Private Philanthropy for Development

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Philanthropy’s role in advancing sustainable development attracts a lot of attention. This report calls into question long-held assumptions about the volume, nature and potential of foundations’ engagement in developing countries, and the role they can play to support the SDGs. It presents ground-breaking data and analysis that capture previously non-existent global and comparable quantitative and qualitative data on how foundations support development.

The report examines philanthropic resource flows for development purposes, as well as foundations’ priorities, practices and partnering behaviours. It presents fresh perspectives and action-oriented recommendations to optimise philanthropy’s role in support of sustainable development.

This report offers practical insights for government policy makers and decision makers in civil society organisations, social enterprises and foundations. It results from close co-operation between the OECD Development Centre’s Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate.

English Also available in: French


Foundations as innovators

Foundations are often seen as innovators. This chapter explores the meaning of innovation in the philanthropic sector – focusing on organisational innovation and process innovation– as well as why and how foundations have innovated, supported by OECD survey results. It highlights a confluence of factors – growth and professionalisation of the philanthropic sector, foundations´ inner drive for innovation and a generational shift – has led to foundations to innovate in the way that they work. It finds that, in terms of organisational innovation, foundations have moved towards more “strategic” philanthropy and, in terms of process innovation, foundations are using new financial tools and changing their internal processes due to technology and access to data. OECD survey results show while foundations are increasingly changing their practices and delivery methods, these innovations are still far from being the norm across philanthropies.

English Also available in: French


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