Driving Sustainable Philanthropy

Insights from the 8th East Africa Philanthropy Conference

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 8th East Africa Philanthropy Conference in Zanzibar, which was hosted by the East Africa Philanthropy Network of which we are proud members. With the theme of System Transformation: Catalyzing Collective Action, the conference aimed to inspire actionable change and nurture collaborations in an evolving philanthropic landscape.

The conference commenced with a thought-provoking Master Class session, addressing power imbalances in philanthropy and emphasizing transparency and co-creation with stakeholders. Throughout the event, engaging discussions centered around revitalizing philanthropy and focusing on futuristic advancements.

A significant highlight was the launch of the Social Justice Grant-Making Charter, which advocates for access, equity, participation, and human rights. It empowers communities to drive change and provides flexible funding opportunities. The African CSO platform, developed in partnership with Epic Africa, promises to enhance transparency and credibility for civil society organizations.

The conference highlighted the transformative role of technology, particularly in improving the lives of People with Disabilities. AI-driven solutions and increased donor support for disability organizations were emphasized as important areas of advocacy.

The event inspired a commitment to integrating technology into storytelling and fundraising efforts, adopting a practical approach, and exploring new impact investment models. Collaboration was encouraged as a vital resource for learning, with a focus on empowering smaller organizations and prioritizing beneficiary voices and choices.

The importance of community ownership and understanding the African context in philanthropic work was emphasized. Unlearning and individualizing processes, embracing best practices such as disability inclusion and gender equality, and strengthening internal structures through compliance and due diligence processes were highlighted.

Reflecting on this transformative journey, I am grateful for the lessons learned and the connections made. The conference highlighted the immense potential for driving sustainable philanthropy and creating lasting impact. I am committed to embracing transparency, fostering collaboration, and harnessing technology to shape a brighter and more inclusive future.

The 8th East Africa Philanthropy Conference was an unforgettable experience that reminded us of our potential to drive positive change. By continuing with this transformative journey and working together, we contribute to a more equitable and inclusive society.

About the Author:

Daniel Ngugi is the Head of Inclusion and Development at the Next Step Foundation. Daniel believes in the transformative power of technology and its ability to offer sustainable development solutions.

He actively contributes to the Kenya Business Disability Network’s Steering Committee and on the Board of Management at Naivasha Girls and Enaiposha Girls High School, providing valuable advice on inclusion matters. As an expert in inclusion and disability, he supports companies and organizations on their journey towards fostering a culture of inclusion.

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