New Indian Donor Association

In June, the Centre for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Samhita organized the Philanthropy Leadership Confluence in Mumbai to explore setting up a network or association of donors. The meeting included grantmakers, private wealth individuals and philanthropy support organizations.

Priya Viswanath of DanaAsia, a philanthropic advising firm, provided Alliance Magazine with an article on the day long event. Below is abbreviated version of the event from her article.

* Rohini Nilekani delivered the keynote address and reflected on the potential for collaborative philanthropy. Talking about the power of aggregation, she referred to some of the new initiatives that focus on successful collaborative engagement – the Public Health Foundation, Indian School of Business and Pratham.

* Vijay Mahajan, chairman of BASIX and president of the Micro Finance Institutions Network, spoke about ‘co-creation’ in his keynote address. He reflected on the ecosystem of symbiotic entities and the current need to adapt and change, in order to leverage the power of giving. He urged participants to focus on identifying key issues of our times, pooling knowledge with humility and honesty to learn mutually and develop supportive legislation and to act to co-create between donors and grantees.

* Paula Johnson, VP and director of the Center for Global Philanthropy, The Philanthropic Initiative Inc, shared her insight on global trends in philanthropic giving and networking while emphasizing that support networks are essential to assist foundations to create more impact. WINGS reported 200 foundations in India, and estimated grantmaking in India at about US$5-7 billion.

* Noshir Dadrawala of the Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy reflected on the growth of wealth and the development of the sector in India and the importance of having a learning-sharing network to enhance the growth of philanthropy.

So what would such a network focus on?  The network would be “an information provider, knowledge builder, adviser, collaborative facilitator and advocate for the sector.”

According to Priya, “the day ended with pledges to fund such an initiative, establish a taskforce to follow through on suggestions and develop a road map for the network’s development.”

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Photo from Samhita’s Facebook page

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