Filling the GAPs

Philanthropy Support in the Arab Region

SAANED Publications

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)


Augustin, Ebba, 2012, Demographic Transition and Gender Systems: The case of Jordan and Yemen, in: Population Dynamics in Muslim Countries: Assembling the jigsaw, Hans Groth and Alfonso Sousa-Poza (ed), Springer, 2012
Augustin, Ebba, 2011, Strengthening women’s rights in post-revolution Egypt, Alliance Magazine. Vol. 16, Number 4, December 2011. 
During the Egyptian revolution women were organisers, leaders: in the forefront of demonstrations, they manned security posts, blogged, tweeted, ‘you-tubed’, got injured and dies- just like their sisters in Tunisia, Yemen and Libya. The article looks at the development prospects of women’s rights in post-revolutionary Egypt. 
Augustin, Ebba, 2009, Civil Society networks – types and success factors. Presented at the conference “Collective work and women’s rights”, Cairo 7-9 December, 2009. 
This paper summarizes the common wisdom reflected in the available literature on networks and reflects on Ebba Augustin’s own experience in networking, primarily in the Middle East. The paper provides a definition of “networks, covers the purpose of networks for Civil Society action, looks at key elements of successful networks, different types of network structures, stages of network development and provides lessons learnt for successful networking.
Augustin, Ebba, 22 September 2011, Reclaiming Public space, PADU Blog
The blog entry analyses the impact of the revolution in Egypt on the concept and ownership of public space.
Kuttab, Atallah and Dina Sherif, 2010, Establishing Infrastructure to Support Strategic Philanthropy in the Arab Region: The Case of the Arab Foundations Forum and the John D. GerhartCenter for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement. Article in Global Philanthropy, edited by MacDonald, N. and De Borms, Luc Tayart. Pp. 157-170. MF Publishing, 2010. 
Philanthropy in the Arab region dates back centuries with a culture of giving deeply rooted in Arab cultures and within the three monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – that exist in the region. Specifically for Arab Muslims (who constitute the majority of the Arab region), zakat, sadaqa,and the establishment of awqaf(waqf) has historically been a means to maintain social justice and equity through both an obligatory and nonobligatory transfer of wealth from those who are privileged to those who are less privileged. Historically, this giving was both strategic and sustainable with the waqf being the main provider of essential social services such as health and education, to those who were less privileged. Modern history has witnessed the overall demise of the waqf system, largely for political reasons, and as a result the culture of giving in the Arab region over the past several decades can be largely described as charitable in nature with individual giving as opposed to institutional giving being at the forefront.  Further to this, over the past several decades, again for political reasons, the active display of citizenship and civic duty have also been on the decline in the Arab region.
Kuttab, Atallah, 2011, Which way now for Arab philanthropy?  Alliance Magazine. Vol. 16, Number 4, December 2011. 
The Arab Spring will no doubt influence all aspects of life in the Arab region, including philanthropy. Historically, endowments for much-needed social services like education and health services provided a sustainable approach for giving, most religiously-based. However, more recently giving has been mainly charity-oriented, mostly state-sponsored, ill-studied and patronizing. Recent moves to build the infrastructure of philanthropy in the region have envisaged gradual progress, but this year’s events have shown that this is not enough. In today’s climate, people are demanding justice and “ownership of the agenda”. This will require a new level of transparency in donor-grantee relations, and western foundations will require local guidance to ensure that what they are offering fits local needs rather than the donor’s agenda. 
Kuttab, Atallah, 2011, The Arab Spring is pushing foundations to redefine their roles and seek more relevance. Effect Magazine, European Foundation Center, Volume 5 issue 2, autumn 2011, pp22. Brussels. 
The wave of protests across the Arab region triggered by events in Tunisia last January has become a “Tsunami”, moving from one country to another. Having denied them for many years, some governments are allowing reforms to establish the basic rights of citizens, to ensure their fair and equal treatment and to establish greater opportunity. Others are still fighting to cling to the old ways. Young people aged 15 to 24 years old represent more than a third of the total citizens of the Arab region, and they are the ones who continue to be at the eye of this Tsunami. 
Kuttab, Atallah and Paula Johnson, 2011, Better Knowledge, Better Giving: The need for Philanthropic Data in the Arab Region. Takaful 2011, the first Annual Conference on Arab Philanthropy and Civic Engagement. Pp. 144-252. Gerhart Center, The American University of Cairo. April 2011. Amman, Jordan. 
Data concerning philanthropic sector activities in the Arab Region is limited. The lack of data inhibits the growth and effectiveness of the philanthropic sector within countries and across the region. Limited transparency limits trust. Open information could demonstrate the value of philanthropy, encourage a more effective policy environment, help identify effective philanthropic strategies and collaborative opportunities, and ultimately be a harbinger to a more just, productive, and peaceful society. 
SAANED publication
Guide to analyzing Philanthropy Organizations, December 2011
This guide is first tool in a toolkit to analyze Philanthropic organizations.  It is the result of a consultative meeting with foundations, grand-makers and corporate philanthropy organizations of the Arab World that was held in December 2011 in Amman.