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APSO Initiative

Africa Philanthropy Support Organizations (APSO) Initiative

Over the past two decades, the number of philanthropy support organizations (PSOs) focusing on Africa has increased. And while they represent different histories, motivations, approaches, and interests they share a common interest in leveraging philanthropy to address issues affecting the lives of communities in Africa. The diversity of PSOs located inside and outside of Africa presents an opportunity to widen the reach of philanthropy.

The APSO Initiative recognizes that building strong relationships can help PSOs to deepen their impact and leverage philanthropy resources to benefit African communities.


In July 2015 representatives of PSOs attending a caucus at the Africa Philanthropy Network (APN) conference in Tanzania discussed the value in sharing information and exploring collaboration opportunities. The discussion continued at the April 2016 Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group (AGAG) meeting in the United States and at a follow-up meeting held in South Africa during October 2016.  

The APSO Initiative is not a new organization.  It is a pilot collaboration and collective effort by the Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group, the Africa Philanthropy Network and the East Africa Association of Grantmakers. The goals of the APSO Initiative are to promote communications among a cohort of philanthropy support organizations working inside and outside of Africa and to highlight the work that these organizations do to promote philanthropy that benefits African communities. 

 Learn More 

The following list of networks and resources is intended as a starting point for those interested in learning more about organizations that focus on leveraging philanthropy to benefit Africa and its people.  We hope to expand the list. If you have suggestions of organizations (including your own) please submit them using the Contact Us Form. 






Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity 

The Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group (AGAG) emerged in 2000 from the South Africa Grantmaker’s Affinity Group that encouraged great foundation support to end apartheid and support civil society efforts to serve disenfranchised communities throughout the southern Africa region.   AGAG convenes private funders, connects people and ideas, and curates information all geared to promoting robust, effective and responsive philanthropy to benefit African communities.

2018 Conference – April 27-28, 2018 – New York 

In 2015 AGAG partnered with the Foundation Center to publish the first ever examination of U. S. Foundation Funding for Africa over the decade from 2002-2012. 





Africa Philanthropy Network –

The Africa Philanthropy Network (APN), formerly known as the African Grantmakers Network, is a continent-wide network of African grantmaking organizations and other philanthropic actors. APN facilitates experience sharing and learning among established and emerging African philanthropic institutions. APN aims to consolidate the voice of African philanthropy to address social injustice and development issues on the continent. Currently, the Network promotes collaboration and connection among African philanthropists while bringing the voice and achievements of African philanthropy to the global development narrative.

In 2014 APN published Sizing the Field: New Narratives for African Philanthropy that offers a framework for understanding African philanthropy and provides information on organizations and individuals active in philanthropy across the continent. 






African Philanthropy

The African Philanthropy Forum (APF)  is an affiliate of the Global Philanthropy Forum that seeks to build and expand a learning community of Africa’s strategic philanthropists and social investors committed to inclusive and sustainable economic development throughout the continent.





Established in 2003, the East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG)  brings together trusts and grantmaking foundations in the East Africa region with the aim of promoting organized philanthropy. EAAG seeks to provide a platform for promoting indigenous philanthropy, strengthening the credibility of grantmaking institutions, and act as an intermediary between civil society, government, and the private sector.

In 2012 EAAG published the East Africa Giving Report that captures the results of a survey of foundations and trusts working in philanthropy in East Africa and the State and Nature of Philanthropy in East Africa that examines philanthropy in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. 





Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa  –

The Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa (IPASA) is a voluntary association of family, individual and other philanthropists in South Africa. IPASA is managed by GastrowBloch Philanthropies.

2017 Conference – October 23-24, 2017 – Johannesburg, South Africa  -“Choices and Resources: Philanthropy Confronting a World of Limited Resources”

In 2016 GastrowBloch Philanthropies published Form and Function, a research report on the organizational and grantmaking practice of South African foundations.

The Philanthropy Forum Ghana Logo





The Philanthropy Forum-Ghana –

The Philanthropy Forum Ghana works to strengthen the capacities of non-profit organizations and networks,  develop knowledge products and build social action partnerships with public and private corporations to leverage resources. The Forum foster collaboration opportunities amongst national, regional and international networks that aim at advancing philanthropic endeavors.

Results of the National Philanthropy Forum – Ghana 2016  is the report on the 2016 meeting on “Tapping into Indigenous Philanthropy for National Development.”








Southern African Community Grantmakers Leadership Forum –

The Southern African Community Grantmakers Leadership Forum (SACGLF) harnesses the collective capacity of 23 independent development trusts and community grantmakers. The Forum was launched in 2005 to advance, build and strengthen sustainable community-based development in Southern Africa. With a growing membership of 35 grantmaker leaders, the Forum is a leadership and learning network committed to social justice grantmaking as a powerful vehicle for change.