CAF America Hosts Diaspora Philanthropy Summit

On November 2nd-3rd, CAF America had the immense honor of hosting its Diaspora Philanthropy Summit at the organizational headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. With CAF Canada and Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies African Studies Center as partners, the Summit brought together representatives from diaspora groups from across the world and served as an incubator for diaspora philanthropic giving models. Representatives of diaspora groups, foundations, associations, charities, universities, corporations, and government agencies came together under one roof with the intent of sharing experiences and knowledge, with the ultimate goal of improving their models for diaspora philanthropy.

With the forum representing Albanian, Australian, Bulgarian, Chadian, Colombian, Ghanaian, Hmong, Indian, Irish, Jamaican, Mexican, and South African diasporas, the conversations were very engaging and inspiring. Also attending the Summit were CAF America’s sister-offices CAF Southern Africa, Good2Give from Australia, and BCause based out of Bulgaria. It was a privilege to host our colleagues from across the globe.

Diaspora Philanthropy Summit Collage

The Summit focused on the models that diaspora groups can use to build engagement within their own diaspora and fundraise from their diaspora with the ultimate aim of supporting the development of their home communities through  philanthropy. Within the framework of expert-lead presentations, the attendees rolled up their sleeves as the core sessions of the Summit focused on the attendees presenting their models, discussing common challenges and identifying solutions pertaining to the three pillars of the event: engagement, fundraising, and philanthropy.

The conversations and brainstorming were encouraged by the ideas, expertise and stories shared by Kingsley Aikins of Diaspora Matters, who inspired the attendees to action by providing clear practical advice on building diaspora engagement and fundraising; by Nicholas Bassey of USAID, who brought to the group’s attention the historical role diasporas have and are continuing to play within the development of our society; by Dr. Daivi Rodima-Taylor of Boston University’s African Studies Center, who addressed the delicate issues faced by diasporas from post conflict countries; Dr. James Allen of Chevron, who highlighted the corporation’s commitment to facilitating diaspora engagement recognizing the power of diaspora philanthropy in helping grassroots organizations build a more sustainable funding mechanism; and by Jessie Krafft of CAF America, who discussed the applicability of the various mechanisms for giving internationally.

The Summit reinforced our common belief in diaspora philanthropy as a significant force that can impact communities around the world and tackle issues that matter locally while using global resources to do so. CAF America is committed to enabling diaspora philanthropy and working with diaspora groups to achieve their philanthropic goals.