Markets are emerging: what about philanthropy?

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growth and common limitations, which fall under
four main areas: new actors and models, giving voice and agency to civil society, funding for social justice,
and building the eld.
New actors and models
Increasing wealth has introduced new actors and
models to philanthropy. For some countries, the con-
cept of institutionalized philanthropy is entirely n ew
– for example in China, where the rst foundations
began to emerge in the 1980 s. In others, there is an
evolution of new methods and approaches. In Turkey,
the rst foundations date back to the Ottoman era,
but new practices are now beginning to emerge. In
India, now home to nearly 4 per cent of the world’s
billionaires, the surge in high net worth individu-
als has led to a signicant increase in the creation of
private foundations. In Brazil, the rst wave of phil-
anthropic investment led by companies is now being
followed by family-led initiatives. In Russia, donors
are younger and donating more than money. And
while most emerging market countries report that
corporate philanthropy comprises a signicant por-
tion of total funds (see article on p 50), many also refer
to the lack of clear lines between family and corporate
A lso among the key trends in emerging markets
noted by reports prepared as part of the Rockefeller
Foundation’s Bellagio Initiative in 2011 are the de-
velopment of new nancial tools and a focus on the
community as an agent. The tendency to invest busi-
ness acumen together with funds can be obser ved
across Asia, which as a region seems to have mobili zed
quickly around new nancial and philanthropic ap –
proaches such as venture philanthropy and impact
investing, which seeks to invest in enterprises and
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa)
and MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey)
countries have averaged 3 to 9 per cent per year eco-
nomic growth over the last few years. By 2025 , many
of these countries are expected to account for more
than half of all global economic growth. Their geopo-
litical power is also increasing as they shift from aid
recipient to emerging donor and begin to assume new
leadership roles in multilateral aid initiatives such as
the UN Democracy Fund (India), the Bali Democracy
Forum (Indonesia), the peacekeeping initiative in
Haiti (Brazil) and relief efforts in Somalia (Turkey).
However, many of these countries also continue to struggle with high levels of unemployment and in –
equality, coupled with massive increases in urban
migration – among the key factors that led to upris ings
such as the Arab Spring. According to The Economist, 1 by
2025 58 per cent of the world’s population is expected
to be living in emerging market cities, mainly in Asia.
Taken together, there are many threats to the sustain-
ability and well-being of these societies.
W hile their geographic, cultural and demographic
features are quite diverse, the BRICS and MINT coun-
tries share the same fate of economic growth coupled
with increasing inequality. Looking through the lens of philanthropic development also reveals some simi-
lar trends in terms of opportunities and challenges .
W hile economic growth is creating new wealth re-
sulting in new donors and philanthropic activit y,
the ecosystem of philanthropy is still rather weak.
Without a strong and resilient system – capable CSOs,
good data, networks, best practices, professional staff
and so on – the ability to harness philanthropic re –
sources for sustainable social change remains limited.
Contributors to this issue point to common areas of
New horizons
The economic boom of BRICS and MINT countries coupl ed with the
unequal distribution of this growth presents new op portunities
and challenges for philanthropy in emerging markets . Among
them are different approaches to giving, lukewarm r elationships
with civil society organizations (CSOs), hesitation about funding
‘unpopular’ issues and the arduous task of building the eld
of philanthropy. In light of the observations of co ntributors to
this issue, which trends appear to be affecting phi lanthropic
ecosystems in emerging market countries, and what l ies ahead?
Filiz Bikmen is
a philanthropic
consultant and
vice chair of the
International Center for Not for Prot Law.
From 2008 to 2012 she was director of
programs at Sabanc
Foundation and
from 2002 to 2008 executive director
of the Third Sector
Foundation of
Turkey – TUSEV. She is a guest editor for this Alliance special
feature. Email
f Filiz Bikmen
F O C U S O N . . .
Markets are emerging: what about philanthropy?
A l l i a n c e
Volume 18 Number 1 March 2013

Giving voice and agency to civil society
In her article, Halima Mahomed also shares insights
from recent discussions at the African Grantmakers
Network meeting last November, where speakers as-
serted the need for philanthropists to ‘speak truth to
power’, ‘support local voice and agency’ and ‘be more
explicit about using philanthropy to change power
relations’. In my work at the Sabanc Foundation,
grantees consistently expressed the value of Sabanc ’s
credibility and ability to inuence decision-makers
and to rally media awareness and public support for
their efforts, often claiming that this was as valu –
able as the funds that enabled them to deliver their
Yet the hesitancy of donors to engage with CSOs and
reluctance to support the building of a strong civi l
society is a theme that runs through many of the ar-
ticles in this issue. Lack of trust is cited as the most
common reason for this, as donors increasingly bypa ss
CSOs and give directly to causes or operate their own
programmes and don’t make grants at all.
Many authors also talk of the frustration of donors
who have difculty in nding partners with the ca-
pacity to scale. Rob John, for example, refers to t he
need to strengthen the ‘pipeline’ of investment-ready
organizations. At the Sabanc Foundation, I remembe r
going through nearly 200 grant applications with a
team of experts, to be left with only a handful that
were eligible for funding.
W hile the obvious remedy would be to dedicate funds
to building the capacity of CSOs, getting foundations
to pursue this strategy is no easy feat, partly because
support organizations and experts working with CSOs
are also often limited. Reecting again on my own
experience in leading the design and implementation
of a grant programme at the Sabanc Foundation – the
rst of its kind in Turkey – I can see where this reluc-
tance may stem from. Five years on, the foundation is
just now emerging from the early stages of learning
how to fund and work with CSOs and dening its ‘sty le’
of philanthropy. Initial work in funding thematic
areas (gender, youth and disability) offered insights
about the dynamics of CSOs and the civil society sec-
tor. Moving from the thematic level to the sector level
can be daunting in terms of both strategy and imple-
mentation. The experience and knowledge needed to
fund programmes to strengthen the civil society sec-
tor, and especially its role in advocacy, should not be
underestimated. For new foundations and donors, it
can be intimidating, especially given that results are
businesses with a social bottom line. According to
Rob John,
30 per cent of global impact investing is
India-centred. W hile China seems to be preparing to
join this wave, the application of these new approach-
es to philanthropy appears less prevalent in Turkey
and Russia.
There are also an increasing num-
ber of organizations that connect
nancial resources to commu-
nities and causes. Communit y
foundations are one form; pooled
social investment funds and giving
circles such as those organized by
Dasra in India are another. Jenny
Hodgson obser ves a surge in new
communit y philant hropy or –
ganizations which mobilize local
resources, build bridges between
actors, and are rich in social capital.
Encouragingly, many of these new
tools and organizations enable donors to be more
collaborative, facilitating relationships and offering
strategic guidance and vital information about the
specic issues and areas to which they give. There is
also a trend, ignited by the Giving Pledge, in whic h the
work of prominent donors is publicized; this increa ses
the visibility of philanthropy, which in turn acts as
a stimulus to others. Most of the nearly 100 signers
to date are American, but South African billionaire
Patrice Motsepe and Russia’s V ladimir Potanin have
recently announced that they will sign.
Yet this increase isn’t necessarily to do with net worth,
as Halima Mahomed points out in her overview of the
shifting trends in philanthropy in Africa. The fact that
giving is not only for the wealthy and the way the act
of donating can prompt others, no matter where you
are in the world, were underlined for me by an arti –
cle in the New Yorker magazine about the historically
overlooked substratum of homeless youth in the US:
‘T hey treated the subway where they occasionally
panhandled as a human laborator y; people’s im-
pulses toward charit y had far less to do with them,
they concluded, than with the other passengers rid-
ing the train. Few people looked at their faces until
the rst dollar changed hands, which then created
some sort of force eld – other passengers would sud-
denly feel compelled to be generous, too. They rode
the trains deep into Brooklyn because they found
that poorer passengers were more likely to hand over
their change.’ 2
The hesitancy of donors
to engage with CSOs and
reluctance to support the
building of a strong civil society is a theme that
runs through many of the articles in this issue. Lack
of trust is cited as the most
common reason for this.
f o c u s o n m a r k e t s a r e e m e r g i n g : w h a t a b o u t p h i l a n t h r o p y ? p29
A l l i a n c e Volume 18 Number 1 March 2013

partnership (governments can be especially sensitive
to rights-based initiatives and sometimes feel threat-
ened by them) while also providing the necessar y
expertise and guidance. These and other examples
may be helpful to donors who are reluctant to engage
in such issues.Building the eld
An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review refers
to the philanthropic ‘eld’ as an ecosystem which ad-
dresses beneciar y needs, supports the free ow of
information, and provides tools and platforms that
allow CSOs and donors to access and share this infor-
mation, their practices and available resources. 3
In some emerging market countries, this ecosystem
is more developed, while in others it is still in t
early stages. In 2012 , the Russian Donors Forum cel-
ebrated its tenth anniversary, while in Brazil GIFE’s
seventh Social Investment Congress was its biggest
ever, with 1,500 people attending. The fourth Indian
Philanthropy Forum is about to take place, while the
African Grantmakers Network is emerging as an im- portant space for reecting on the state of the sector.
However, most contributors to this issue call for a
more ‘robust and collaborative philanthropic infra-
structure’ which can more effectively tap into the new
wealth that is emerging.
Markets depend on transparent and reliable data to
function – also a critical element for the development
of the philanthropic ecosystem. In this light, the crea-
tion of organizations such as the China Foundation
Center is encouraging, as is the emergence of
GuideStar and similar systems to gather and share
data on the sector. Just recently, a searchable database
of more than 22,000 Mexican philanthropies, Fondos
a la Vista, was launched by the Foundation Center
in New York in partnership with the Mexico-based
Alternativas y Capacidades and the Philanthropy and
Civil Society Project at ITA M (Instituto Tecnológic o
Autónomo de México). The number of philanthropy
centres – independent and/or university-based – also
seems to be on the rise in some countries. Despite
these developments, the lack of data and analysis
remains an obstacle to the creation of a strong phi –
lanthropy sector, according to several contributors to
this special feature.
At the global level, there are organizations and
groups that focus on developing philanthropy, such
as the Global Philanthropy Forum and Clinton
Global Initiative. Some of these have also recog –
nized the increasing importance of developing the
less tangible and more debatable than they are with
more specic issues.
Funding for social justice
Should you fund culture or human rights? This was
a central focus of one of the sessions entitled ‘Popular’
and ‘Unpopular’ Philanthropy at the 2012 Russian Donors
Forum (reported on in this issue by
Nick Deychakiwsk y). Many of the
articles in this issue suggest that
donors, especially those with close
ties to their business interests,
tend to shy away from funding
programmes that address the root
causes and systemic failures that
perpetuate social and economic
inequality and choose ‘safer’ areas
to fund instead. T his challenge
seems to be one that is common in
places with established cultures
of institutional philanthropy, too.
The Foundation Center in the US
reports much lower levels of social
justice philanthropy than giving to
other more ‘popular’ themes.
Documenting and sharing examples of specic foun- dation initiatives in emerging market countries may
be a useful approach to addressing this. For example,
according to a study by Mama Cash, an overwhelming
90 per cent of European foundations expressed inter-
est in funding programmes to benet women and
girls, while only 37 per cent reported actually doing
so. To address the gap between ‘those who fund’ and
‘those who are interested’, Mama Cash prepared a sub-
sequent report to help guide potential donors, shar ing
examples and strategies for funding programmes that
target women and girls. Publishing similar reports
for initiatives in and across emerging market coun-
tries, and creating spaces to discuss them, could b e
very valuable in encouraging donors. An example is
provided by Dasra’s giving circles. As Alison Bukhari
describes, ‘each circle has as its catalyst an in-depth
sector research report that maps the issue, gaps in pro-
vision and funding and identies organizations with
scalable solutions and a demonstrated track record’.
Indeed the collaborative and informed effort of such approaches may help guide more funds to –
wards social justice initiatives. In Turkey, severa l
foundations were encouraged to fund rights-based
projects through partnerships with UN agencies.
These joint programmes gave them the ‘buffer’ of
In 2012, the Russian Donors
Forum celebrated its tenth
anniversary, while in Brazil
GIFE’s seventh Social Investment Congress was its biggest ever, with 1,500
people attending. The fourth
Indian Philanthropy Forum is about to take place, while the
African Grantmakers Network is emerging as an important
space for reecting on the
state of the sector.
p 30
A l l i a n c e Volume 18 Number 1 March 2013
f o c u s o n m a r k e t s a r e e m e r g i n g : w h a t a b o u t p h i l a n t h r o p y ?
New horizons

internationally. Yet a recent Foundation Center report
on global philanthropy 5 reminds us that American
foundations such as Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie be-
gan to expand their initial international programme s
in close coordination with the US government. As
noted at the start of this article, as emerging market
countries gain economic power they are also gaining
geopolitical power and becoming new donors. Their
aid ows and strategic involvement in multilateral
initiatives is increasing, bringing them swiftly to the
fore in the global development arena.
Bin Pei’s article in this issue refers to a number of
developments regarding the internationalization of
Chinese foundations. ‘Things are changing fast,’ she
says. ‘For the rst time, foundations and NGOs will be
encouraged to work on projects focusing on people’s
livelihood in Africa . . . Chinese foundations and NGOs
need to get prepared for the change.’ The reports pre-
pared for the PBF meeting noted earlier also referred
to plans for ‘China in Africa’ meetings to examine
China’s increasing aid to Africa.
This opportunit y also exists in Turkey, whose aid
reached nearly $ 1 billion in 2011 and is rapidly expand-
ing. W hile the Turkish government and aid agency
TIK A have yet to be proactive about engaging founda-
tions and CSOs, their resources and expertise could
undoubtedly be a valuable asset in shaping aid poli cies,
principles and plans.
Things are changing fast. In examining trends, op-
portunities and challenges for philanthropy in emerging markets, we need to be looking not only
at today but also at the horizon and what lies ahead.
Given these and other trends discussed in this issue,
creating more opportunities for engagement between
philanthropic sectors in emerging markets will help
strengthen the philanthropic ecosystem and prepare
it for the future.
eld of philanthropy in emerging markets. Among
the rst to work in this area was the Charities Aid
Foundation (CA F), with ofces in all of the BR ICS
countries except China. Prominent in this eld was
the late Olga Alexeeva, working rst with CAF, then
with the Philanthropy Bridge Foundation (PBF), whic h
she founded. EMpower is another
interesting example, mobilizing
support from individuals and cor-
porates work ing in emerging
markets and allocating these funds
to grassroots organizations work-
ing with at-risk youth in emerging
market countries.
T he Rockefeller Foundat ion’s Bellagio Initiative in
2011 also
looked at philanthropy in emerg –
ing markets, and a report prepared in the lead-up to
a PBF meeting in London in early 2012 provided an
in-depth examination of trends and needs in the el d. 4
These and similar studies conrm that in developing
a philanthropy infrastructure, emerging market
countries are no longer looking just north and west
for examples, but also south and east. Indeed, ther e
appears to be a great appetite to increase the number
of opportunities – through meetings, research, and
other activities – to exchange experiences between
these countries. The Emerging Societies – Emerging
Philanthropies Forum, to be held in Peterhoff, Russia,
in early July, will serve as a valuable space to do so.
Another critical part of the philanthropic ecosystem
is human capital. Many authors in this issue highli ght
the lack of professional approaches and scarcity of
staff. The CAF Foundation School is a great example
here. As the article in this issue shows, there are many
benets to learning skills and networking with peers.
Increasing the number and availability of such pro-
grammes across emerging market countries may help
strengthen the professional base of the sector.
Taking all of this into account, Halima Mahomed
wisely warns us that we should be careful not to build
a eld of philanthropy that promotes giving for the
sake of giving and challenges us to ask ourselves the
following question: ‘To what extent are we building a
eld that is geared towards the development of a just
Looking ahead
Given the emerging state of philanthropy in many of
these countries, it may seem too early to be discussi ng
the potential for foundations to fund programmes
1 w w
graphicdetail/ 2012 /04/focus- 4
2 Rachel Aviv, ‘Netherland’,
New Yorker ,
10 December 2012 .
3 w w
entr y/markets_for_giving_
4 https://philanthropynews.
markets-are – emerging-
w w
5 T he Global Role of US
Foundations Foundation
2010 .
In developing a
philanthropy infrastructure,
emerging market countries are no longer looking
just north and west for
examples, but also south and east.
p 31
A l l i a n c e Volume 18 Number 1 March 2013
f o c u s o n m a r k e t s a r e e m e r g i n g : w h a t a b o u t p h i l a n t h r o p y ?
New horizons