Regional Associations of Grantmakers and Community Foundations

Emmanuel Opati, Emerging Leaders, International Fellows Program ~ 2005


Abstract: Emmanuel Opati suggests that grantmakers’ associations recently have helped promote the community foundation concept, including advocating for changes in tax laws to make it easier and more beneficial for individuals, businesses, and organizations to donate funds to community foundations.


Arguing that regional associations of grantmakers (RAGs) are increasingly able to build and provide support mechanisms that will allow foundations to thrive, Mr. Opati urges RAGs to work to develop their capacities in the following areas:

  • Information exchange and networking;
  • Research, outreach to government, and media relations on behalf of their membership organizations;
  • Provision of technical assistance to members;
  • Access to group benefits from service providers, such as insurance, thereby helping to leverage the often limited resources associated with smaller organizations; and
  • Promotion of ethical grantmaking, public accountability, and self-regulation in accordance with local legal requirements.


In his paper, Mr. Opati draws on a variety of examples to illustrate the role regional associations of grantmakers can play in promoting institutional philanthropy, creating intangible value by promoting partnerships, improving performance, and advancing the state of knowledge in the grantmaking field.  In conclusion, Mr. Opati suggests that in building upon some of these recommendations, the East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) can strengthen existing institutions, foster indigenous philanthropy, and also promote the institutionalization of philanthropy within the region.



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