More and Better Financing to Civil Society Organisations in Southern Africa

African Philanthropy

The Southern Africa Trust views philanthropy as an integral element to advance the development agenda in the region and in the continent. The Trust aims to contribute towards the development challenges on the continent – and specifically southern Africa – through a deeper focus on philanthropy. This is done in a three-pronged approach that consists of i) Knowledge Generation, ii) Dialogue, and iii) Practice.

Under the banners of knowledge generation, dialogue and practice, some of the Trust’s philanthropy activities include:

  • Change4Ever Campaign: Change4ever campaign, a key initiative of Trust, is the awareness building, public participation and direct from public fund raising campaign. Change4ever intends to make social giving for lasting solutions to poverty socially desirable, especially amongst a newer generation of people. It’s about creating a social consciousness that makes it trendy to be part of the solutions to poverty by supporting credible initiatives.
  • Chair in African Philanthropy: The Trust has partnered with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to establish an academic research Chair in African Philanthropy based at Wits University. The Chair in African Philanthropy will be geared towards a research and teaching focus for the production and publication of knowledge on philanthropy and its role in African societies.
  • Philanthropy and Resource Governance: Research on “Philanthropy and Resource Governance Study – A Southern African Perspective”, examines the interface between philanthropy, natural resource governance, tax justice and illicit financial flows. This is a collaboration between the Southern Africa and Trust TrustAfrica.
  • Enabling Legislative Environments for Philanthropy: Research on “Enabling Legislative Environments for Philanthropy in Africa – A Seven Country Review” is part of an ongoing collaboration between the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) and the Southern Africa Trust, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Profiling Philanthropists: Profiling of local South African and continental philanthropists through a partnership with the City Press The series is called Giving begins at Home, and features a “How to Spread It dialogue”. The series include the publication of booklets on the philanthropists profiled.
  • Giving Platforms: Hosting of Giving Platforms to encourage and promote local giving to community-based organisations.
  • Building Partnerships and Networks: A key partner of the Trust in this area remains the African Grantmakers Network (AGN), and a number of initiatives are implemented by the Trust in collaboration with, and in support of, the AGN. In this respect, the Trust hosts the AGN Secretariat, supports and actively contributes to the activities of the African Grantmakers Network. The Trust also collaborates with grant makers globally, including the Network, Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS), African Grantmakers Affinity Group (AGAG), and the Private Philanthropy Circle.

Financial flows to Civil Society Organisations

The Trust assesses trends in financial flows to civil society organisations in southern Africa. The primary focus of work in this area is to analyse different modes of aid delivery and how such shifts affect civil society organisations. The results generated are used to convene platforms for policy dialogues on aid delivery between donors and civil society organizations in the region.

Sustainability Mechanism

The Trust and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) are exploring the viability of setting up a sustainability mechanism for the long term funding and capacity building of a select group of regional civil society organizations that advance the regional integration and poverty eradication agenda.