Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector - Vol. 2

Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector - Vol. 2

Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector - Vol. 2

Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector - Vol. 2

Synopsis

• Unveils a new Global Civil Society Index

• Provides data on the nonprofit sector in thirty-six countries, fourteen in depth

• Focuses on Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with new material on Europe

• Presents information in easily accessible tables and charts

Volume Two of Global Civil Society builds on the comprehensive overview of the scope, size, composition, and financing of the nonprofit, or civil society, sector established in Volume One. This book is sure to become a crucial source of information on the nonprofit world. A key reference tool for libraries, the book will also be essential reading for nonprofit and foundation leaders, international development agency officials, and public policy makers.

Excerpt

It is in the nature of civil society that few of us see the need to comprehend it as a whole. Civil society is, after all, essentially about individuals coming together for some shared specific purpose. As long as we can freely play out our associational lives, is that not enough?

Thanks to the work of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project over the past dozen years, we know definitively that this is anything but enough. The Project has given us the facts and figures that guide us to the greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts aggregates of all of our individual efforts. The implications are massive.

Let me tell you a true story to illustrate the power of this project. Anyone who has ever lived or worked in Pakistan knows experientially that there is a phenomenal ethic of giving and voluntary caring. Its actuality, however, was not understood. Inspired by the work that the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project had done in other countries, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Project initiated empirical research on giving and volunteering. The findings arrived with the force of revelation: private giving by ordinary citizens was five times the amount of international aid grants coming into the country. The effect of this and a host of other findings galvanized a sense of selfreliance. This bred a further conviction, “If we can do this, we can do so much more to tackle our social ills.”

Riding this social optimism, the Aga Khan Foundation convened a national consultative process that culminated in a law providing liberal tax breaks for givers. To ensure that the impetus was not lost, a new organization was established with a mission to promote indigenous philanthropy for sustainable development. Today, the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy is a vibrant national organization with a lengthening record of innovative programming, including a management standards certification service.

None of this would have been possible without the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project.

Lester Salamon and his meticulous associates in 36 countries have, quite simply, provided the wherewithal to defend and increase civil society across the world. It is now up to us to use this magnificent volume like a societal mirror. The Project reflects the empirical outlines of our associational features, prompting the kind of understandings that can lead to leaps forward, great and small.

DAVID BONBRIGHT

London, March 2004

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