The recently concluded Philanthropy Forum presented a great opportunity to showcase innovation in local fundraising by Kenyan organizations. The forum brought together foundations, policy makers, and other development actors to discuss the financial and non-financial contribution of philanthropy to sustainable development in Africa. The event was organized in the margins of the Second High-Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, held in Nairobi on 28 November- 1 December 2016. The Yetu exhibition stall was awarded first place at the forum by participants who voted it the best in showcasing a catalytic and transformative initiative in philanthropy.
The one-day philanthropy forum featured discussion on three key challenges to partnering that prevents philanthropy from igniting its full potential: building effective partnerships on the ground, improving the availability and quality of philanthropic data, and enabling environment for civil society and philanthropy. As a project working to grow local philanthropy in Kenya, Yetu Initiative (Yetu) was amongst the various players showcasing at the forum. Yetu’s director Rosemary Mutunkei took part in a pitch session where she explained the concept of Yetu to the delegates drawn from over 30 countries. Yetu’s work is rooted in enabling meaningful partnerships between civil society, private sector, government, and individual citizens, to catalyse support for local development through local philanthropy. The initiative is developing a first of its kind e-philanthropy platform for Kenya’s non-profit sector.
Yetu’s community philanthropy manager Phyllis Ombonyo also took part in a session on ‘Improving Philanthropic Data and Transparency’ where she shared findings of Yetu’s study on the giving patterns of Kenyans. The household survey which examined the behaviour of local philanthropists showed that 92% of Kenyans have given to a cause in the last year, with cash and in-kind donations being the most popular forms of giving. The study also showed that the top causes supported by Kenyans are Health, Education, Poverty Eradication, and Youth Empowerment.