Middle-East giving gains ground with establishment of philanthropy organisation
A new organisation to promote and co-ordinate philanthropic initiatives across the Arab world was announced this week.
The organisation, Arab Philanthropy Establishment, was the outcome of a two-day philanthropy conference, 'From Charity to Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy’ held in Dubai and hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the kingdom of Dubai.
The conference, which brought together 200 dignitaries and philanthropists from different countries, included well-known members of Arab royalty, such as Queen Rania of Jordan; business people; and non-profit officials.
The first gathering of its kind in the Arab world, the conference generated a great deal of interest across the region and was widely reported in the regional press.
The two-days culminated in prominent members of the royal houses of Dubai, Jordan and Saudi Arabia announcing the establishment of the organisation, which will provide information to potential donors about effective charitable programmes, and push to establish laws and policies to encourage giving throughout the 22 Arab nations across the Middle East and North Africa. It will also aim to help non-profit groups to achieve best practice in management, and learn how best to disclose information to the public.
A report on Arab giving that was released at the conference by Dr Barbara Ibrahim, Director of John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, said the findings of the study entitled 'From Charity to Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy' showed that there was a growing movement of philanthropists “who want to invest time, talent and their treasures in making systemic inroads into these areas.”
The Arab Philanthropy Establishment will be a move in the direction to best harness this for the region.