Philanthropy in comparison – PLP: India-Europe compares different models of philanthropy

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The first session of the inaugural Philanthropic Leadership Platform: India-Europe saw 19 participants compare and contrast philanthropy in India and Europe with guest speakers; Naghma Mulla and Mark O’Kelley.

Undertaken in partnership with AVPN, the session on 21 September provided an opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences between philanthropy in India and Europe and help to create a base of shared learning and knowledge for the platform to build from over the coming sessions.

Naghma Mulla, CEO, EdelGive Foundation, spoke about philanthropy in India, going over the history of civil society work, especially in regards to rights based advocacy, livelihoods, education, and poverty alleviation, and highlighted the changing dynamics over the past decade as new regulations have made it difficult to give and receive funds at the grassroots level. Owing to the complexity, many grassroots organisations have to choose between being either a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation that can receive only grant funding, or ‘for-profit social enterprise’ that can receive investible capital, and while some bigger organisations have evolved hybrid structures, it has been a major obstacle for collaboration within the sector, due to the humongous efforts required and the lacking legal frameworks.

Mark O’ Kelley, Director of Finance and Administration, Barrow Cadbury Trust, spoke about philanthropy in the UK, using the work of the Barrow Cadbury Trust as a case study. The UK government is very supportive of social investors and has clear legislation about what charitable foundations can and can’t invest in, but the trust takes this a step further and has a clear policy of not investing in sectors like arms, tobacco, alcohol etc. They also seek to invest innovatively, testing various investment models and helping social enterprises who face barriers to investment from standard agencies, either due to unwillingness or financial issues.

For further information contact Sevda Kilicalp.

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