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    Philanthropic Foundations for the Future: Different Approaches to Global Issues


    International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2009

    The Schwab Foundation's "Social Entrepreneur of the Year" competition recognizes 20 to 30 social entrepreneurs from around the world every year.

    The trend towards private philanthropic foundations has seen some of the world's most powerful past and present leaders lending business and political clout to public-private partnerships for international development.


    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the world's largest private philanthropic foundation. Since its inception in 2000, the foundation has pledged in excess of US$ 21 billion in grants to projects across the United States and in more than 100 countries. The foundation has received widespread media attention, particularly in 2006 when Warren Buffet announced that he had pledged the bulk of his assets to the foundation. With the Buffet "gift" factored in, the foundation has trust endowments worth US$ 34.17 billion making it one of the most significant contributors to international development. The foundation's annual outlay now surpasses US$ 2.8 billion with a focus on educational projects in the United States and disease and poverty-reduction programmes in developing countries. Grants in developing countries have included:

    Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) - a US$ 456 million investment to improve seeds and soil for African farmers

    World Food Programme (WFP) "Purchase for Progress" - a pilot programme launched in 2009 which has seen 42,000 smallholder farmers all over the world involved in selling food to the

    TechnoServe - a US$ 47 million investment helping 180,000 coffee farmers in East Africa to grow and sell better-quality coffee and fetch higher prices

    Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) - testing and promoting the use of information and communications technologies to deliver microfinance products to the poor

    Opportunity International - the foundation has provided a number of grants to fund an expanding network of commercial, rural and microfinance banks in Africa

    Heifer International - supporting the new East Africa Dairy Development Project which helps 179,000 families by giving them a more profitable way to produce and market milk from small farms

    For more informationwww.gatesfoundation.org


    Founded in 1998 by the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Foundation (WEF), Klaus Schwab, and his wife Hilde, the Schwab Foundation promotes social entrepreneurship as a catalyst for social innovation and progress. Working in close collaboration with WEF, the foundation does not provide grants, but instead focuses on selecting the world's most accomplished social entrepreneurs - through its Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition - and provides those 20 to 30 new candidates every year with a unique platform of access to global leaders from more than 15 countries across the corporate, public, media and academic sectors. The foundation does not have a particular sector focus but selects candidates who demonstrate innovation, sustainability and direct social impact through their initiatives. The selected entrepreneurs benefit from access to world leaders through the WEF, pro-bono consulting services, executive training and peer exchange through an online community and attendance at annual and regional communities. Previous recipients fostering trade in developing countries have included:

    Transfair USA (USA) - the only independent certifier of Fairtrade products in the US, Transfair USA licenses over 500 companies to display its label in almost 40,000 retail locations. Transfair USA has channelled nearly US$ 70 million in additional income to farmers and workers in Latin America, Africa and Asia

    Association of Craft Producers (ACP, Nepal) - ACP is a cooperative supporting more than 1,000 producers, 99 per cent of which are women, in selling to export markets. Seventy per cent of their goods in 21 product categories are exported internationally

    Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA, India) - the largest financial union in India providing comprehensive financial, health, insurance, legal, educational and vocational advice to more than 1 million members, mostly women, in India

    People Tree (UK and Japan) - specializing in high-end fair trade retail fashion, People Tree works with 70 producer groups in 20 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America

    NOVICA (USA) - an online initiative in conjunction with National Geographic working in eight countries to support 10,000 artists in securing incomes worth 10 to 50 per cent more than in their local market

    APAEB (Brazil) - provides marketing, technical and business assistance to increase the incomes of more than 23,000 farmers in Brazil

    Unión de Ejidos de La Selva (Mexico) - an association of 1,300 coffee-producing indigenous families in 42 families which sells its finished product directly to the consumer through Café la Selva cafes

    For more informationwww.schwabfound.org


    Established in 2003, the Clinton Foundation focuses on addressing global climate change, HIV/AIDS in the developing world, childhood obesity and economic opportunity in the United States, and economic development in Africa and Latin America. Through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the foundation's approach is to gather world leaders, top business executives, heads of non-governmental organizations and members of the media from a variety of backgrounds and regions, to generate collaborative responses emphasizing action and measurable results on global issues. The CGI has inspired more than 1,400 commitments worth US$ 46 billion in 150 countries. Among other notable contributions, the foundation has funded 270 microfinance institutions empowering more than 3 million entrepreneurs in developing countries and established trade development projects including:

    The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) works with the private sector, communities, governments and other NGOs to develop new, practical models for businesses to spur sustainable social, economic development as an integral part of its operations in Latin America.

    The Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) is a partnership between the Clinton and Hunter Foundations investing US$ 100 million over ten years to catalyze sustainable economic growth in Africa. At the invitation of the Governments of Malawi and Rwanda, CHDI is working to strengthen agriculture, develop agri-businesses, and increase access to clean water quality health care and education in ways that can be locally sustained.

    For more informationwww.clintonfoundation.org


    Established in 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation is the forefather of modern philanthropic trusts. With assets worth US$ 4 billion, the foundation's approach is to broker partnerships (particularly through PPPs), nurture innovative ideas, fund research and influence public discourse on global issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, urbanization, health and sustainability. Often supporting other organization's including the Gates and Clinton Foundations, it has disbursed a total of US$ 162 million through grants for conferences, research and projects including collaborating with the Gates Foundation on AGRA and WFP:

    Kenya Agricultural Research Institute - in establishing a climate change adaptation unit that will serve as the focal point for integrating climate change resilience measures into Kenya's agriculture research programmes

    Environmental Education Media Project for China - towards the cost of producing a film, for initial broadcast on the BBC Earth Report Series, aimed at building public and political support globally for the notion that large-scale ecosystem restoration involving carbon sequestration can help mitigate climate change, reduce poverty and facilitate the transition to sustainable agriculture

    Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund - a programme-related investment in support of a micro-equity fund with a mission to promote sustainable economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship among lower-income people in India

    For more informationwww.rockfound.org

    For more information about US-based philanthropy, foundations, grants and resources visit The Foundation Center at http://foundationcenter.org