Raising the effectiveness of philanthropy in Nigeria
Growing up, I watched my dad engage in several philanthropic activities. He gave to people and causes he cared about. Much of the beneficiaries of these philanthropic deeds were extended family members, the local community, friends and religious organizations. Sometimes, the beneficiaries were strangers. This is typical of Nigerian philanthropy and giving, which are largely motivated by cultural beliefs and obligations, rather than generosity.
In Nigeria, as it is in many parts of Africa, philanthropy is at the core of what binds society together. Philanthropic giving generally supports poverty alleviation and sometimes helps to provide assistance towards education. But much of these giving is not measurable in terms of its impact, and it hardly produces the desired results.
On his 70th birthday in 2016, my dad formalised his philanthropy by setting up a private foundation. Sadly, he passed away four months after the launch of the foundation. Supported by a great Board of Trustees, I am now saddled with the responsibility of providing strategic direction and leadership that will produce measurable impact and results for the activities of the foundation.
Hitherto, I had obtained a certificate in Social Impact Leadership from University of California's Haas School of Business. The course was offered in partnership with Philanthropy University. The pivot of this certificate programme was social impact philanthropy and investment. But in spite of the knowledge that I acquired through this programme, my role at my late dad's private foundation has exposed me to the world of philanthropy in a different way.
Philanthropy is regarded as any goodwill to fellow human beings, especially efforts towards promoting their welfare. It could take several forms, including giving of money, time, expertise, skills and assets. Over the years, the act of giving to impact lives has evolved and the benefits of philanthropy to the socio-economic development of countries, especially developing nations, cannot be overemphasised. Even in developed countries, philanthropy is contributing in no small measure to the betterment of the society. In the United Kingdom, private giving averages around £9 billion each year.
In the United States, more than $800 billion resides in foundations and donoradvised funds. Fund for our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaboration dedicated to advancing economic growth