What does the current state of philanthropy look like? Are philanthropies aligning on shared priorities across regions? Where is more collaboration needed? How can the use of data play a role?

Alliance Magazine’s report on the “Future of Philanthropy” by Andrew Milner, Ese Emerhi, Heba Abou Shnief, and Mihika Chanchani and commissioned by Badr Jafar aims to answer these questions (September 8th, 2023). The 2023 report provides several insights on the current state of philanthropy across Africa, the Middle East and SouthEast Asia. Leveraging desk research and interviews, the report provides a series of trends about how philanthropy is done and where additional funding and resources are needed. 

This work aims to build on the findings of the 2018 report, including: the growing use of data in philanthropy, the need for technology to build transparency across philanthropic functions, and the trend of more strategy focused initiatives.

The 2023 report provides two main findings:

  1. There is a need for more relevant and quality data and research to support philanthropic functions.

  2. Collaboration among philanthropists and across the sector is an important area in need of improvement. 

A few key takeaways from the report:

  • There is a need for a larger volume of high quality data for philanthropy. While there are existing programs that aim to advance data-driven philanthropy, these need to be “both intensified and accelerated” (p.g. 78) across the sector. To accomplish this, the first thing that needs to be done is increase data collection efforts across the global philanthropic sector. 

  • A lack of collaboration amongst philanthropists and across the sector is increasingly seen as one of the most important problems philanthropies face today. We are beginning to see more initiatives that aim to foster this collaboration, but more work needs to be done. There is a need for the sharing of knowledge and best practices across the sector–from community to large foundations

  • There is an opportunity for philanthropies to embrace the power of emerging digital technologies within grant making processes. However, more support is needed to ensure these technologies are leveraged properly.

  • Emerging technologies are increasingly seen as an avenue to increase transparency across philanthropic functions and bring in a larger volume of data into decision making processes.

Read the full report HERE.

The Alliance Magazine article summarizing the report by Shafi Musaddique HERE.