Community philanthropy is an approach to development, based on the belief that community members often have the best understanding of what is needed to improve and aid their community. It is the process of gaining the support of community members, leveraging community resources and determining the local use of external resources in order to address challenges or improve the quality of life within that community. Trust is built through community collaboration and participation, as well as by providing some level of shared power in the decision-making process. It has been found that community members are more likely to commit to a project on a long-term basis if they have a level of ownership in the project.

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Tendani Nelwamondo, a senior socioeconomic development specialist at the Industrial Development Corporation, is involved in the establishment and management of community and employee trusts. The empowerment of broad-based entities aims to improve the socioeconomic livelihoods of the communities and employees. Nelwamondo discusses how these community trusts should be established and effectively run.


This report presents an analytical framework for documenting and highlighting the different types of philanthropic activity being pursued in Africa by individuals, communities, and organisations.

It first lays out an overall framework for thinking about different forms of philanthropy and then identifies four categories of philanthropic activity that have been the focus of this first exercise. We estimate the potential size of each category where possible, and highlight emerging observations from the 150 organizations and individuals that were profiled.

The report also offers an analysis of broader trends both continent-wide and in the data available for different parts of Africa and the Diaspora, and we conclude with some suggested areas for further work to deepen knowledge in this field.

Source details:

This report was produced for the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) by Dalberg Research and Dalberg Global Development Advisors. The AGN committee that guided the production of the report included Halima Mahomed and Bhekinkosi Moyo from TrustAfrica. The production of the report was managed by the Southern Africa Trust. © 2013 African Grantmakers Network

global"From a description of various forms of individual giving to the growing importance of community philanthropy and structured, institutional giving, the current report is an effort to bring back the diversity of the field of philanthropy at the center of the debate, by drawing a comprehensive and provocative picture of current trends and challenges of the field. The report also raises some of the questions and issues most critical and central to its development – from technology and shrinking civic space to power dynamics within philanthropy practice and concepts, to the evolving role and form of philanthropy infrastructure."