Over the last decade, the field of philanthropy has been in a constant state of evolution. New wealth has brought new philanthropists into the field, many seeking to apply their business acumen to their philanthropic work. There also has been a corresponding growth in consultants and advisors providing guidance and assistance on all aspects of giving. The growth of new technologies has revolutionized communications, social organizing, data collection, and program delivery. Additionally, the line between sectors is blurring and many funders and donors are exploring partnerships across sectors, if not focusing their philanthropic efforts solely on private sector driven initiatives.
This paper was commissioned as part of the process undertaken by the Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group (AGAG) to develop a new strategic plan that responds to changes int he landscapes in Africa and in philanthropy. The changes in philanthropy are vast and a full cataloging of them is outside of the scope of this brief paper. What this paper strives to provide is a brief overview of the major trends that have been driving philanthropy over the last three to five years and where possible, provide specific examples of these various types of philanthropy at work in Africa with the hope of fostering reflection and coversation as AGAG moves into its strategic planning process.