Subscribe to Our RSS Feed
Follow Us on Twitter

Learning About Community Philanthropy in Africa

Posted on

Because strategic partnerships and collective action are critical to leveraging international and local funding, AGAG partners with organizations that are committed to advancing Africa’s development agenda in ways that promote local solutions and models that enhance community resilience.

AGAG’s 2017 Conference session on community philanthropy highlighted the impact of community philanthropy in South Africa and Kenya. The funders present were encouraged to think of new ways to improve and to partner with each other and to reframe their thinking about the capacity of local African organizations.

In June, the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) will continue this critical dialogue when it celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a special two-day event: “Durable Development – Shifting the Power: Building Community Resilience.” Held in Nairobi, the conference will bring together diverse stakeholders to brainstorm strategies for sustainable development in the region.

If you want to learn more about community philanthropy in Africa, here are some resources to help get you started:

Articles – Community Philanthropy in Africa

Nonprofit Quarterly, “Community Philanthropy: It’s Not Just for the Wealthy Anymore”

Community Foundation Atlas: Africa

Irungu Houghton and Constant Cap, “Using the Poser of Philanthropy in the Public Interest in Kenya” (paywall)

Joyce Malombe, “The ‘development’ in community development foundation

Jenny Hodgson and Barry Knight, “A different kind of wealth: mapping the baseline of African community foundations”

Organizations – Community Philanthropy

East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) provides a platform for promoting indigenous philanthropy, strengthening the credibility of grantmaking institutions, and acts as an intermediary between civil society and public and private sectors.

Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF) makes grants to promote and support institutions of community philanthropy around the world.

Southern African Community Grantmakers Leadership Forum (SACGLF) is a unique, dynamic partnership that harnesses the collective capacity of 23 independent development trusts and community grantmakers.


The Aga Khan Foundation and the C.S. Mott Foundation are known for supporting and nurturing community philanthropy. These reports share some of their insights:

The Value of Community Philanthropy: Results of a Consultation synthesizes the conclusions of several roundtable discussions, making a powerful case for community philanthropy as a means for advancing civil society and furthering human development. (Mott Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, GFCF)

Building a New South Africa Through Community Philanthropy and Community Development was written for people who are interested in learning about community foundations and their role in building community philanthropy and facilitating community development in South Africa.

Sowing the Seeds of Local Philanthropy documents the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation’s experiences and lessons learned after 20 years in the community foundation field.