In Conversation with our Donor – Carnegie Corporation of New York

in conversation with ccny

The work of CAPSI is enabled through the funding from donors who have aligned themselves with our vision through their financial support. One of our long-standing donors is the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). Their relationship with us began when the Centre was founded in 2018 through a grant that enabled us to accommodate and support emerging researchers and academics in African Philanthropy, at both Masters and Doctoral levels. We spoke with Andrea Johnson, Programme Officer for the Higher Education and Research in Africa (HERA) program, and Alloya Elwadie, Programme Analyst for HERA. They shared how the work of CAPSI has been supported by CCNY, while unpacking the role of donor funding in the modern context.

One of CAPSI’s notable achievements that Andrea highlighted was our focus on ‘Africanising’ the Centre. This plays an important role in shifting the narrative around the history of philanthropy and the position of Africa in this history. Our efforts through the building of the skills capability and knowledge exposure of African researchers on philanthropy, thanks in great part to the funding from CCNY, has seen a growing number of postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows enter our doors.

“By funding CAPSI, we are funding work in line with our current priorities, which include African higher education,” remarked Andrea, to which Alloya expanded by sharing that “one of CCNY’s objectives is to offer support to programmes and initiatives which will develop and retain the next generation of African academics.” When reflecting on the outcomes that CAPSI has achieved since its launch, Andrea and Alloya remarked that they were greatly impressed with the rapid pace and attention to quality that CAPSI has presented.

CAPSI has shown progressive initiative by using parts of the funding given by CCNY to respond to the needs of research students through tactical offerings such as academic writing retreats and virtual publishing workshops. These were well received by what will soon be the next generation of academics, who will go on to produce a rich body of knowledge that will be contextual which we aim to make available in other languages for Africans across many corners of the continent.

One of the standout practices which we have displayed as part of our way of working is responsiveness to opportunities such as fellowships and speaking engagement, that may arise, as well as the ability to connect students and staff to these opportunities. While perceived as a soft skill, responsiveness to opportunities is a critical skill in the modern world of work, and is evidence that we have set ourselves up to remain engaged with donors and all other stakeholders. Andrea remarked that this has shown that CAPSI is fully engaged with the opportunities that CCNY as a donor has offered, in addition to the existing funding.

Both Andrea and Alloya noted that CAPSI’s position as a Centre, located within Wits University, is a powerful measure of confidence in the sustainability of the institution. To strengthen this, Andrea recommended that CAPSI continue to build relationships with internal and external stakeholders, thereby ensuring the true fulfillment of the vision the Centre has set. Andrea remarked, “Academic careers continue for many years; therefore it is important that the work which CAPSI has begun can continue in order to provide an independent think tank or platform where the next generation of African researchers can set the agenda and form part of the global conversation around philanthropy and social investment.”

Looking ahead, the partnership between CCNY and CAPSI will no doubt see more researchers emerging from within the continent. What is most encouraging for CCNY, a major lesson for any donor-funded institution, is that CAPSI has invested significant effort in ensuring that the day-to-day operations are sustainable and enable the growth of the institution, even through what is truly an unprecedented time for all, socially and economically.

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The Carnegie corporation of new york

Established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations and promotes the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

Their work focuses on international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

The corporation supports CAPSI with research and development of a new cohort of scholars.

The Charles mott foundation

An automotive pioneer, philanthropist, and leader in the community, Charles Stewart Mott cared about innovation, fairness, and communities.

By working toward a world where each individual’s quality of life is connected to the well-being of the community, both locally and globally, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation continues this legacy.

A founding funder of the Centre, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supported the establishment of the Chair and continues to support our programmes.

The Ford Foundation

As an investor in transformative ideas, individuals and institutions, the Ford Foundations is one of the founding funders of CAPSI.

They have supported the planning and establishment of the centre and continue to support our programmes and operations.

Their invaluable work includes providing grants, investing in individuals through fellowships, and challenging inequalities through civic engagement, creativity, free expression and more.

The southern africa trust

Established in 2005 to respond to high levels of poverty and inequality, the Southern Africa Trust aims to increase the voices and agency of the poor.

This is in the hopes that it enables them to reach the necessary audiences and influence regional public policies as unrepresented stakeholders.

They are a founding partner of CAPSI and acted as a fiscal sponsor for Mott and Ford grants in the establishment of the Chair.

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Susan Maposa

With 22 years of professional experience in Africa and Asia, Susan Maposa has developed a wide range of skills and expertise in the fields of philanthropy and social development.

This has established her as a leader in her work with multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and universities as well as consultancy firms. Her experience includes programme conceptualisation, design, management, implementation, evaluation and documentation.

She describes herself as a “pracademic”, and is passionate about working across the field of theory and development practice building one into the other. Read Susan’s complete bio and an excerpt from her research project.

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma is a PhD candidate and a Research Assistant at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg.

Mr. Nduga has worked as a Research Associate with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, a Central Bank of Kenya Research Institute mainly concerned with the Monetary Policy, Exchange Rates Movements, and Balance of Payments. He has also consulted and conducted training on Financial Markets and Investments for Organizations such as Knight Frank Commercial and Residential Properties in Kenya. He was part of the broad team that conducted research and wrote the Integrated Economic and Development Plan (Document) for Turkana County, a regional government authority in Kenya.

For the better part of 2017, Mr. Nduga consulted in the Finance and Accounts Department for the Italian Chamber of Trade and Industry, Johannesburg. Currently, alongside the PhD dissertation, Mr. Nduga assists in Teaching and Facilitation of the Financial Investments Decisions for the MBA students, Finance and Accounting, Financial Risk Management, Research on the Connection Between Finance and Corporate Philanthropy, and advising on research and classwork for MBA and Master students at the Wits Business.

He has a passion for research and consultancy in the areas of Financial Markets, Financial Risk Modelling, Investments and International Trade.

Keratiloe Mogotsi

Pan Africanist, pracademic, researcher, lean six sigma coach, project management professional and African Philanthropy Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand — Keratiloe Mogotsi does it all.

She is currently a lecturer here at the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment at the Wits Business School. Her research areas include disaster philanthropy in Africa, venture philanthropy, African philanthropy and philanthro-capitalism in Africa.

As someone who is passionate about the continent and its people, she uses her skills as an educator and coach to excel in everything that she does.

Alan Fowler

As a co-founder and long-time associate of INTRAC, Alan Fowler’s professional life has seen many changes. From being an Organisational Development Advisor, Foundation Programme Officer and Researcher, he is now an academic as he serves as an honorary professor and Chair in African Philanthropy, a role the first of its kind, at the Wits Business School. 

A career spanning some forty years devoted to civic agencies and NGOs has produced eleven books and dozens of papers about their role in international development, as well as numerous capacity building materials, conference presentations, lectures, and seminars. Combining theory and practice as a ‘pracademic’ continues as the thread in his contribution to citizen-driven social justice.

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Dr Bheki Moyo is a writer, author, researcher and thought-leader with keen interest in questions of African resources, democracy and governance.

In addition to championing the African discourse on philanthropy, he has contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and participated in most African processes of development and governance.

Over the course of his career, he has written extensively about African philanthropy, civil society, and governance. Additionally, he has extensive experience in leadership, management, and strategic roles.

Xolani Dlamini

As an experienced Digital Publisher specialising in academic/scholarly publishing, particularly Open Access journals, Xolani Dlamini has been involved in managing and publishing various academic journals in different fields of study.

Thandi Makhubele

Thandi Makhubele, the current Programme Manager (Acting) at CAPSI, joined us from the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) where she worked for twelve years in various departments, including TV News and Current Affairs and Supply Chain and Legal services.

She holds an Honours Degree in International Relations and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Security at the Wits School of Governance with a focus on Philanthropy and Women’s development.

In addition to volunteering with Hand of Compassion, providing help to young pregnant women and displaced women, she hopes to bring her passion for human development, security, and creativity to the Centre.