International Grantmaking in Times of Turmoil
For each of us it is important to give where we live, but today the world is our neighborhood. You may be one of those among us who believe that we must put some of our resources into bringing solutions to global problems that eventually affect us all.
Some people think the developing world is a black hole, that there is nothing we can do, nothing I can do.
Poverty and hopelessness feed terrorism and endanger our security. Avian flu respects no borders. Lack of education nurtures prejudice and fanaticism. HIV/AIDS kills a generation, leaving millions of orphans to overwhelm local private and public sector resources. Malnourished children grow up to be impaired adults. The economic divide between the haves and the have-nots creates instability from which no gated community can protect us.
But the world is not a hopeless case. It is not true that we are helpless in the face of these problems. Some invest in band-aids, such as feeding one child for a day or a week or a month. That is good but it is not enough. We need to be much more courageous and imaginative. We can support models that have the potential to provide long term sustainable solutions to many of these problems. Beyond that we can fund efforts that attack the systems that produce these ills. We can join others advocating change in our country’s policies to promote a more just and equitable world.
If you believe that change is possible and want to do something about the world situation, you might consider the following organizations and programs and talk with other funders who are involved in them.
- Microcredit/microenterprise development to lift the ambitious poor out of poverty through grants or investment;
- Social entrepreneur organizations, such as Ashoka, that seek and support innovators who pioneer solutions that can be replicated;
- Policy advocacy organizations, such as Women Thrive Worldwide, that advocate the economic empowerment of women in foreign aid and trade policies, or
- Model delivery systems for medical goods, such as HealthStore Foundation, Living Goods, and VisionSpring, developed a microfinance and franchising combination to create village pharmacies.
You might want to read about the realities of poverty or environmental issues or the devastation wrought by HIV/AIDS. You’ll find organizations, programs and networks in Resources.You might want to investigate other successful programs or consult your peers through networks of donors.
To learn more about international arenas that interest you, you might consider attending the annual Family Foundations Conference of the Council on Foundations, or the Global Philanthropy Forum for individuals, corporations and private foundations, or the international Microcredit Summit Campaign Conference. Websites are listed in Resources. For further assistance, contact Adventures in Giving.