East African philanthropy is at a tipping point, and philanthropists around the world should be watching what comes next. There is a dire need for data and knowledge on and for philanthropy in East African countries which—like other regions and countries around the world—lack central repositories of information on philanthropic activities. Data and knowledge are crucial ingredients to building a strong philanthropy sector, not only in highlighting its contribution to national development, but as a tool to facilitate strategic collaboration and evidence-based decision making.

Leading African philanthropists, foundations and philanthropic associations have been working for years to develop a culture of data and knowledge sharing, and this investment is starting to pay off. To implement the next step in a Data Strategy and Capacity Building program partnership, Lauren Bradford recently spent two weeks meeting with philanthropists and social sector leaders in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

We won’t be able to paint the picture of philanthropy’s global impact by painting in swift and broad brush-strokes. Deciding to share information requires trust and courage, and strategic collaboration on data and knowledge has to be developed incrementally and by taking a long-term perspective.

Bradford shares three examples of the emerging culture of data and knowledge sharing that should excite anyone who wants to understand the impact of philanthropy.

  1. Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) has launched an interactive map detailing information on who is funding what, where in Kenya. The map allows you to explore grants by geographic area and programmatic focus.
  2. The East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) is bringing data to the fore of its programming in a way that is unprecedented in most of the world. EAAG is addressing core data and knowledge gaps by mapping giving patterns and providing analyses of the legal environment for philanthropy in the region.
  3. Foundation Center is working with EAAG and the National Philanthropy Forums in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to develop and implement locally led data strategies to capture and tell the story of the impact of philanthropy.

Read the source article at Foundation Center.