting things and will push the field forward.”

Global perspectives on Asia-Pacific philanthropy

Following a recent meeting in Beijing, we asked WINGS board members for their thoughts on philanthropy in the Asia-Pacific region. “The implications of wider global developments around wealth generation and the digital era for grantmaking and social investment are challenging to predict for western economies, let alone for the Asian region, currently arguably the most dynamic in the world.”

Insights from a meeting with Chinese foundations

WINGS chairman Atallah Kuttab reports on a recent meeting co-hosted by the China Foundation Centre in Beijing, explaining how Chinese foundations have continued to improve on a previous lack of transparency. “The China Foundation Centre has managed to increase the rate of data disclosure by foundations from less than 30 per cent in 2011 to more than 90 per cent in 2014.”

Why EVPA is celebrating failures

EVPA approached several of its members to talk about their failures, an exercise in transparency that led to a recent publication that marks a “maturing and increasingly courageous sector”. CEO Kurt Peleman shares why celebrating failures is so important. “We need to embrace failure as part of what we do.”

Community philanthropy and a new model of development

In this newly unlocked article from Alliance magazine, Jenny Hodgson (GFCF) and Barry Knight (CENTRIS) ask what role community philanthropy can play in development post-2015. Community foundation leaders in North America and Europe weigh in. “The post-2015 goals will apply universally, not just to developing countries, so this discussion is relevant everywhere.”

Charity law in China

Karla Simon (ICCSL) reports for Alliance magazine: “While Chinese public security officials are wary of foreign charities, the academics point out that foreign charities such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation give great assistance in certain funding areas in China, such as health care.”

Investing in infrastructure — What really matters?

In this Alliance article from 2004, Andrew Milner sources organizations from around the world, putting into historical perspective the importance and evolution of philanthropy infrastructure. “Has the growth of this infrastructure kept pace with that of civil society? If not, what are its weaknesses? Alliance put these questions to a number civil society professionals in different regions and asked which elements had been important for the development of civil society in their part of the world.”

Call for nominations, Third Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize

Alliance magazine recently announced the launch of the Third Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize. The purpose of the prize is to encourage and highlight the work of a remarkable individual who has committed herself or himself to building philanthropy and demonstrating its value as a tool for achieving progressive social change in their country or region. Nominations will be accepted through February 2015.

New frontiers of philanthropy

Two new books from Lester Salamon, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies, examine a significant revolution under way in social- and environmental-purpose financing, at the heart of which lies a massive explosion in the instruments and institutions being deployed to mobilize private resources.

Talent for more innovative, more impactful philanthropy

If the philanthropic sector is to adapt and thrive, it must invest in developing the sector’s people and talent. The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Council on Foundations, convened twenty foundation leaders from sixteen countries for a three-day symposium on “Talent Management for Innovative and Impactful Philanthropy in the 21st Century”. That conversation is reflected and broadened within the September 2014 edition of Alliance magazine. Chris Grygo reports.

TrustAfrica — interview with Akwasi Aidoo and Tendai Murisa

The unburied dead, small change and the questionability of old men’s wisdom: on the eve of stepping down as executive director of TrustAfrica, an organization he founded some eight years ago, these are among the preoccupations of Akwasi Aidoo. Caroline Hartnell (Alliance magazine) talked to him and to his successor, Tendai Murisa, about how each sees the change and what lies ahead for African foundations.

Challenges and trends in private social investment and philanthropy in Colombia

WINGS member AFE held four focus group discussions from 19 to 22 August in the four largest Colombian cities: Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali and Medellin. The purpose was to reflect upon the challenges in private social investment and philanthropy. This is part of a wider study in Latin America covering Colombia, Brazil and Argentina that is being carried out by GIFE, CEMEFI, GDFA and AFE, with the support of AVINA Foundation and the Inter American Bank Foundation, and the active participation of WINGS. Atallah Kuttab (SAANED) and Maria Carolina Suarez (AFE) recently shared key impressions ahead of a more detailed report.

Philanthropy must engage critical challenges facing the public

“Philanthropy can be the broker that brings disconnected parties and disparate entities together to create new bonds. Without the pressure of elections or markets, and by drawing on the insights and capacities of community foundations and global foundations, philanthropy has the potential to break down silos and connect local insights to global resources.” Rob Garris, Rockefeller Foundation

COF conference 2014 — foundations and the post-2015 development goals

One of the best-attended sessions at the Council on Foundations conference this week was on foundation involvement in the global development agenda for the period 2015-30. The standing room only crowd was urged by panellists from the Hilton and Rockefeller Foundations, the Foundation Center and the World Bank to get involved both in the framing of the goals and in their execution over the coming decade and a half. Article by Peter Laugharn.

David Cutler reports from WINGSForum

“The fact that the Forum was held in Istanbul was a powerful reminder that foundations are part of civil society rather than standing aloof from it. The notorious decision of the Turkish president to ban tweeting made tweeters of the most Luddite of us, to make clear that we don’t like being banned even from those freedoms that ordinarily we don’t value very much, such as speaking truth to power in 140 characters or fewer.”