Young philanthropists in the Middle East are showing appetite for a more hands-on approach, a greater emphasis on transparency and accountability and a move away from traditional family foundations, to focus more on individualised giving.

These were among the key findings from a new report published by the Pearl Initiative and the Zovighian Partnership, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at a gathering of next generation philanthropists in Dubai on 25 April.

Speaking at the launch, Lynn Zovighian, said the research collaboration was intended to fill an ‘information gap’ about the priorities, attitudes and needs of younger philanthropists. Other speakers included Sarah Vaswani of Hatch Impact Advisory, an impact investing vehicle, and Sara Al-Batoti, who is pioneering green architecture in Egypt and beyond.

The report titled ‘Grounded in Tradition, Looking to the Future: Understanding Next-Generation Philanthropy in the Middle East’ suggests that donors want to look beyond corporate models and family run institutions.

Over 45 per cent of respondents in the survey said they are embracing non-traditional philanthropic models like impact investing, micro lending, and donor-advised funds.

Female philanthropists are more likely to invest in initiatives supporting women and girls, and promoting female economic inclusion.

While there was reported optimism that giving will become more impactful, the survey revealed dissatisfaction with the current giving ecosystem in the region with 42% expressing disappointment with their experience of collaboration.

The survey of 83 philanthropists participants were primarily drawn from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the Levant, and Egypt. Over 80 per cent held leadership positions, roughly half were aged 35-44, and 65 per cent were women.

The research was published in the same week that 1,500 participants gathered in the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi for the AVPN Global conference, which saw a $125 million of philanthropic commitments from government and philanthropic bodies associated with the Presidency of the UAE.

To read more about the data published by Pearl Initiative and the Zovighian Partnership, click here.

Data and image source:
NO Comment 28th May 2024

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