Filling the GAPs

Philanthropy Support in the Arab Region


The Second Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize


The Second Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize will be awarded to ‘an individual who has demonstrated remarkable leadership, creativity and results in developing philanthropy for progressive social change in an emerging market country or countries’.

The prize of £5,000 will be for the individual winner to use at their discretion. In addition, the finalists will all be invited to attend the WINGS Forum, to be held in Istanbul 27-29 March 2014, and the winner will be announced there.

Winners will also be featured in a special supplement to be published with the March issue of Alliance magazine. More information about the prize and nomination forms can be found on the Alliance website at


Model Arab Foundations Law: Creating an Enabling Environment for Philanthropy - May 2013

The Model Arab Foundations Law is based on the output of a consultative meeting, held in Cairo in November 2012 and the output of the various task forces formed by the participants in the consultative meeting. The full reports of the task forces as well as the meeting of the Consultative form the main reference of the various discussions that resulted with this Model Foundations Law. This effort was organized by the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF) in collaboration with SAANED for Philanthropy Advisory and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). For details please click on language for each of the reports as per list below:

  1. Model Foundations Law (English and Arabic)
  2. Task Forces Report (English and Arabic)
  3. Proceeding of meeting held in November 2012 (English and Arabic)

AFF, SAANED and ICNL Held Consultative meeting on Foundations Law in the Arab Region

The Arab Foundations Forum (AFF) in collaboration with SAANED for Philanthropy Advisory and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) planned a one day consultative meeting to specifically discuss whether foundations (major component of philanthropic institutions) need a special law to define its role in society and relationship to government or stay included within the existing law for civil society organizations in general. The Meeting was held at the Marriott Hotel- Zamalek in Cairo, Egypt and was attended by 23 representatives from the foundations sector from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen.

There was an agreement among participants that a foundation law is indeed needed. An overarching foundation law will be developed in the next four months with participants volunteering to work on its different components with the understanding that each country will need to customize to suits its needs and in harmony with the laws in place. The various components agreed upon were:

  • Legal Framework: Setting up foundations, governance, transparency and accountability
  • Financial Framework: Incentives for giving, relationship with the private sector, transparency and accountability
  • Social Benefit Framework: Programs, meaning of social benefit, transparency and accountability
  • Relationship with Government: Enhancing the culture of cooperation, collaboration and accountability (not only government holding civil society organizations (CSOs) accountable but CSOs holding government accountable

For full report of the consultative meeting please click on relevant language Arabic or English


Global Perspectives Arab Region

Atallah Kuttab, Chairman of SAANED, moderated a session on Global Perspectives on Fund Raising from the Arab Region at the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) held in the Netherlands 17-19 October 2012. Over the last two decades, the Arab region has seen a steady increase in the number of philanthropic organizations and initiatives.

Together with this growth, there have been calls for philanthropy organizations especially foundations to focus on impact to ensure a positive and sustainable effect on the lives of people receiving support. Despite their significant resources, foundations routinely have needs that exceed their capacity given their ambitious and important agendas. Therefore, there is pressure on these foundations to fundraise and leverage more resources for their programs and initiatives.

The session presented a variety of experiences from the Arab region covering diversity at various levels: geographic (Gulf region, eastern Mediterranean, north Africa), types of foundations (community foundation, membership foundation, family foundation, corporate foundation), types of fundraising (social networking, traditional approaches like sponsorship of children or families, attracting high net worth individuals, etc.).

The panel included in person Rana Chakaki (UAE and Palestine), Essa Ali Mannai (Qatar), and  Rami Shishan (Jordan)  and within video clips Elie AbuAoun (Lebanon), Marwa Al-Daly (Egypt) and Clare Woodcraft (UAE).

For details of the session please click on items for further details: