The Push for an Enabling Legal Environment for Philanthropy

Various Foundations and Trusts participated in a forum hosted by the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) on the 20th November 2012 to support and advocate for the proposed Public Benefits Organization Bill. This is a new bill to provide for the enactment by parliament of a new act for the formation, operation and growth of CSOs; to establish a regulatory and institutional framework within which civil society can conduct their affairs and for such other connected purposes.

While CSOs in Kenya are diverse in nature, there are also many registration and regulatory regimes for CSOs in Kenya, making it difficult for effective legal and statutory compliance and accountability for CSOs. The various CSO Laws including the NGO Coordination Act of 1990, the Companies Act Cap 486 (for Companies Limited by Guarantee), Societies Act CAP 108, Trustee Perpetual Succession Act CAP 164, and Trustees Act CAP 167 have been unable to bring on board the diverse spectrum of the civil society organizations, particularly those engaged in public benefit activities. The existing fragmented and uncoordinated legal and institutional frameworks give CSOs multiple avenues for registration. This makes coordination difficult.

The East Africa Association of Grantmakers has been instrumental in the development and advocacy for the Proposed Bill representing interests of Foundation and Trusts as a member of the CSO Reference Group; an umbrella body of Civil Society Organizations formed to push for its enactment. The Reference Group is hosted by the Poverty Eradication Network (PEN).

The Bill promises to strengthen and harmonize operations of civil society, promote social welfare and improve the conditions and quality of life for the people of Kenya.

For a summary on the Public Benefits Organisation Bill please click here

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