July 11, 2016

Global Philanthropy Data Charter Workshop, Amman


In collaboration with the Arab Foundations Forum

May 30-31, 2016 – Amman, Jordan

  1. Philanthropy Data


There is consensus that data is very important and without data it is hard for philanthropy to advance and make progress. There is also consensus that most countries and regions lack philanthropy data; therefore this is a good opportunity to move forward.

Data is important for:


  • Understanding societal needs
  • Identifying needs
  • Planning programs
  • Measuring impact
  • Promoting collaboration and avoiding duplication
  • Driving strategies
  • Supporting advocacy efforts
  • Helping organizations make smarter decisions


We need data on:


  • Institutions: to get a scope of the field
  • The content of philanthropy: what the organizations are doing
  • Impact: what difference does philanthropy make
  • Various data subsets: registered foundations, CSR and private sector, family giving, mix of for profit and non profit, crowd funding, public sector data
  • Contribution of the philanthropic sector to the GDP


  1. Philanthropy Data: focus on the Arab Region


Data is essential for philanthropy to make progress in the Arab region and there is basically no data on philanthropy. There is particular interest in building own narrative for the region, and data will help with that. Data will also help to showcase philanthropy’s contribution towards development. This is a good opportunity to move forward and develop a strategy for philanthropy data collection and management for region.


Considerations regarding a strategy for the region include:


  • What data philanthropy needs in order to make progress in the Arab Region?
  • It is useful to map what kind of organizations are out there, what are they doing, how much money is involved, what difference are they making.
  • Useful to have definition of philanthropy and standardization of subject areas
  • There is interest in learning more about the model used in Pakistan and consider how it can be replicated in the region
  • Build on existing information and data sets; for instance, the 2012 Arab Foundation Encyclopedia, which needs to be updated
  • The region faces specific challenges: confidentiality and issues related to giving in Islam can be a disabler of the data strategy
  • The Arab Foundations Forum is the key organization to take leadership on this data collection and management initiative regionally, working with members to do in-country work
  • An strategy for success could be starting with realistic smaller projects, for instance based on particular subset of data like corporate philanthropy or youth
  • Need to identify source of funding for this work


  1. The Global Philanthropy Data Charter


The Data Charter is a set of principles and values; it underpins the work and helps us to think of the big picture. The Data Charter is like a wise oracle; it reminds you what you need to keep in mind in order to make a decision.

Critiquing the Data Charter:


  • There was consensus that the current Data Charter document is simple and clear, and we should keep it that way. It is important not to overcrowd the Data Charter document.
  • It is also important to visualize and understand what the Charter means in practice, and case studies will be helpful for that
  • The narrative document needs to be reviewed to see what else needs to be added or explored in more depth.
  • Issues regarding ownership of data and data protection need fine-tuning.
  • Regarding key factors of success, it was suggested to better explore:
    • Advocacy and strategy: data should back up your advocacy and drive your strategy
    • Transparency and accountability
    • There is a strong relationship with the 4Cs evaluation framework: capacity, capability, connection and credibility – issue of trust and credibility is there. It is important to connect with the 4Cs. – key success factors: in terms of the enabling environment and connect with the – issues of trust and credibility are present on both. It is recommended to revise the terms to dialogue with the 4Cs framework
    • In light of the 4Cs, it was suggested to use another word for “capacity”
    • Also consider using “building knowledge” rather than “sharing knowledge” and use the work “sharing” for collaboration.
  • Better explore benefits for the sector versus benefits for the end result
  • Consider looking at data governance issues: managing, filtering, accessibility and cost


How can the Data Charter be a tool for better practice?


  • There is very diverse pressing needs in terms of data.
  • Data strategies need to be country or organization specific because of the diversity of each context
  • In order to promote collaboration we need to standardize
  • We also need to advance our understanding of the commonalities and the diversity of regions
  • How can we have basic data standards; a basic approach that will help organizations?
  • Data collection is long term and needs to be sustainable. It requires infrastructure with funding, resources, and training
  • A data portal is a good idea and there are few examples to inspire us
  • Philanthropy data can help with definition of the sector and contribute to promote enabling environment. However, there are positive and negative consequences for the enabling environment, sometimes data can have a negative consequence for the enabling environment
  • We need to look at incentives to share data
  • It is important to build on existing data bases, data sets and annual reports and internal information


  1. On the Road to WINGSForum


  • Review Data Charter documents to present updated, 2.0 version at the conference.
  • Collect case studies to present at WINGSForum exploring how the Data Charter is used as a starting point to collaborate on data and turn issues and challenges into something to be addressed collectively.
  • Potential case studies:
    • AFF, Gherart Center and SAANED: on developing data strategy for the region
    • Kenya: data strategy and capacity building program in partnership with local organizations.
    • Brazil: IDIS and the Foundation Center
    • Community Foundation Atlas
  • Also look at other information and materials that can enrich the Data Charter and be affiliated with the Data Charter


Issues to be discussed at WINGSForum:


  • Data on SDGs and on forced migration. The SDGs do not contemplate forced migration – it would be interesting to translate key articles from Alliance Magazine to various languages
  • Also important to discuss philanthropy and the SDGs and what is going on in Rwanda


  1. Closure: What will I do when I go back home


  • Work towards more collaboration between AFF, SAANED and Gerhardt Center
  • Think of gaps and changes to see how it fits on our global strategy on data
  • Work on how we can best present the Data Charter
  • Conduct a survey
  • Propose to my organization to collect and share data
  • Write a blog
  • Support data on SDGs and forced migration




Atallah Kuttab                            SAANED

Ali Awni                                    Gerhart Center

Caitrin Mullan                            Al Qasimi Foundation

Barry Knigh                               Centris

Daniel Generoso                      Asociación Española de Fundaciones

Elham Al-Sanie                          King Khalid Foundation in Riyadh

Haneen Khatib                           Arab Foundations Forum

Helena Monteiro                      WINGS

James Magowan                       DAFNE

Lauren Bradford                        Foundation Center

Lawrence McGill                      Foundation Center

Mohammad Deames                 Jordan River Foundation

Muhannad Jarrah                       INJAZ

Noha El Mikawy                       Ford Foundation

Shadin Alhamaideh                   Jordan River Foundation

Shazia Amjad                            Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy

Shelagh Gastrow                      GastrowBloch

Susan Kippels                            Al Qasimi Foundation

Titania Fernandez                      Community Chest



Data Charter Meeting - Amman, Jordan