First published in 2011
Our regional meetings mobilized direct participation of 50 organizations worldwide—more than 30% of our network! In addition, 16 participants were eager but unable to attend due to technical difficulties or previous commitments. Below is a brief summary of our regional meetings from a global perspective.
Latin America, Africa and Asia are experiencing a moment of growth and expansion in philanthropy. New opportunities and new players are emerging, such as the African Grantmakers Network and the China Foundation Centre, which were created a couple of years ago, and the Indian Philanthropy Network, which is being formed as we speak. These regions are interested in models for collaboration through networks. In this sense, WINGS can help individual grantmakers develop their own networks and offer support to already existing networks in areas such as knowledge management and strategic philanthropy.
There is increasing demand for more data on philanthropy, and some participants are already working towards that at the local or regional level. For instance, Fundación DIS is collecting data from 120 foundations in Colombia and the East Africa Association of Grantmakers is documenting small acts of philanthropy from the region. In North America and Europe our members have extensive experience and interest in global data. WINGS has great potential to contribute to this area, and the network is supportive of WINGS’ efforts to develop a global platform for data collection.
Participants from all regions are keen on collaborative initiatives and information sharing, particularly on identifying specific projects and issues for collaboration. There is expectation that WINGS facilitate this by creating discussion groups or communities of interest by themes such as new giving models, philanthropy and social development, and others. Participants, especially newcomers to the field, also want to be informed of main philanthropy events. In that sense, WINGS is building the global philanthropy calendar of events for 2012.
Peer learning events have been a source of inspiration for participants and a unique chance to share problems and solutions. WINGS has made significant contribution to many participants’ personal and professional development, and the network is looking forward to attending future peer learning events. It was stressed that understanding regional perspectives and needs is of utmost importance in advancing the global philanthropy agenda.
Feedback on WINGS strategic plan 2011-2014 was positive. There is a shared perception that the plan provides a solid foundation for the network and that WINGS is aligned with the current changes in philanthropy. The majority of participants were in favor of membership dues for 2012, agreeing that a formal dues structure is important not only to the financial stability of WINGS but also as a means of demonstrating members’ support of and commitment to the network. The main concern was with securing a structure that would be accessible and affordable to all participants.