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Philanthropy in Uganda is on the rise!
by Crescenda Babiera

Philanthropy in Uganda has been on the rise in recent years, with a growing number of local foundations and organizations being established to support the development of the country. These foundations and organizations are supported by both international and local donors, including individuals and corporations, who are looking to make a difference in their communities. The legal framework governing nonprofit organizations in Uganda is also encouraging the growth of philanthropy, as the rules and regulations allow for more flexibility and freedom of action. The Uganda National NGO Forum, the Tanzania Philanthropy Forum, and the Kenya Philanthropy Forum are all examples of organizations that are promoting philanthropy in Uganda.

The East Africa Philanthropy Network (EAPN) is the main coordinating platform for organizations engaged in philanthropy across East Africa. The EAPN in partnership with the Independent Development Fund (IDF), DENIVA and GoBig Hub facilitated the establishment of the Uganda National Philanthropy Forum whose objectives are to share best practices, enhance the operating environment for philanthropy in Uganda, and also to generate knowledge on philanthropy practices in Uganda.

There are several different types of philanthropy that are being practiced in Uganda, including direct giving, grant-making, and social investment. Direct giving is where donors provide funds directly to the organizations they wish to support, while grant-making allows donors to provide funds to organizations through a competitive process. Social investment is a form of philanthropy where donors provide funds for projects and initiatives that have a social purpose and will benefit the community.

Ugandan grantees also shared testimonies of their lived experiences during COVID-19 for the Disability Rights Monitor, a short-term human rights monitoring group focused on the consequences of the pandemic on persons with disabilities globally. This type of philanthropy is particularly important, as it allows for the voices of marginalized persons to be heard and their needs to be addressed.

The growth of philanthropy in Uganda has been encouraging, and more needs to be done to ensure that it continues to be a sustainable and effective form of development. This includes creating more opportunities for local foundations and organizations to access funds, as well as increasing awareness and support for philanthropy in Uganda. Additionally, there should be more focus on the intersectional aspects of philanthropy, such as the importance of including persons with disabilities and marginalized groups in the decision-making and implementation process. With the right support and commitment, philanthropy can be a powerful tool for creating positive change in Uganda.

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