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Reflecting on 2022: From the Desk of the Director

By Prof Bhekinkosi Moyo


The year has come to an end, and we are gearing up for 2023 with some useful insights, experiences, and connections that we made in 2022. We considered 2022 to be our ‘Year of Publications’. In this regard, we published thirty-five (35) products – one research article, 16 research reports, 16 journal articles (since the launch of the journal), two conference proceedings and opinion pieces, especially in the Alliance Magazine. Given our need to promote more research and knowledge on African philanthropy and social investment, we also held several workshops on research, publishing, and writing. These included two doctoral workshops, two publishing workshops, an academic conference and several webinars to validate and disseminate research findings.


We also supported our associate researchers and staff members to present their research findings at different international platforms. For example, CAPSI was well represented at the 15th International Society for Third Sector Research Conference in Montreal, Canada in July 2022. Taking CAPSI research products to an international stage is very important in our quest to develop a new narrative on African philanthropy. At the ISTR Conference, CAPSI’s two post-doctoral fellows presented a paper on ‘NGOs and Social Enterprises as vehicles for resilient urban communities in African cities’. Three CAPSI staff members presented papers on their ongoing research projects, while two research associates shared their findings, and a doctoral student presented his interim thesis results. CAPSI staff members also presented in other important conferences that included the Africa Philanthropy Forum in Kigali, the Africa Philanthropy Network in Kampala, the Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa in Cape Town, Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) in Barcelona, Association for Research on Non-profit Organisations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) in North Carolina, the Association for Research on Civil Society (AROCSA) in Dakar, the African Studies Association in Philadelphia and the 26th International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) in Abu Dhabi.


Related to knowledge production, CAPSI continued to work with its associate researchers across Africa to conduct research on key projects that include understanding High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs); Barriers to Civil Society in Africa; COVID-19 and its Impact on Philanthropy; Social Investment; and various expressions of African Philanthropy. Most of the associates’ research findings were published in-house and in several other academic journals. We are excited that our research on COVID-19 and its impact on philanthropy, social investment and civil society in Africa, will be published in a book format by Edward Elgar Publishing in March 2023. Be on the lookout for our upcoming book titled ‘African Philanthropy: Philanthropic Responses to Covid-19 and its Development Goals in Africa’. Indeed, 2022 was a year of publication for CAPSI. We thank our associate researchers, staff and students who were involved in the different research projects. Equally the research would not have happened without the support of our donors. I want to thank our donors for supporting our programmes.


As part of documenting organisational experiences and developing material for teaching, we also wrote case studies. We have so far written more than ten case studies and three of these are being finalised. The cases include the Sawiris Foundation in Egypt; the Southern Africa Trust in South Africa; the West Africa Civil Society Institute in Ghana, the Vodacom Foundation in South Africa, and the Kenya Community Foundation in Kenya, to highlight a few. Some of these case studies have been turned into teaching notes and published for citing by researchers and students alike. This is an exciting undertaking for us not only because we acquire material for teaching in our academic programmes, but also because our subjects of study want to use the case studies for their own reflections and constituencies.


Nothing is as fulfilling as seeing your objectives coming to fruition. One of CAPSI’s main objectives is to create a cohort of new researchers and academics in African Philanthropy.  In the last five years of CAPSI’s existence as an institution, five doctoral students have graduated and all five are still associated with CAPSI, in the positions of associate researcher, lecturer, or post-doctoral fellowship. Two additional doctoral students submitted their theses in 2022. There are 18 active doctoral students who are associated with CAPSI – 16 of these are registered at Wits University and the other two are studying at the University of South Africa and the University of North West. Their research is made possible by several donors who believed in the dream of developing new expertise and competencies on African philanthropy. We look forward to admitting and graduating more doctoral students in the field of African philanthropy. Our hope is to create a movement and have African philanthropy taught and researched throughout Africa. We therefore take this opportunity to invite interested students to contact us, and we can assist in brainstorming researchable topics.


Our other academic programmes have also taken off. The Master of Management in African Philanthropy launched well in 2022 and the first cohort is currently underway. In 2023, we will admit our second cohort. In collaboration with Inyathelo, we also began a Post Graduate Diploma in African Philanthropy and Resource Mobilisation in 2021. The first cohort completed in July 2022 and graduated this year. Our academic offerings are the only ones on the continent, and we are excited to have been the first to develop and offer these. Being the first though, also means hard work. In this regard, we are working actively to promote the programmes, solicit interest and recruit more students.  We are also eager to collaborate with other universities across the continent. We have begun conversations with several universities with the view to either having joint certification or helping them develop their own programmes.


In addition to the postgraduate diploma and the MM in African Philanthropy by Coursework, CAPSI also works with students who want to study for the Master’s degree by Research. At the moment, two have graduated with a master’s degree in the area of philanthropy and two are currently registered by research.

Some of you reading this might have heard me canvasing ideas and resources for setting up a philanthropy radio station. The dream is still on, but we could not wait till we had everything in place. We decided to establish a podcast on philanthropy and as you read this, we have recorded 19 episodes and published 13 of these on the ‘Conversations on African Philanthropy’ podcast. This is an exciting project for us and in the next year we will increase the frequency and numbers per month. Our hope is to document as many different voices as possible from across Africa and in the diaspora. This is not an isolated initiative for us, it is very much embedded in our quest to promote African philanthropy and celebrate its uniqueness. It complements our research, teaching and our various platforms that we constructed to showcase different forms of giving, such as the Kisima African Giving Initiative, our digital platforms and the soon-to-be-launched Knowledge Hub.


For the first time, we conducted an independent assessment of our performance so far. The evaluation revealed a lot of successes and several challenges. One of these challenges is related to how CAPSI is fully embedded in the Business School. We are working on this with the view to introducing our modules not only as standalone, but also as part of the programmes across the school. The second challenge is that of our revenue model. CAPSI has not mobilised enough resources from African sources, and this is a challenge we will continue to face for a few years before we can become fully sustainable. Our sustainability is a long-term process, as it involves training our own experts, producing knowledge and becoming a platform for interpreting the philanthropic landscape, generating our own revenue through short and long courses, building a durable organisation and taking CAPSI and its initiatives to different African communities. We have to be fit for purpose. We have to report and account adequately and consistently. We have to remain relevant, timely and timeless. We recently developed a Smartboard internally to manage our operations and this will in many ways help us become efficient, effective and hopefully impactful.


We would not have done all the above without the support of our development partners. I want to take this opportunity to thank TrustAfrica, Southern Africa Trust, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Open Society Foundation (Africa offices, in particular OSISA), Reckitt, Gilead Sciences, Africa Philanthropy Forum, Africa Philanthropy Network, East Africa Philanthropy Network and WINGS. I also want to thank our strategic partners: Strathmore University, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at the University of Cambridge, Lilly School of Philanthropy, ISTR, ARNOVA, AROCSA, IPASA, Gerhart Centre at the American University in Cairo, Centre for Philanthropy and Civil Society at CUNY, University of Muenster, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Bauhaus University in Weimar, City Parks (City of Johannesburg) and Higherlife Foundation.


As we look towards 2023, we can’t but wait to be in your area with more of our programmes.


I wish you a blessed, safe and enjoyable Christmas season and a fruitful 2023.


Bhekinkosi Moyo is the Director of CAPSI. He has championed the African discourse on philanthropy, contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and has taken part in most of the continental processes of development and governance. Equally, he has gained considerable experience in management, leadership and strategic roles over a significant period.

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mott foundation

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.

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