Reposted courtesy Association of Foundations, May 2012
Peer learning events have been very helpful. Attendance to, participation in, and networking with other WINGS members and other activities have all been great knowledge sharing sessions, a resource that we use to update and improve our own systems and share with our member organizations as well to keep up with the developments in the philanthropic arena.
Brief History and Accomplishments
Established in November 1972, AF is the country’s first heterogeneous network of non-government organizations (NGOs). Its mission is to enable its member foundations to develop sustainable programs that serve their communities.
In its early years, AF operated primarily as a clearinghouse of information among foundations. It also initiated the accreditation of member foundations in order to maintain the highest standards of integrity at a time when foundations lacked the esteem they deserved.
AF also operates as an advocacy body dedicated to fostering a deeper public understanding of foundations as institutions of nation-building. It published the first-ever Philippine Directory of Foundations in 1974, followed by a four-volume edition in 1979 and subsequent updates backed by an electronic databank in 1990 and 1996.
In the late 70s, the role of AF expanded to include fund sourcing to ensure the survival of its member foundations. It was also at this time that AF actively lobbied for issues such as tax incentives and other policies that threatened to stifle the growth of non-government organizations.
In the decade following the EDSA Revolution in 1986, AF mobilized a total of P25 Million for 45 projects nationwide. In the same year, the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), which advocates philanthropy among business corporations in the Philippines, began as a sub-sector of AF. Its international affiliations include involvement in the Asia-Pacific Advisory Forum of CIVICUS, a world alliance of civil society organizations. Today, AF is the only umbrella organization of Philippine foundations recognized by the Council on Foundations (USA).
In its four decades of service, AF has made achievements in information management activities, database gathering on foundation profiles and best practices, trends in development work, and institution and capacity building opportunities. It is the steward of the Philippine Foundation Center (PFC) – Southeast Asia’s first one-stop resource and information center on Philippine NGOs, foundations and the civil society sector. Through the PFC, AF matches needs and resources in ways that benefit and strengthen the not-for-profit community in the Philippines.
With local and global partner institutions, AF works to improve the enabling environment for Philippine philanthropy and foundation development. It is working on giving recognition to and the establishment of community foundations (CF) – private, non-profit organizations which mobilize local resources for grant giving in a defined geographic area. The AF sees the CF as a strategy that promotes sustainability to improve the quality of life of a particular community.
AF is also actively pursuing partnership building among members, specifically, regional partnerships that will enable members to jointly implement a common program or project in their area of operations. Currently, AF has established partnerships of member organizations in the areas of Batangas (Batangas Alliance), SOCSARGEN, (SOCSARGEN Convergence), Davao (Davao Cluster) and Negros (Negros Caucus).
Developments in the philanthropic sector to be celebrated:
- AF is a founding member of the Philippine Council for NGO Certification or PCNC, a private voluntary, non-stock, non-profit organization that certifies non-profit organizations in the Philippines that meet established minimum criteria for financial management and accountability in order to secure a donee status.
- AF provided the venue for corporate foundations (who are members of AF) to form a core group focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR); the group eventually spinned-off and formally became the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF). Note: The corporate foundations maintained their membership in AF as there is no limiting rule regarding the foundations’ membership in both AF and LCF.
- AF is among the lead organizations recognized for its work in promoting good governance in the non-profit sector through giving workshops/seminars; uses a two-pronged good governance module for non-profits – one is tailor-fit for the executive officers and another is tailor-fit for members of non-profit boards.