“Mr. Gates was invited because he has a reputation for getting things done: His foundation played a key role in getting the African AIDS crisis under control, and was the key actor behind the successful development of vaccines against meningitis and malaria.
But curing diseases and solving the global food crisis is, it turns out, rather political, and Mr. Gates spends a lot of time persuading African and Asian governments that he’s not part of some Western plot, that the vaccines and flood-resistant seeds his foundation engineered aren’t foreign threats – and also paying for them to develop regulatory agencies so they can help themselves.
“I wouldn’t call myself a political lobbyist,” he says, but “that’s ended up being a much bigger category of my time than I expected …. If you’d asked me five years ago if I would expect to speak at a G20 meeting I would have said ‘No, I’ll be writing grants to great scientists and travelling to Africa!’ ”
And indeed, political lobbying was a big part of what he was doing in Cannes this week. As a philanthropist whose $33.5-billion endowment is larger than the foreign-aid programs of many governments, he still relies on those programs to match his funds and do the lion’s share of the work.
So he was here to praise countries like Britain, which upheld the promise they made in 2000 to raise their foreign-aid spending to 0.7 per cent of their economies – despite dire financial crises – and shame those like Canada, which currently spends less than half that amount, far short of its promise.
After all, he says, the world’s poor can’t rely on the largesse of billionaires. Amid all the talk of finding innovative ways to end inequality, Mr. Gates says it really just requires some smart money.
“I resist the term ‘innovative,’ the word is funny,” he says. “All these things we’re discussing here are taxes, or borrowing now to pay back later … The term suggests there’s a free source of money. No one yet has discovered a free source of money.” ”
via Gates offers G20 a lesson in philanthropy – The Globe and Mail.
“One of the most important lessons I learned as U.K. prime minister for 10 years was not about the power of government, but about its limits. Some of the best, most creative ideas came from outside government. Many of these were from the voluntary sector. Philanthropy, therefore, is not just about giving but about giving creatively. The mechanism through which one is working – whether it is a government, company or foundation – can only be pushed so far until the system itself needs outside support. That’s one reason why, when I left office, I founded the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.”
via I put my faith in creative philanthropy – The Globe and Mail.
In the competitive space of philanthropy and philanthrocapitalism, how do you break through the clutter and get people engaged in an issue that isn’t the tug-on-your-heart-strings norm?
This week, The Paradigm Project hopes to do just that by starting a conversation about fuel-efficient cook stoves. They hope to bring to light the issues that women in many parts of Africa face each day walking up to 15 miles to find wood to cook food with their live Woodwalk campaign. It’s a 10-day walk from San Diego to Los Angeles (October 4–13, 2011) during which a team of founders, staff, partners, and volunteers are carrying 50-pound bundles of wood on their backs replicating the trials and challenges of the women they’re working to help. At the finish line in Los Angeles on October 13th, they will construct an “African cooking experience” complete with a traditional Kenyan hut that they’ll also be cooking in along the way.
Visitors will have an opportunity to step inside and experience the smoky hut, which is equal to smoking 40 cigarettes per day.
The Paradigm Project is utilizing five uncommon sense principals to get in front of the people whose help they need to create permanent change:
via The Paradigm Project: A Model For Getting People Excited About Uncommon Causes | Fast Company.
The Paradigm Project has made it its mission to create a compelling experience with the Woodwalk, while engaging the local community to take action and assist in raising funds as the organization develops their work in East Africa. With these necessary elements, The Paradigm Project hopes to end open-fire cooking for 25 million people by implementing more than 5 million fuel-efficient rocket stoves before 2020.
You can learn more about the issue and The Paradigm Project’s proposed solution, which has been recognized twice by the Clinton Global Initiative, here. You can also learn more about the Woodwalk or find out how to get involved here.
“Many nonprofit groups are testing ways of using mobile technology to advance their mission. In the developing world, organizations have used it in hopes of improving health care, agriculture and finance.”
via Charity Goes Mobile to Enlist Teenagers in Service Projects – NYTimes.com.
Provocative article to using mobile communications for Charity especially for youth.
An interesting peek behind the curtain of the real life Matt Damon and his journey to bring water and hope to Africans.
“THE BUSINESS OF philanthropy is a difficult one, often as challenging to decipher as the problems it aims to solve. But Water.org is the smart and careful merger of two capable organizations: Damon’s H2O Africa, which he founded as a way to funnel money to well-managed NGOs in Africa; and Gary White’s WaterPartners, a two-decades-old group that had developed a series of highly innovative and counterintuitive approaches to water access. WaterPartners’ strategy had less to do with digging wells — which, if maintained poorly, can break down and leave a place in worse shape than before — and more to do with encouraging communities to participate in the creation and ownership of water and sanitation systems that function as mini utilities. These issues, known as WASH in philanthropic circles — water, sanitation, and hygiene — are among the least glamorous of all support efforts, yet are the most likely to lift a community out of poverty if done right. Think of toilets, hygiene education, pump maintenance, faucets, and a nascent form of self-government that literally takes a village. “A community has to invest in the project themselves to manage it,” insists White, 48. “It’s bottom-up, not top-down.” ”
via Can Matt Damon Bring Clean Water To Africa? | Fast Company.
“Last week, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic “Engagement launched the Muslim Philanthropy Digital Library in Cairo, the first library of its kind in the world.
In partnership with the American University in Cairo and the Women and Memory Forum – an Egyptian NGO – the Gerhart Center envisions the library as an accessible digital resource on philanthropic practices in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim communities worldwide.
But the library does not restrict itself to the common understanding of philanthropy.
“We look at philanthropy in a broad sense that includes giving money, time and energy as well as civic engagement,” explains Sherine al-Taraboulsi, the library project manager.”
via Culture meets philanthropy at the Muslim Philanthropy Digital Library | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today’s News from Egypt.