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Concepts and Framework for Teaching, Research and Outreach of African Philanthropy

April 30, 2016

A paper with concise texts and extensive footnotes is not amenable to an integrating condensation or précis as an Executive Summary. Therefore, to assist readers with little time, this page offers a synopsis of key areas of substance and their sectional location allowing more directed access for those with specific interests.The pages which follow establish the scholarly foundation of new academic chair with practical intentions that a business school is meant to provide. The Chair is devoted to a topic – African Philanthropy, not philanthropy in Africa - which is seriously under-researched, poorly or prejudicially understood as 'traditional' and anti-modern as well as developmentally under-appreciated. These conditions are overlain with external vocabularies and meanings which are not adequately emanating from the continent's history and lived experience of deeply rooted pro-social behaviour of giving or 'gifting'. Hence, missing in today's discourse is a deep understanding of African Philanthropy in its own right with what it can tell us about better ways to tackle the continents many problems by building on its inherent potentials. Establishing such an 'operational' narrative is one purpose of the joint initiative between the Wits Business School and the Southern Africa trust; a story which must have relevance and traction in the lives of Africa's people.A theoretical framework in section two introduces a complexity view of social, cultural economic, political, linguistic and other processes leading to a contemporary African landscape where gifting is expressed through three institutionalised gifting practices: endogenous, exogenous and blended. An ontological approach explains this long pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial trajectory, concentrating on a period starting around the beginning of this millennium. Readers most interested in this era could start looking at Section five. When doing so, please note that section three draws attention in to the power of words. To be ontologically coherent, new narratives often require suitable nomenclatures, in this case a choice of 'gifting' rather than 'giving' or of 'philanthropy' – understood as a practice within gifting - which is a poorly translatable term and concept in an African languages and moral philosophy of ubuntu. From a communications point of view, the choice for a distinctive terminology will continually call for justification and explanation until recognition of its narrative value for comprehending Africa's story in its own right.Since the start of the millennium, practices of gifting by and on the continent are undergoing rapid changes inviting excitement at their innovation and concern about their effects in, for example, areas of public policy, rights, universal access to public services and democratic governance. Discussing these and similar issues can be found in section six which is followed by a detailed review of local resource mobilization from private sources for public benefit derived from within the continent and its Diaspora. Across the three institutional types, uncertain but indicative estimates of their monetary value are in the order of US$ 55 – 85 billion per annum. Including the non-monetary and non-material value of gifting could take this (much) higher. Counting foreign aid, both official and private, would add the monetary by almost the same amount again.1 A planned concentration on local resource mobilisation in African gifting will contribute to reducing dependency on an aid system not known for its reliability.The concluding section seven switches focus to various issues of embedding the Chair of African philanthropy at the Wits Business School. Many ideas and content are inspired by participants at a pan- African inaugural seminar held in March 2016. This event has helped to create a 10 year profile and value preposition for the Chair at WBS in terms, for example, of the latter's Vision 2022, with guiding principles of excellence, a research-intensive agenda, a deeper business reading of African countries, transformation and more. With a tentative implementation schedule, these and other contributions must translate into a viable business model, a task which lies ahead.

Al Mulhem in Social Justice Work

October 1, 2015

Al Mulhem ("Inspirer" in English) provides a theoretical and philosophical as well as practical framework to practitioners, activists and CSOs eager to applying Social Justice and Right based principles in their work and training workshops.

Corporate social investment as a drive of customer loyalty at the bottom of the pyramid

January 1, 2015

Companies spend substantial fund on SI initiatives. Expenditure of such large amounts could hold benefits for companies that go beyond their regulatory compliance. This study focused specially on how CSI impacted on consumer layalty at the bottom of the pyramid.

Critical Perspectives Sustainability of the on South African Civil Society Sector

December 1, 2012

This report presents the findings of a research and advocacy process that included consultative workshops with CSOs in all nine of South Africa's provinces, interviews with CSOs, politicians, government departments, the NLB, NDA and local funders. The report highlights the successes and ongoing problems associated with the NLB and the NDA. It locates them within a broader context of government unevenness, inefficiency and corruption.

The GIBS Guide to Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Projects

April 1, 2012

This publication is the first in a series of practical guides for business education students, business executives, non-profit organisations and small- to medium-sized enterprises which would usually not enjoy access to corporate social investment (CSI) specialists or experts. This practical guide highlights relevant 'how tos' which answer some of the most pressing social responsibility considerations faced by business today. Written in a question and answer format, the guide allows the reader to delve right into critical issues. Links and references are provided throughout the guide for more in-depth content or additional reading.

Literature Review on the Dynamics of Social Movements in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

August 1, 2011

This literature review makes a preliminary assessment of the available academic and policy-oriented literature on social movements in states in situations of fragility, and affected by conflict. It examines who becomes involved in collective action and why, the barriers to mobilisation and, where social movements do emerge, how these are able to sustain mobilisation and broaden their membership base to reflect the interests of the wider community.


December 1, 2009

Poverty alleviation and sustainable development continue to present serious challenges in South Africa with 34.1% of the population living on less than $2 a day.1 In addition to government, national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs and INGOs) play a critical role in tackling development issues but resources are stretched and sustainable fundraising presents a challenge for many NGOs. The potential of individual donors to financially support INGOs has been successfully harnessed in Europe and North America but is not utilised to the same extent in middle income countries, including South Africa. Targeting individuals in South Africa could provide a route to greater financial stability and sustainability for many of the country?s NGOs.

Civic Agency and the Cult of the Expert

November 1, 2009

Reviews dominant models of thought that value disciplinary knowledge over the civic and moral authority of non-academic, community-based knowledge. Calls for developing people's and communities' capacities to organize, solve problems, and sustain agency.

Individual Philanthropy in Post-Apartheid South Africa -- A Study of Attitudes and Approaches

February 24, 2009

The objective of this thesis was to investigate the state of individual philanthropy in South Africa in the post -- apartheid, post -- 1994 transformative period of this country, and to explore and try to understand this practice within the wider context of trends in contemporary global philanthropy. The germ for this thesis came from a recognition that individual philanthropy on a global level is a burgeoning phenomenon with an increasingly important impact, and that this type of giving could also be a powerful resource for South Africa as this new democracy begins to tackle its social and economic problems.

Bottom Line or Bleeding Heart: The Result of a National Study of Giving in the Small and Medium Business Enterprise (SME) Sector in South Africa

July 12, 2008

Corporate Philanthropy and social investment in South Africa is a dimension of resource mobilization that has been called to attention by critical policy and legislative frameworks. Attempts to generate evidence and understanding of practices and performance on social expenditure of listed companies have emerged. A recent national study expands this knowledge generating empirical evidence on Very small, Small and Medium Enterprises in South Africa.

A study to determine to what extent companies in South Africa are prepared to use Corporate Social Responsibility as a development tool to alleviate poverty

March 31, 2008

The negative impact of poverty on development and security in South Africa has been exacerbated by high food prices. However, high for prices have also had a positive effect in that it galvanized civil society into coalescing and finally playing an activist role. Looking at the development of corporate social responsibility and how it was shaped by external influences exerted on it by society, the thesis argues that high food prices might be one of those triggers that might change the implementation of corporate social responsibility from that as in business tool to one that is more developmental in its intent.

An Annotated Bibliography on Indigenous Coping Strategies and Community Dynamics in Response to Extreme Poverty and Vulnerability in Zimbabwe

September 1, 2006

This is an annotated bibliography of literature on coping strategies in the face of extreeme poverty and vulnerability in Zimbabwe.

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