Tanzania National Philanthropy Forum: Local Resource Mobilization as a key to growing Community Philanthropy

Philanthropy actors in a group photo during the the Tanzania National Philanthropy Forum at Four Points Hotel in Dar es salaam

On 22nd April 2022, Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), Tanzania Philanthropy Network (TPO) and East Africa Philanthropy (EAPN) convened a Tanzania National Philanthropy Forum themed “Local Resource Mobilization: The Key to Growth of Community”.  The event brought together Philanthropy actors in the sector to discuss and recognize emerging trends that would inform the growth of philanthropy by creating & strengthening the enabling environment for community organizations to thrive.

We want to go beyond giving and give for change, for social justice and economic development. CSOs can mobilize resources locally and use the resources to make an impact in local communities. Our philanthropic vision should be to see the sustainable impact of our giving in communities.  CSOs can be in the driver’s seat in finding resources locally and make an impact in the local communities. Francis Kiwanga, FCSTZ Executive Director in his opening remarks at the event. He empathized on impact in communities so that philanthropy can be sustainable in communities.

Philanthropic organizations work in communities whether the organization is a community based, faith-based, international NGO or Local NGO working in community development, health, education, climate change and youth empowerment. 

Evans Okinyi, East African Philanthropy Network Executive Officer shared factors that support the growth of philanthropy in communities which included knowledge (data & research, favourable laws and policies and tripartite relationship with peer CSOs, government and the private sector.

‘’Growth of philanthropy is dependent on support structures such as knowledge in the form of data, research, journals – whichever forms it takes so that as organizations we can make informed decisions. Enabling an environment such as laws and policies that favour philanthropy or the work that you are doing enables philanthropy to grow. Since we cannot work alone, we need to work with others who are doing the same work that we are doing. As philanthropists, on the other hand, we must work closely with the government and work closely with the private sector.’’

Mr. Evans said Philanthropy is possible with communities at the center and that philanthropists need to strengthen community giving. He said COVID-19 has taught philanthropists and communities that solutions to challenges lie with members of the communities coming together.

He called on philanthropic organizations to join the Tanzania Philanthropy Organization (TPO) because the platform enables organizations to network with other philanthropic actors and share knowledge on models and approaches of local resource mobilization that work in growing local resource mobilization practice.

‘’How do we unlock local resources & channel them to the needs of communities? We need a knowledgeable philanthropy sector driven by data and research findings for philanthropy to thrive. For development sector players to thrive in their work, there is a need for access to credible knowledge, build partnerships and capacity thus the creation of the TPO which aims to achieve this in Tanzania’’, he said.

Speaking on the youth agenda in building a philanthropic movement among them, he said EAPN is promoting social entrepreneurship and is nurturing the culture of giving among youth through cultivated partnerships with academic institutions so that philanthropy can be incorporated into curriculums.

He insisted on actors in the philanthropy sector to shift the narrative and show the impact of philanthropy in communities as there are few stories of philanthropy that are being amplified to communities. ‘’We need to strengthen our narrative around philanthropy and demonstrate the impact local philanthropy actors are making in the country,’’ he said.

During the event, FCS also launched the Stories of Giving: in the time of coronavirus pandemic and a report on Giving during coronavirus pandemic. Karin Rupia from FCS talked about how FCS collected different stories of giving during the corona pandemic. The stories of giving capture the different faces and forms of giving that transpired, from corporate giving, CSOs collaborations to give, communities and individual giving.

‘The stories of giving inspire others on the power of giving and how it affects a person’s life. The stories capture the different forms of giving during the coronavirus. FCSTZTPO have been training local community organizations on local fundraising & building their institutional Resilience. Moving forward, we want to test different approaches & modules that promote local resource mobilization and assess what works best in growing philanthropy in our local context ” said Karin Rupia from foundation for Civil Society.

 ‘’A lot of people do not like to blow their own horns and talk about their giving stories. This is rooted in our African culture, where when someone gives, the giver will not share or talk about it with someone else. Yet it is through stories of giving that people are inspired to give. These stories also show the forms of giving and how they take different shapes. During the coronavirus pandemic for a worker paid housing in a less dense area for his work colleague as he was among the high-risk individuals with underlying conditions that would be affected by the coronavirus. He paid his rent for 6 months so that he could support himself and his family. When talking about his giving story, the worker was adamant that he had done something profound and was not keen to talk about it’’ said Ben Owden from Why Lead Consultancy.

He also talked about another story of giving that shows how one person can make an impactful change without having money and how online networks and communities can support change. The individual used his online to mobilize resources for a local hospital to oxygen tanks for patients. He was able to raise more than TZS 30 million for the purchase of tanks.

Stories of Giving: in the time of coronavirus pandemic and a report of Giving during corona pandemic are available on the FCS website; www.thefoundation.or.tz