30th August, 2013 – The East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) has released a report on philanthropic giving in East Africa. A total of 25 local Foundations and Trusts in East Africa participated in the first ever survey in the region. The objective of the survey was to highlight the contribution of local philanthropy towards social change as well as build a knowledge base for philanthropy in the region and the global community. Findings of the survey will be of particular interest to fundraisers, CSO leaders, donors, volunteers, scholars and individuals who work with or in the philanthropy sector.

In summary, the report show that a total of about $30m was given out by the 25 surveyed local Foundation and Trusts, an average of about $1m per organization. 75% of funding for local foundations are from foreign donors while local companies/corporate account for 15%. Contributions from individuals are below 1% while governments account for 7%- this is mostly the case in Rwanda.

The NGOs and CBOs claims the largest share of institutional beneficiaries of Foundations support followed by, interestingly, government agencies. Sector wise, Education is the highly funded sector at 26% of the total funding, followed very closely by Food and Agriculture at 24%. It is also pleasing to see foundations put money into either building their own endowments or helping their beneficiaries build endowments. However, it is disappointing that many local foundations and trusts have not put their money in youth oriented initiatives such as Arts, Sports or youth programmes, despite the numerous challenges brought about by the ballooning youth population. The regional integration agenda is also another area given a wide berth- could it be that it is not a priority now?

Please access the report here :The East Africa Giving Report 2012

About EAAG

The East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG), www.eaag.org is a regional membership Association based in Nairobi Kenya that brings together Trusts and Foundations in East Africa with the aim of promoting local philanthropy. Some of our notable members include the Aga Khan Foundation, Foundation for Civil Society, Kabaka Foundation, Chandaria Foundation, Strive Foundation Rwanda, Rattansi Education Trust, Safaricom Foundation, Gertrude Hospital Foundation and Jomo Kenyatta Foundation among others.

EAAG envisions an East Africa with a vibrant and organized philanthropy promoting sustainable development and social justice.

Kind regards,

Nicanor Sabula, CEO


2013 East Africa Philanthropy Conference website is UP!!

We are pleased to announce to all our friends that the 2013 East Africa Philanthropy Conference website is NOW UP. Go to www.eaagconference.com for Registration, Programme, Speakers, Accommodation and much much more.

The Conference: The 2013 East Africa Philanthropy Conference is designed to explore local innovative strategies developed to link social investment with social impact. The Conference will discuss the place of business in philanthropy’ and ‘the place of philanthropy in businesses by answering questions such as: Are these new changes and shifts relevant to Africa? What roles do/can philanthropists and impact investors play in their efforts to alleviate poverty and bring about sustainable social change? What will create the shift from the traditional forms of philanthropy involving charitable contributions towards more strategic forms of philanthropy that leverage on unique corporate capabilities?

Conference Objectives;

  • To interrogate the emerging business approaches in philanthropy and determine their relevance to East Africa.
  • To explore the space of Business in enhancing social justice in East Africa
  • To challenge philanthropic organizations to adopt entrepreneurial models as a sustainability measure.
  • Discuss strategies that ensure philanthropy attains maximum social impact
    • Provide a platform for networking among Grantmakers and stakeholders

Philanthropy & Business – Is it Business UNUSUAL?

The 2013 East Africa Philanthropy Conference website is NOW UP. Go to www.eaagconference.com for Registration, Programme, Speakers, Accommodation and much much more.


The world is changing. Africa is touted as the next frontier for global economic growth and the investment destination of choice. The way of doing business is certainly poised to shift, and with it the practice of philanthropy.

The new global concepts in philanthropy such as social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and High impact philanthropy all point to a global recognition by philanthropists of the need to apply businesslike approaches to philanthropy. This ensures maximum return on Philanthropic Investment with unique social returns.

The 2013 East Africa Grantmakers Conference will answer such questions as: Are these new changes and shifts relevant to Africa? What roles do/can philanthropists and impact investors play in their efforts to alleviate poverty and bring about sustainable social change & development? What will create the shift from the traditional forms of philanthropy involving charitable contributions towards more strategic forms of philanthropy that leverage on unique corporate capabilities?

The Conference will for the first time bring together business executives , philanthropy practitioners, development experts and other players to explore in depth the place of philanthropy in business and how business can leverage the unique positions to meet East Africa’s social challenges.

More information on this will be available soon across our social media platforms and in our regular communications with you. To be included in our mailing list, kindly send your Name< organisation and e-mail address to programmes@eaag.org

Related articles

Foundation for Civil Society recognises Exemplary Performers

And the winner is…

The hall remained silent, fingers crossed, as people gathered at the Blue Pearl Hotel anxiously waited for the name to be mentioned. Then followed deafening applause as shouts of joy and happiness filled the hall when Zinduka Development Initiatives Forum (ZSIF) was announced the winner of the 2012 Civil Society Excellence Awards.

It is the Foundation for Civil Society’s tradition to recognize each year, CSOs that do exemplary work in improving the lives of the wananchi.Zinduka received the accolades in recognition of its tremendous performance in empowering and changing children’s lives.

The first runner-up for the Excellence Awards was the Tanzania Mission to the Poor and Disabled (PADI). The organisation was recognized for its efforts to equip the elderly and the disabled with new skills such as handicraft so that they can take better care of themselves.

Mkombozi Centre for Street Children emerged as the second runner up for its efforts in empowering and protecting the rights of street children.

While any member of the civil society sector in Tanzania is eligible for competing for the Excellence Awards, the Foundation also recognises the best performers among its own grantees through the Best Grantee award.The winner for 2012 in this category was the Tandale Market Grain Sellers and Investments (Tamagrasai) which emerged as the best performer in governance and accountability. It was as also the overall winner.

The Tanzania Breast Cancer Foundation won in the Policy and Youth Ambassador in CSOs Capacity Building category.The Kibaha Association of the Blind won in the Emerging CSO category. The Kilimanjaro-based Action for Justice and Society (Ajiso) and Tanga Youth Development Association (Tayodea) were awarded certificates as best performers for three consecutive years.

For more on the Foundation for Civil Society and its programmes, go to FCS website

Corporate Foundations: Re-shaping CSR?

The Kenya Power Company (KPLC), in conjunction with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Kenya Red Cross recently unveiled plans for a one-day soccer extravaganza, called the Kenya Power Charity Cup. The tournament to be played by four teams on 2 February 2013 in Kenya with a national appeal will raise funds for its corporate social responsibility programmes.

This is just one of the many initiatives that have been launched in the recent past by corporate institutions in the region to bring together their constituents towards various social ends primarily targeted at improving their living standards. The key to the success of such corporate foundations has been partnerships, independence and guaranteed financial support from the mother institutions, all these being aspects that KPLC managing director and CEO, Joseph Njoroge says will be characteristic of the KPLC Foundation, due to be registered by June, 2013.

But even as corporate institutions embrace the culture of institutionalized philanthropy, which EAAG promotes, what remains key to nurturing philanthropy in the region is the involvement of their beneficiaries. In order for social development projects to have a wholesome effect on the societies and communities for which they are targeted, they (the communities and societies) need to be involved. They are increasingly being involved in the fundraising, needs assessment and execution (including in the management) of such development projects and what this symbolizes is a change, albeit a quiet one in which corporate entities are increasingly going to the ground to ensure that projects undertaken are indeed followed through to the end with efficient feedback mechanisms in place. It somehow represents a change in the minds and operations of corporate entities whose CSR projects are increasingly being shaped around the communities and their long-term needs which is in complete contrast to earlier practices where boardroom decisions would dictate the direction of CSR projects.

Given the capacity of the East African people, coupled with the increased need for corporates to embrace their constituents by ‘effectively’ giving back, a welcome nod is in order for corporates who choose to involve the general public in their efforts.

The economic and social potential for East Africa, when the corporate bodies through partnerships come together for worthy causes is unfathomable. But key to their coming together are structural governance regimes that are independent and supported by informed and passionate leadership. These are just few pebbles on the shore towards vibrant and sustainable social development in the region. In recognizing these, EAAG has appropriately themed its next conference “Philanthropy and Business: Is it Business Unusual” that will expound on the opportunities open for corporate entities to endear themselves to new global concepts in philanthropy such as social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and High impact philanthropy that point to a global recognition by philanthropists of the need to apply businesslike approaches to philanthropy. It will retrospectively seek to assess the capacity of businesses in East Africa to employ such global philanthropic concepts in their CSR projects.

The Kenya Power Charity Cup is indeed an interesting case study of how corporate bodies with institutionalized structures can come together to enhance and help grow the culture of localized philanthropy in the region while at the same time taking key stock to involve the public and their know-how(technology) all, of course for a good cause.

So then, guess the next question is: What are you doing as corporate body to promote philanthropy? Is yours a boardroom CSR system? Is it institutionalized? Challenges, if any? And most importantly, have you marked down 24th-26th June 2013?

Let’s continue the discussion: Tweet us @EAAG_Africa or e-mail us at info@eaag.org

Antonny Otieno, EAAG


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

EAAG at the Arab Foundations Forum Meeting

I had the privilege and honor to attend the Arab Foundations Forum Annual meeting and thereafter the Workshop on Improving the Accountability of International Philanthropy organized by WINGS. The events took place in Cairo, Egypt from the 16-18 September 2012.

The Arab Foundations Forum Meeting was held under the theme maximizing philanthropic resources in times of change. The forum was exceptionally interactive and provided numerous learning opportunities for practitioners in philanthropy to examine the role philanthropy can play in post conflict situations. In this case, the forum looked at how philanthropy could support the wind of change taking place in the Arab region following the Arab Spring and how Foundations could ensure that these changes met the aspirations of the people despite region-wide austerity measures.

Key areas of focus related to involvement in advocacy work, self-regulation and creating an enabling environment for practicing philanthropy, innovative approaches to philanthropy and the whole question of youth empowerment and employment. In addition to these, there were three peer learning sessions that addressed issues of how to generate results and measure impact, how to incorporate the rights based approach into foundations work and finally effective fundraising. It was revealing to note that even though many Foundations dealt with human rights issues such as access to education, access to better healthcare, climate change, they did this unknowingly and they could benefit a lot if they applied the rights approach in their work.

Delegates during a session the conference

Delegates during a session the conference

Workshop on Improving Accountability of International Philanthropy

The workshop convened under the aegis of WINGS brought together practitioners in philanthropy from Sub Saharan Africa and the Arab region to review and strengthen the existing Principles document and craft strategies to make the document come alive in the philanthropic practice of the regions and philanthropic different organizations. The meeting was ably facilitated by Barry Smith.

As part of the background information, the meeting was informed that the process of developing the current set of principles of accountability began in 2005 when the European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations through a joint working group came together in an effort to address the issues surrounding cross border accountability practices. Later, WINGS picked up the interest in improving the principles and was currently engaging in a global review and update of the document, with the aim of deepening the understanding and practice of international philanthropy accountability, as well as introducing voices and perspectives from the global South. This is being done through regional consultations to globalize the Principles of Accountability document, vetting it regionally in Africa, the Arab Region, Asia and Latin America. Once the document is reviewed, it will be the basis for a practical toolkit to facilitate the operational roll-out of the Principles

Seven principles of accountability were identified by the earlier document. They include Integrity, Understanding, Respect, Responsiveness, Fairness, Cooperation & Collaboration and Effectiveness. At the meeting, I was able to share with participants EAAGs code of conduct for its members that among other things emphasize on:

  • Use resources for social good
  • Define mission, aims and programmes clearly and publically
  • Maximum transparency
  • Keep administrative costs to a reasonable minimum
  • Publish regular reports on activities and finances
  • Legal compliance (for both grantmakers and grantees)
  • Clear decision-making, oversight and policies for grantmaking
  • Avoid conflict of interest
  • Ensure confidentiality
  • Respect, tolerance and non-discrimination

Plenary discussions brought out very interesting thoughts on how life could be breathed into the principles of accountability and make them work for the philanthropy sector. First was the question of relevance of the principles in the current philanthropic world given the advancement and progression of the sector. What was pressing then and what is currently happening could be at variance bearing in mind changes brought about by factors such as the global economic meltdown in the west and the growth of philanthropy in emerging economies. New concepts such as venture philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and high impact philanthropy have emerged and are challenging the traditional forms of philanthropy.

The second key issue raised was the lack of a monitoring framework to ensure that the principles were being implemented. There were suggestions that detailed indicators be developed for each principle to measure and report on the success of the accountability measures. The third issue was the involvement of grantees in the whole accountability process. It was suggested that grantees feedback on the Grantmakers would provide a good platform to measure the adherence to the principles by the Grantmakers themselves. One speaker summed it up all by this statement “You don’t get to say if you are accountable – others get to say that!’ The most useful thing we can do is to create mechanisms by which our constituents can hold us accountable”

Recommendations and Way forward

  1. It was generally agreed that the principles were sound and only needed some adjusting in the language to strengthen certain arguments and elaborate others.
  2. Participants agreed to go back to their constituents and actively sell the principles to them.
  3. It was suggested that network groups present could take the initiative to test the principles among their members.
  4. Participants cautioned against the name and shame approach as it could be counterproductive. We need to be seen to be encouraging accountability and not punishing those who fail to conform.
  5. It was agreed that participants would continue the discussions during the African Grantmakers Conference scheduled to be held in |South Africa on 2 November 2012.

Nicanor Sabula, EAAG