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Institutional giving on rise globally

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Institutional philanthropy is on the rise throughout the world, can play a key role in addressing human problems and boosting civil society, and slowly is moving beyond traditional charitable giving to also include more strategic giving aiming at significant social change, a new study says.

Still, global institutional philanthropy faces big challenge, says the study, which was prepared by The Philanthropic Initiative for the Worldwide Institute for Grantmaker Support.

“The very role of private or civic action is still questioned in many countries,” says the study, Global Institutional Philanthropy: A Preliminary Status Report.

“Broadly speaking there appears to be a pervasive lack of trust and confidence in philanthropic and not-profit organizations, and in philanthropy’s ability to achieve its full potential,” it says. “In many countries, the public policy and regulatory environments hinder philanthropy’s full development.”

Measuring effectiveness also remains a challenge, the report says, and a lack of data “underlies and exacerbates all of these challenges.

The report, which The Philanthropic Initiative says provides the most comprehensive picture ever of the status of institutional philanthropy globally, looks at regional trends, commonalities and diversity across six regions throughout the world, and also profiles institutional giving in 24 countries and the Arab region.

The study also looks at the impact on philanthropy from religious and cultural beliefs and practices, changes in political power, economic approaches, patterns of migration and immigration, and international influences.

The study says philanthropy is “growing and gaining visibility around the world,” with private giving playing an “increasingly important role in addressing human suffering, promoting social justice and equitable economic growth, and strengthening and supporting a broad array of civil society goals and organizations.”

Still, it says, the study of global philanthropy is in its infancy, with no individual or institutional experts, and reliable giving data available only in a limited number of countries, and globally comparable data non-existent.

“Philanthropy is an increasingly significant force in addressing human challenges, promoting social change, and advancing equitable economic growth around the world,” Paula D. Johnson, director of the Center for Global Philanthropy at The Philanthropic Institute and author of the study, says in a statement. “It appears that institutional philanthropy is taking hold and on the rise in most regions of the world.”

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