The legacy of black philanthropy is grounded in a collective sense of responsibility and obligation towards the community and the continuing larger struggle for liberation.
In addition, African American giving is based on a generosity of spirit as an expression of dignity, humanity, and identity. Black philanthropy has long been embedded in the legacy of African Americans, yet Black communities are often forgotten in conversations about donors and giving. Charity involves offering time, money, and moral concern to benefit others, and it carries a complicated legacy. Throughout American history, philanthropy has contributed to conversations about inclusion. Today, charity often refers to large financial gifts, typically given by very wealthy people, but it has involved giving time, money, and moral concern to benefit others throughout American history.
Philanthropy can raise crucial concerns, such as equity, that might get overlooked. The role of philanthropy is not to replace the government but to add value and deploy resources carefully and strategically. Philanthropy plays a vital role in meeting development challenges, and the outpouring of generosity on the African continent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been tremendous. However, significant challenges to expanding philanthropic flows in sub-Saharan Africa persist. The Global Philanthropy Environment Index measures the global philanthropic environment using a standard instrument completed by country-based experts and examines the incentives and barriers that could impact individuals’ philanthropic behaviour.
The African diaspora has a rich history of philanthropy, yet it is often overlooked in mainstream discussions of giving.
The African diaspora is the term used to describe the worldwide collection of communities that descended from native Africans or people from Africa, predominantly in the Americas. The African Union defines the African diaspora as “people of native African origin living outside the continent and willing to contribute to its development and building.” The African diaspora has a long and complex history, dating back to the slave trades that dispersed millions of Africans across the Atlantic, Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean regions; philanthropy within the African diaspora community has been a significant aspect of its culture and identity, as many diaspora members have sought to support and empower their fellow Africans in various ways. However, philanthropists in this community also face many challenges, such as the need for more resources, coordination, recognition and impact measurement.
We are the dreamers of the future.
The visionaries of new horizons
We aspire to contribute to our continent
The source of our pride and identity
We are the African diaspora.
A diverse and vibrant community
We celebrate our heritage and diversity
The beauty and strength of our unity
The Philanthropist’s Diary
African philanthropists are emerging as a force for positive change and inclusive development. They are driven by solidarity, responsibility, and pride in their African identity and heritage. They are also motivated by Africa’s challenges and opportunities, such as poverty, inequality, conflict, climate change and youth empowerment. African philanthropists use various forms and methods of giving, such as strategic grants, investments, influence and collaboration. They also leverage their local knowledge, networks and cultural values to support and empower African NGOs and communities. However, African philanthropists also need help with a lack of recognition, coordination, resources and impact measurement. They also face misconceptions and stereotypes about their role and contribution to the continent’s development. In addition, philanthropy can raise crucial concerns, such as equity, that might get overlooked. In the United States, philanthropy is becoming increasingly organized. Numerous associations (often called philanthropy-serving organizations”) have been created in recent decades. However, the role of charity is not to replace the government. At times such as this, it is very apparent that the government has a unique and vital role that is irreplaceable. But why do we even have philanthropy? Shouldn’t philanthropic resources simply be converted into taxes that help control charity?
Reflections on Philanthropy in the African Diaspora:
The importance of philanthropy in the African Diaspora community.
Philanthropy is an important way for the African diaspora community to contribute to the development of their countries and continent of origin. Philanthropy can help address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges and opportunities, such as poverty, inequality, conflict, climate change, and youth empowerment. Philanthropy can also support and celebrate the African people’s rich and diverse cultures, histories, and identities. Philanthropy can take various forms and methods, such as remittances, investments, grants, influence, and collaboration. Philanthropy can also leverage the African diaspora’s financial, technological, and intellectual resources and their local knowledge, networks, and cultural values. Finally, philanthropy can also strengthen the ties and solidarity between the African diaspora and their fellow Africans on the continent.
Unique challenges and opportunities for philanthropy exist in this community.
The African diaspora community’s philanthropy faces unique challenges and opportunities that require innovative and collaborative solutions. Some of the challenges include the lack of recognition and representation of African philanthropists and civil society organizations in the global development and philanthropy discourse, the lack of coordination and alignment among various diaspora groups and initiatives, the lack of transparency and accountability of some diaspora organizations and recipients; lack of enabling regulatory environments and incentives for philanthropic giving and receiving in some African countries; and the lack of data and evidence on the impact and effectiveness of diaspora philanthropy. Conversely, some of the opportunities include: leveraging the large and growing volume of remittances from the diaspora as a source of development finance, harnessing the diverse and valuable skills, knowledge, networks and cultural assets of the diaspora to support and empower African civil society organizations and communities; exploring new and hybrid forms and methods of philanthropy, such as crowdfunding, mobile giving, impact investing, venture philanthropy, matching funds, pooled funds, collective giving, etc.; creating platforms and spaces for dialogue, learning, sharing, networking and collaboration among diaspora philanthropists, civil society organizations, policymakers, private sector actors, etc.; and building a strong and vibrant African philanthropy network that can advocate for the interests and rights of African philanthropists and civil society organizations.
This diary can challenge and change the dominant narratives and perceptions of Africa and its people, highlighting the potential and power of African-led solutions. I believe that philanthropy in the African diaspora community is a matter of giving back and giving forward, creating a legacy of positive change and shared prosperity for current and future generations of Africans.
By: Eric Muhia
Author Image Attribution: Eric Muhia
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