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The Centre for Strategic Philanthropy aims to engage diverse voices to discuss strategic philanthropy. See below for summaries of the discussions and outcomes of our events portfolio:

#ShiftThePower – Beyond grants: driving system change across the ecosystem

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15 July 2021

From climate change to poverty alleviation, multi-sector partnerships that unite the philanthropic ecosystem from traditional charities to impact investors, are critical to delivering system change.

Most philanthropic giving remains relatively small and fragmented and misaligned with what is required for scalable impact. Even the most influential social change leaders struggle to secure co-financing and institutionalised partnerships that can help them fund and deliver system change. While today there are vocal moves to build a more collective approach notably by uniting around the framework of the UN SDGs, still collaboration within the sector is rare.

In this session we will explore how more diverse finance instruments can empower and unite actors across the ecosystem and help ensure that philanthropic interventions can lead to scalable outcomes.

Register to join the event

#ShiftThePower – Shifting the power balance to the Global South

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17 June 2021

The devastating nature of the COVID-19 pandemic means that many large foundations in the Global North have pragmatically diverted some of their funding to the health sector even if this was not previously a core focus.

This shift has highlighted the historically unequal power dynamic between philanthropic organizations in the Global South and resource-rich foundations of the Global North. It has underlined the control foundations exert over the allocation of funding and removed the veil that concealed deep frustrations with established grant making practices. Grantees have increasingly found their voice and demanded faster disbursement and more unrestricted funding. Foundations in turn have been flexible, deviating from traditional practices, simplifying processes and responding more directly to the real needs of the frontline in the Global South.

This session will explore the pandemic-induced changed dynamic of philanthropy and how it can be encouraged, entrenched and lead to much greater scalable and sustainable impact.

Register to join the event

Strategic Philanthropy in Emerging Markets: Maximising Impact

Wide open staircase in a building.

1-4 June 2021

This new, unique and bespoke programme, developed with the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, caters specifically to the practical needs of sector professionals and sectoral trends. These include not only the growth in capital coming to market but also the increasingly hybrid nature of the sector, the demand for greater transparency and accountability, greater scrutiny around impact and calls for more efficiency through collaboration and partnerships.

The programme is comprised of video lectures, discussions, live online teaching sessions and assignments.

It will explore how philanthropic capital can best be deployed to deliver impact and long-term system change. It will address many of the challenges and opportunities that face emerging market philanthropists – notably given the growing intergenerational wealth transfers – in trying to align their work with national development plans, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the need to deliver sustainable outcomes at scale.

Learn more about the programme

Talking Philanthropy 2021

14 May 2021

This year the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy and Cambridge Judge Business School are partnering with Global Philanthropic for Talking Philanthropy 2021, an innovative thought leadership forum. The forum will be a multi-regional, hybrid, virtual event, bringing together live gatherings in different regions across the world (where possible), as well as online participants. This year’s theme is the Philanthropic Ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific region.

Learn more about Talking Philanthropy 2021

Webinar – Racial Inequality in Organisations: What Can Be Done?

Kamal Munir.

19 June 2020

Join this talk on Racial Inequality in Organisations with Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy, Academic Director, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Race & Inclusion Champion.

In this talk, Dr Kamal Munir,  will link what is happening in America and the UK to how racial inequality reproduces itself in organisations. Kamal will shed light on the research that has been done on this topic and discuss where that leaves us as leaders of these organisations.

Watch the “Racial Inequality in Organisations: What Can Be Done?” webinar recording

Davos 2020: The Role of Philanthropy in Emerging Economies


22 January 2020

A high-level breakfast meeting held as part of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland brought together a diverse mix of philanthropy practitioners, government officials, business leaders and academic experts to discuss the potential contribution that effective emerging market philanthropy could play in delivering on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The rapid rise in philanthropy from these markets, the forthcoming $4 trillion intergenerational wealth transfer expected in the next decade and the $2.5 trillion annual SDG funding gap, provided important context for the discussion.

The meeting was co-hosted by Professor Stephen Toope, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Mr Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises.

Read more: Davos 2020

Discussion with Bill Gates: Philanthropy in the Gulf

Bill Gates.

19 November 2019

A group of philanthropists from the Gulf region spoke with Bill Gates in a roundtable discussion focused on various aspects of global and local philanthropy and identified specific trends, challenges and opportunities. The participants acknowledged the very significant opportunity of growing philanthropy from the region, the vast intergenerational wealth transfer expected in the coming decade and the $400bn-$1 trillion per annum of Islamic global giving. However, they also agreed that this potential is not being maximised due to a range of obstacles and restrictions, some of which are specific to the region but some of which are shared globally.

Read more: Discussion with Bill Gates