Published on July 23, 2014
Cultural Factors and Global Philanthropy Andrew Ho Network Developer, Global Philanthropy Council on Foundations Grants Managers Network Conference San Diego, CA March 2014
About the Council on Foundations • Headquartered in Arlington, VA • A national association of charitable foundations representing some 1,700 foundations nationally and internationally • The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.
A Networked Approach to Philanthropy Corporate Sector Government Nonprofit Social Enterprises Academia Financial Services Technology Human Services Marketing International Development Multilateral Institutions Law Media & Journalism
Global Philanthropy Program • Serving members and foundations engaged in cross- border grantmaking • Building collaborations beyond philanthropy • Building issue-based collaborations within philanthropy
The ability of grantmakers to demonstrate knowledge and capacity to operate with cross-cultural awareness, value diversity, conduct self-assessment, manage the dynamics of difference, and adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities we serve. (IHRFG) A system in which the alignment of behaviors, attitudes, and policies allows organizations to perform more effectively and individuals to interact most respectfully. Cultural competency is a dynamic state where efforts are continuous in order to maintain the integrity of the environment. (Nonprofit Network) 5 What is Cultural Competency?
Questions to Address • What assumptions do we make about power, partnership and grantmaking effectiveness? • What are the gaps between our rhetoric and practice? • How deeply do we implement our values within our institutions, as well as through our philanthropic practices? • How can donors examine power dynamics, build contextual knowledge and create effective alliances that enhance grantmaking partnerships? • How does cultural incompetency stand in the way of the goals we seek to fulfill with our grantmaking? • What would it take to address them?
Example: Tsunami Response in the Philippines “It is not outside aid that determines survival but the knowledge of local actors, connections among community, and the interventions of neighbors. Conversely, with the best of intentions but lacking an understanding of community dynamics, outside aid can be counterproductive or even destructive.” – Daniel Aldrich
Principles of Accountability for International Philanthropy – Understand the context in which you operate. – Invest in understanding the social, cultural, political, and economic context in which you are going to work – through field visits, literature reviews, and consultations with peers and by commissioning research. – Beware of your preconceptions and imposing your own agenda. 8
What Works – Don’t assume you know the answers. If you don’t have the answer, find those that do. – Don’t do anything about me without me. – Communication, transparency, and candor. 9
What Doesn’t Work 10 • imposed solutions • presumed outcomes • instruction through “experts” • deafness to community • blindness to what is unfolding • haste when things take time
A Note about Site Visits 11 • Show respect by considering the grantee’s convenience. • Be aware of cultural sensitivities • Make time and space for all voices to be heard • If the purpose is a financial audit, make sure the grantee has plenty of time to prepare and understands documents needed
13 “Learn from the people Plan with the people Begin with what they have Build on what they know Of the best leaders When the task is accomplished The people all remark, ‘We have done it ourselves.’” –Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching Open the Door to Community
Andrew Ho Council on Foundations Network Developer, Global Philanthropy email@example.com +1-703-879-0743 @andyho www.linkedin.com/in/andyho www.cof.org 14 Thank you!
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