A new paradigm in global philanthropy

The journey to start EAF began with a vision—improve the flow of philanthropy to East Africa. A year into the vision and with only six months of operations, we are beginning to see that vision truly come to life. In this month’s update, we are delighted to share the news of our first corporate sponsorship as well as our summer plans to host a capacity building workshop for our Tanzanian partners.

I think many wonder- “why is this vision important,” especially those not familiar with traditional aid and the work of global nonprofits. If you will bear with me, I would like to explain in brief why I think it is…

Our connections with local experts in Tanzania and Uganda have taught us that the traditional top-down approach to development funding is not working. Only 2% of international aid goes to local partners, meaning the majority of support is funneled through foreign organizations to implement outside approaches. In a western culture that has wholeheartedly accepted a local movement, from food to clothing to craft beer, it is time this mentality be used to improve our intentions and actions when we support organizations globally…

At EAF we swap the traditional aid paradigm for something that resembles true connection and local support. We do this by sharing the power of local partnership with global philanthropists; so far, we have been amazed at the result. Our facilitated connection between Arrow Electronics, a $30 billion global tech company, and Apps & Girls, a locally organized nonprofit in Tanzania is a real example of this new aid paradigm in practice. By simply sharing the story of Apps & Girls with a partner who has the right capacity to help, EAF has created a bridge to link resources with direct beneficiaries and via local experts. This proves that we can take the “foreign” out of this paradigm and truly support local initiatives.

We acknowledge that we are not the only ones envisioning and pursuing a better system; our friends at the African Entrepreneur Collective have made amazing progress to invest in East African entrepreneurs and there is even a 2019 Obama Fellow, Debo Baranshamaje, bringing awareness to this issue through his Social Impact Incubator at the Segal Foundation. Change is happening and EAF strives to be a leader.