As the landscape of giving evolves across the Gulf Region, the lineation between the functions of the various giving vehicles utilised by individuals and organisations become increasingly apparent. Donations, sponsorships, grants and partnerships all serve social purposes, but the scalability of the impact of each vary.
 
With growing demands from the philanthropic and development sectors, comes a strain in supply from governments and intergovernmental organisations. At this juncture, there is substantial potential and opportunity for the private sector to create value in their communities by helping close the investment gap.
 
By understanding strategies for corporate giving, it can be ensured that funds committed by the private sector are being utilised to their optimum impact. This webinar broadly discussed how to ensure funding and grant making is done effectively and responsibly.
 
The following topics were discussed:

  • Identifying the differences between corporate sponsorship & grant making
  • Defining the scope and clarifying the objective of a grant
  • Understanding the returns of social investing
  • How to partner for success and growth



What we learned: 
  • With growing demands from the philanthropic and development sectors comes a strain in supply from governments and intergovernmental organisations. At this juncture, there is substantial potential and opportunity for the private sector to step in and to create value in their communities by helping close the investment gap. During the webinar the attendees were polled to gain a perspective on their positions, and it was shown that a majority of them (50%) were indeed from corporate offices with giving programmes.
  • Corporate giving regionally, is generally carried out either through sponsorships or via grant-making. Grants offer larger agency on how resources are used. Corporates are also well-positioned to offer pro-bono non-financial support alongside a grant, through capacity building in areas where a non-profit may need extra support.
    • Of those live polled during the webinar, 67% noted that they did provide pro-bono or in-kind support to their grantees.
  • It is vital to select grantees that have deeper expertise and knowledge of the communities in which the interventions will be carried out. As such, targets from grants should be co-designed with the grantee to ensure they are both realistic and measurable.
    • Of the attendees who were live polled during the webinar, 90% noted that they had been disappointed with the quality or quantity of the proposals they had received.
  • Non-profit organisations or grantees tend to be stretched for resources. In order to maximise impact and not exhaust limited resources, it is important to clarify an organisation’s goals and only request documentation and reporting on areas that will aid with impact measurement.
  • Where possible, non-profits should be offered steady funding through multiple year or flexible grants as short-term grants tend not to yield high impact results. This would also allow non-profits to shift their focus from fund-raising and onto programme development & delivery. Social returns and the means to achieve and measure them differ vastly from shareholder earnings.
    • Of those live polled during the webinar, 67% noted that they do offer multi-year funding to their grantees.
  • A responsible grant maker should not view due diligence as a simple compliance tick box, but rather a learning exercise that will clarify the scope of a grant and highlight gaps or areas for improvement. Other valuable M&E practices include site-visits, encouraging non-profits to flag risks and sharing an evaluable rubric.
  • The long-term sustainability of activities of a non-profit is important; it is vital to evaluate whether a grantee can continue to thrive if funding from the organisation stops. This can be done through supporting capacity building, reinvesting or providing supplementary grants, and being transparent about investing intentions.
    • Of those polled live during the webinar, 50% noted that they commission and publish evaluations, whilst 50% did not.