Good News for Nonprofits Despite the Recession

Just read a great blog post from Patrick O'Heffernan, Ph.D. ("Dr. O") on Social Edge about Young Philanthropists and trends in giving.

As a young entrepreneur actively involved with nonprofits and social enterprises I have witnessed the eagerness of my peers to give and to make a difference, despite the economic downturn. Yet I was surprised by the magnitude of this trend after reading Dr. O's post.

Despite all of the negative media talk about the recession, giving is going strong. In fact, according to a report by Barclays Wealth division of Barclay's Bank UK, giving has increased among the wealthy in the US and UK, particularly among younger high net worth donors.

Here are Dr. O's Key findings:

* The wealthy have not cut back on giving in the recession, especially the younger wealthy donors.
* A new global-aware and social-aware breed of philanthropists is emerging who prefer to fund projects directly to solve specific problems.
* The worlds of charity and business are converging.
* Younger philanthropists are more generous, more pragmatic and more technologically driven (think Tech Soup).
* Women are becoming a dominant force in philanthropy.
* The plurality of international giving goes to Africa.
* Health, environmental and children’s causes are increasing in their importance to donors; art, animal and religious causes are waning.
* Donors are demanding collaboration; NGOs are responding with new coalitions.
* The UK is catching up to the US in giving.

These findings are extremely promising for organizations that utilize strong business practices and technology to solve specific problems. In particular, international projects which are led by women and have a regional impact in Africa should benefit from these giving trends.

Furthermore the report suggests that collaboration is now crucial for attracting funding. This point was also made in a recent article by Professor Paul C. Light in the Stanford Social Innovation be continued in my next post...

Views: 45

Comment by Dr Scott John on August 9, 2009 at 23:08
HI Jerryanne,

Thanks for sharing this great news! I was interested to hear yours and Patrick's comments on collaboration "donors are demanding collaboration" & "collaboration is now critical to attract funding" I wonder if you would be able to share more about what you and Patrick mean by collaboration and more collaboration in terms of past and future practices!

Many thanks
Comment by OFONG PAULINE on August 14, 2009 at 20:59
It is exciting to hear about the young philanthropists and continued spirit of giving. There is still hope for the disadvantaged and needy people in the world. Sharing such information is very important. This has been an eye opener. There is alot to learn and alot to be done.
My name is Pauline Ofong from Uganda. I belong to a women's organisation that promotes entrepreneurship development among women through business dignostics, training, mentoring and networking. We encourage Business to Business relationships across Sub Sahara Africa and North Africa and beyond. This organisation is called Uganda Women Entrepreneur's Association limited (UWEAL). We believe that business contributes to reduction of poverty in amore realistic and satifying manner, People's in put is visible they can see their hard work, innovation and commitment, bringing a difference to their lives. When a woman is able, the family benifits, the community benefits and ultimately the nation benefits. Please continue investing in women. Visit our website; E mail address for more information.
Comment by Jerryanne Heath on August 15, 2009 at 18:16
I'm pleased to see the comments here. Dr. John, thanks for your question. What I mean by collaboration is building and leveraging networks and communities to address social issues.

Often entrepreneurs, particularly social entrepreneurs, choose to act alone. Historically, the field as well as the media have focused on celebrating heroes - the lonely entrepreneurs who push ahead and turn their grand ideas into reality. Yet, research suggests that teams of experts produce greater results that a lone entrepreneur. Increasingly savvy donors and investors demand specific results and measurable impact - all the more reason for organizations to collaborate.

A great example of what future collaborations could look like is the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a membership organization of practitioners who share a common goal: to dramatically increase the amount and effectiveness of capital and technical/business assistance for entrepreneurs in developing countries.

ANDE's activities include setting strategic direction for the sector; developing products and services to increase capacity for members; and leading a movement to increase awareness, funding, and policy support for the sector. ANDE's $1mm Capacity Development Fund supports initiatives that focus on inter-organizational collaboration and capacity building among its members.

Though ANDE members each have their own constituencies, their common goal enables them to support each others work and attract funding for all involved. I am optimistic that this network's model will prove to be successful over time and set the tone for other collaborative networks.
Comment by Jerryanne Heath on August 15, 2009 at 18:24
Pauline, thanks for your comment.

I had an opportunity to check out UWEAL. It seems that you have some interesting affiliates/partners: International Federation of Women in Business (IFWB), National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU), etc.

Could you perhaps share with us your strategy for attracting partners? The lessons learned may be beneficial to other African women's groups. Thanks!
Comment by OFONG PAULINE on August 15, 2009 at 19:55
Hi Jerryanne,
UWEAL has depended in the most part to voluntary contributions from the leaders in terms of time and facilities. NAWOU is an umbrellar organization for all women's organizations in Uganda by statute. However it does not raise funds for the affliated organisations. NAWOU focuses on mobilizing and empowering grassroot women and their activities overlap with those of their affliates. UWEAL is at a stage when we are strategizing on attracting donors in order to achieve our outreach programmes to rural areas and very micro entrepreneurs among the urban and peri urban poor women. UWEAL would appreciate to learn best practices and experience on attracting donors.
UWEAL is now ready to launch outreach programmes to rural women entreprenuers and young women and the Girls in schools to provide them with entreprenership skills and build capacity to lobby for their economic rights and services provided by government at subcounty levels where funds for development in each district are channelled. Unless women know and can influence the bugdetary allocations and be able to demand and ask the right questions, development funds allocated and disbursed to districts will continue not to reach women as they are still marginalised, the head of the family is always a man what about female or child headed households? They are never considered! Capacity building of loacal communities on development issues is still lacking. It is an uphill task for organisations like UWEAL to get through its programmes on entreperenuership development. We are searching for strategies.
Partners are welcome, you will find it exciting to partner with UWEAL.!!!
Comment by Dr Scott John on August 17, 2009 at 3:56
Thanks for your response. I now understand much better what you mean by collaboration. The ANDE site was very interesting and I see it as an excellent example of what you mean by collaboration!

Looking forward to reading more of your thinking and ideas!
Scott J
Comment by Jerryanne Heath on August 17, 2009 at 7:55
Scott, thanks for your reply. I look forward to being more active in this community and learning from others as well!

Pauline, thanks so much for your detailed reply. Are you primarily seeking partners in Uganda, or internationally? I don't know if you will be in the New York area any time soon, but you should consider joining us here for the inaugural Africa Social Enterprise Forum. It might be a good networking opportunity for UWEAL. Over $4 billion in social investment capital will be represented at the event. ASEF flyer-2 1.pdf

Feel free to contact us at for further information.

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