Tag Archives: Alliance

25 years in philanthropy: Alliance magazine’s 100th issue

We’ve just published the 100th issue of Alliance. It forms the centrepiece of Alliance‘s 25th anniversary year, and I’m naturally proud we’ve reached this milestone while finding new ways to be relevant and inspiring to readers. Working in the non-profit media, that’s not something we take for granted. We think our success – and resilience – is down to hard work, robust editorial judgement, progressive funding and most of all, placing our readers at the heart of global philanthropy.

There are so many outstanding contributions in our special 100 page, 100th issue, that it’s hard to know what to highlight and possibly invidious to single out any one contribution.

But here’s a taste of what you can expect:

  • Results of our readers’ poll of the most impactful foundations and initiatives over the last 25 years
  • Reflections on key trends from philanthro-capitalism to community philanthropy, the movement to shift power, and discussion about trust based philanthropy and core funding
  • Thoughts from veteran practitioners on what they know now as they look back on their career in philanthropy
  • Views from leading philanthropists on what’s needed over the next 25 years for the field to fulfil its potential
  • A mini-series of articles focusing on philanthropy’s contradictions and legitimacy in an era of growing wealth inequality hearing from defenders, critics and reforming voices

We also publish a powerful piece from a dedicated group of 25 year olds – philanthropy practitioners born in 1996 – the same year as Alliance – who share hopes and dreams for the future. 

The issue includes comment from our founding editor and board members of Alliance Publishing Trust, some critique of our editorial direction and a layout of plans for the future growth and development of Alliance. And, finally, the issue ends with a spread thanking funders for the backing and support which has helped make it all possible.

We’ll be holding a celebratory event at the Aga Khan Foundation in London on 16th September. Please do consider registering for the livestream so you can watch from where you are.

I hope you enjoy the anniversary issue in this special year for the Alliance community.


Climate philanthropy before COP26

‘Will we be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did everything we could, when just 2 per cent of philanthropic giving is directed towards mitigating climate change?’

This stark question is posed in the conclusion of a hard-hitting European Foundation Centre (EFC) report on environmental funding published shortly before we went to print.

The urgency of this question reverberates across our latest issue – the fourth devoted to climate change and sustainability in Alliance magazine’s 25-year history.

Many of the themes remain depressingly similar to coverage in the aftermath of the Paris COP five years ago: an inexcusable lack of funding to address climate change head on, a concern that communities at the sharp end of climate change are bearing the brunt of its impacts and fears that foundations are accelerating the climate crisis by continuing to invest their endowments in fossil fuels.

Yet despite this, there are signs that we are on the eve of change as we approach the critical United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

In our own field, funders are signing new commitments to act, leading climate philanthropists such as the Oak Foundation’s vice-chair, Kristian Parker and CIFF founder, Christopher Hohn are contributing significant resources, galvanising peers through bodies such as the Climate Leadership Initiative, Active Philanthropy, ClimateWorks Foundation and the European Climate Foundation, and exerting influence at the highest levels of government. Philanthropy is ‘incredibly influential’ according to the UK’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping, interviewed in this issue.

But the key challenge now is for every sector, including philanthropy, to translate positive aspirations, commitments and targets into significant enough change to stop our planet over-heating.

Will more foundations increase funding to work which directly challenges the status quo? Are we willing to back causes reinventing the way we live and work? Too few foundations are currently pursuing more disruptive solutions. ‘It feels as though the social movements that are opening up political space are running well ahead of philanthropic foundations,’ according to the EFC report. Bridging this gap may be a necessary condition for foundations to play the most impactful role in tackling the climate emergency.

Alliance will provide weekly coverage of developments over this vital decade – all part of our ClimatePhilanthropy 2030 commitment. And this issue guest edited by Felicitas von Peter and Winnie Asiti is a further part of that effort. As Felictas and Winnie note, ‘we are not the first generation to have realised what’s at stake, but the last one to be able to provide a tomorrow that is resilient, just and peaceful. We have much to lose, but a lot more to gain.’

Elsewhere, we talk to prominent Brazilian philanthropist and GIFE president, Neca Setubal about the work of her foundation in tackling social realities on the periphery of Sao Paolo. And we continue our focus on funding practice with a look at how Michael Feigelson led the internal overhaul of the Bernard van Leer Foundation during his tenure as executive director.

We hope you enjoy the issue – and everything still to come in this special 25th anniversary year for the Alliance community.

Charles Keidan is Executive Editor at Alliance magazine.

New study: philanthropy education in Europe

My research on the emerging field of philanthropy education in Europe, written in collaboration with Prof Cathy Pharoah (City University/Cass) and Dr Tobias Jung (St Andrews University) has just been published and is accessible via this link


The research contains two main parts: the first part investigates the countries, institutions and disciplines in which philanthropy education currently takes place across Europe. The second explores perceptions of the development of the field drawn from interviews with philanthropy ‘stakeholders’. The report concludes with some critical reflections about the appropriate disciplinary settings for the study of philanthropy, the tension between fostering scholarship and developing skills and the potential ethical challenges of philanthropic investment in this area.

The research was conducted between October 2013 and July 2014 whilst a philanthropy practice research fellow at the Centre for Giving and Philanthropy (CGAP) ar Cass Business School and visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS). It was and supported by a small ‘legacy’ grant from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The research builds upon existing work but also raises new challenges and questions. Thus, I hope that it provides a platform for further reflection, study and criticism in the coming months. In that spirit, I look forward to comments from anyone interested in understanding more about this mercurial phenomenon known as philanthropy.

The philanthropy of Israel studies

Philanthropy should come without ideological strings. My piece in Times Higher Education highlights how some philanthropists have mis-used Israel Studies for advocacy ends and suggests potential remedies


Gates comes to Stanford

Serious, Intense and Optimistic: Melinda Gates and Bill Gates gave Stanford’s commencement (graduation) speech in June 2014. It contained some powerful material but was marred by too many omissions. My piece for Alliance Philanthropy