As the landscape of philanthropy continues to expand and evolve, it has become more and more clear that the future of systemic improvement — using giving to find solutions that address the underlying causes of social, economic and environmental problems—requires not only larger pools of funding, but also combined willpower and expertise. 

While many philanthropists around the world are leading individual efforts, truly moving the needle on big issues requires bringing others along on the journey. Giving collaboratives have been shown to facilitate substantial scale and impact, two important elements in pandemic response philanthropy. Philanthropists engaged in COVID-19 related collaborative giving believe this is an optimal testing ground for collective approaches to a global crisis.

This session offers a broad overview of collective giving during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. During this session, panellists working in the MENA will highlight innovative collaborative giving models, detail how they are structured, and discuss the kinds of organisations they partner to achieve the highest impact. Panellists will shed light on the challenges and opportunities they encounter while working as a group to increase their collective impact. 

Session Objectives

  • Share learnings on what collaboratives are doing in various regions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
  • Help participants gain perspective on why working together as part of a collaborative can be more effective than working alone.
  • Provide information about various efforts/organizations that are being supported. What do they see are the most pressing needs?  What are the most neglected areas in their various regions?
  • Share insights about what are collaboratives learning from their various investments.


What we've learnt:

  • The global pandemic has brought on numerous social and economic issues, making it ever more important for philanthropic action to be agile and quick in order for societies and organisations to thrive.
  • The pandemic also highlighted the need for stakeholders to collaborate on giving projects and pool funding and other resources, including data and research where possible. A key benefit to collaborative giving is cost and risk reduction and neutralization, which are often challenging to achieve in traditional philanthropy.
  • Most philanthropic funding is done on a local-level, this is particularly true in time of crises. However, it is important that giving collaborative work is done across borders. Further research needs to be conducted to reveal the challenges of cross border collective funding. Regulatory frameworks for giving collaboratives differ across the world, and it is vital to practice transparency in order to achieve interests of multiple stakeholders efficiently.