Promoting Philanthropy in East Africa

Shared Value Model for Partnership

The compounding crises of last year brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic marked a pivotal mo­ment for the field of philanthropy. As we look to emerge from the pandemic, growing senses of hope for fundamental change are accompanied by a strong pull back to the way things were.

The massive social and economic dis­ruptions have catalyzed a transformational wave of change across the sector — and caused philanthropic organizations to re-direct priorities for emergency response and post-COVID-19 recovery.

Safeguarding continuity of essential services amidst the pandemic is a global challenge. The seismic shift created by the pandemic has impacted philanthropy or­ganizations at nearly every level—from over­all spending to giving priorities, to internal operations, and strategic planning.

The restrictions brought about by the coronavirus have so far seen the collapse of the majority of philanthropy projects. Those that had long-term secured fund­ing were able to adapt and continue, while short-term interventions relying on con­tinuous fundraising that were the most needed were the first to cave in.

In spite of these challenges, there was an enormous and inspiring response to the COVID-19 crisis mounted by social en­trepreneurs, local businesses, and philan­thropic organizations alike. This outpour­ing of humanitarianism reminded us that philanthropy is critical to global develop­ment challenges.

Philanthropy today takes place in a context that is radically different from the environment in which many of its current models, systems, and structures were de­veloped. As such as the global economy slowly opens up it is imperative for the sec­tor adopt a partnership model of mutually beneficial relationship to maximize on the impact of their operations based on the Shared Values of participating organiza­tions.

Finding the right partner, especially in the execution of post-COVID philanthropy is still crucial to the success of securing the social license for businesses operating in a particular area. When philanthropic activi­ties mirror or complement another, then there are opportunities for convergence in execution.

Industry leaders overwhelmingly rec­ognize this unprecedented time as an opportunity to reflect on questions regarding philanthropy that were al­ready being raised prior to COVID-19 but have now taken on new urgency.

Instead of seeking partnerships for ongoing or stalled projects, orga­nizations adopting the Shared Value model work towards initiating origi­nal projects with inputs from their partners from the onset. This is to en­sure alignments in terms of objectives and outputs, financing, human and financial resources mobilization, and co-ownership with the beneficiaries of the project.  

The model also recognizes the programme beneficiary communities as co-owners and ensures they par­ticipate in decision-making regarding the solutions offered to them.

Despite the fact that the Shared Value model of philanthropy is yet to take root firmly across the sector, the main objective is rooted in the suc­cessful implementation of commu­nity projects and sustainable support for development. An enabling envi­ronment for effective partnerships should be able to create, recreate, facilitate, and promote the flow of en­ergy between people and build trust.

Taken together, partnerships formed through the Shared Value model are blueprints for aligning the interests and goals of organizations and demonstrating how collabora­tions can benefit the efforts of the public and philanthropic sectors.

Leveraging on this model, organi­zations can realize their funding ob­jectives through the increase of proj­ect funding, cost efficiencies through a shared strategy; better or improved due diligence on potential grantees; access to networks, and specialized skills that an individual donor may not have in terms of human resource capacities; and the synergistic force of different sectors.

It’s the clear purpose and con­vergence of interest that enables the engagement of a highly successful partnership worthy of study for orga­nizations seeking to engage in a wor­thy collaboration for social good.

*Ernest Nyamasyo is the Communications Officer at the KenGen Foundation a member of EAPN.  

September 22, 2022
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