Philanthropic Foundations for the Future: Different Approaches to Global Issues

International Trade Forum, October 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Philanthropic Foundations for the Future: Different Approaches to Global Issues


The trend towards private philanthropic foundations has seen some of the world's most powerful past and present leaders lending business and political clout to public-private partnerships for international development.

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Trade Forum Editorial

THE BILL & MEUNDA GATES FOUNDATION

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the world's largest private phüanthropic foundation. Since its inception in 2000, the foundation has pledged in excess of US$ 21 billion in grants to projects across the United States and in more than 100 countries. The foundation has received widespread media attention, particularly in 2006 when Warren Buffet announced that he had pledged the bulk of his assets to the foundation. With the Buffet "gut" factored in, the foundation has trust endowments worth US$ 34.17 bülion making it one of the most significant contributors to international development. The foundation's annual outlay now surpasses US$ 2.8 billion with a focus on educational projects in the United States and disease and poverty-reduction programmes in developing countries. Grants in developing countries have included:

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) - a US$ 456 rmllion investment to improve seeds and soil for African farmers (www.www.agra-aliiance.org)

World Food Programme (WFP) "Purchase for Progress" - a pilot programme launched in 2009 which has seen 42,000 smaUholder farmers all over the world involved in selling food to the WFPfwww.wfp.orglstorieslsmall-farmers-beginconnect-markets)

TechnoServe - a US$ 47 million investment helping 180,000 coffee farmers in East Africa to grow and sell better- quality coffee and fetch higher prices (www.technoserve.org)

Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) - testing and promoting the use of information and communications technologies to deliver microfinance products to the poor (www.cgap.org)

Opportunity International - the foundation has provided a number of grants to fund an expanding network of commercial, rural and microfinance banks in Africa (www.opportunity.org/Page.aspx?pid=934)

Heifer International - supporting the new East Africa Dairy Development Project which helps 179,000 famüies by giving them a more profitable way to produce and market milk from small farms (www.heifer.org)

For more information www.gatesfoundahon.org

SCHWAB FOUNDATION FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Founded in 1998 by the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Foundation (WEF), Klaus Schwab, and his wife Hilde, the Schwab Foundation promotes social entrepreneurship as a catalyst for social innovation and progress. Working in close collaboration with WEF, the foundation does not provide grants, but instead focuses on selecting the world's most accomplished social entrepreneurs - through its Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition - and provides those 20 to 30 new candidates every year with a unique platform of access to global leaders from more than 15 countries across the corporate, public, media and academic sectors. The foundation does not have a particular sector focus but selects candidates who demonstrate innovation, sustainability and direct social impact through their initiatives. The selected entrepreneurs benefit from access to world leaders through the WEF, pro-bono consulting services, executive training and peer exchange through an online community and attendance at annual and regional communities. Previous recipients fostering trade in developing countries have included:

Transfair USA (USA) - the only independent certifier of Fairtrade products in the US, Transfair USA licenses over 500 companies to display its label in almost 40,000 retaü locations, Transfair USA has channeUed nearly US$ 70 mülion in additional income to farmers and workers in Latin America, Africa and Asia (www.transfajrusa.org)

Association of Craft Producers (ACP, Nepal) - ACP is a cooperative supporting more than 1,000 producers, 99 per cent of which are women, m selling to export markets. …

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