Study of Selected Models of “Northern” and “Southern” Community Foundations and Their Applicability for the Nepalese Context

Satish Raj Pandey, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2002




In an effort to explore the potential of community foundations for jump-starting home-grown development resource initiatives, Satish's study explores different models of community foundations in the US and in selected southern countries; and how these models can be adapted to meet the needs of Nepal. Based on case studies, the author concludes that community foundations' key strengths are long-term perspectives on community development; institutional permanence (perpetuity); flexibility; and accountability. Elements central to the success of community foundations include: resources to build capacity from external bodies; early involvement of key stakeholders to create a sense of ownership; incremental, but progressive, initiatives that establish a successful track record; and a diverse board of directors.


In a country like Nepal where the presence of foreign and multilateral donors has created a culture of dependency among many development organizations, the community foundation concept can be a path-breaking innovation. While the author emphasizes the need to significantly expand the donor base in Nepal, he indicates that community foundations can play a major role in initiating and promoting private giving at the local level. He identifies several potential sources of funds for endowment building including: the sahu jamindars who have large land holdings; bequests from wealthy single individuals; and the promotion of corporate giving.



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