The Role of Philanthropy in Community Development a Case Study of the Kenya Community Development Foundation
Kenya is one of Africa’s leading nations in terms of economic and social development. The country is rich in cultural diversity and renowned natural attractions. Kenya is home to more than 50 ethnic groups, each of which retains a strong sense of cultural identity and Kenya has worked hard to reconcile diverse perspectives on development as it determines how best to allocate limited resources. The nation has made many advances in educational training, infrastructure, and technical development. In addition, a vibrant private sector and successful coalition building have helped to build Kenya’s economy. Despite these advances, access to vital social services remains a challenge for Kenya’s predominantly rural population. In this study, Philanthropy has been suggested as a concept that could address community development in a sustainable manner. The purpose of this research was to establish the role philanthropy has played in community development in Kenya. This study facilitates an analysis of the impact of philanthropy in community development in Kenya by sharing the extent, importance and effectiveness of philanthropic giving. The key methodology of this research was the case study approach. The case studied was a community development foundation engaged in various community development projects, the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF), Kenya's first community foundation. KCDF works with diverse communities to mobilise resources and set up permanent assets in form of endowments and make grants to partner organisations in key thematic areas of programme development and grant making. It was found that philanthropy can make a positive contribution to community development in terms of impact and sustainability. As a community foundation, KCDF is a philanthropic vehicle for all communities in Kenya, giving them an opportunity to make a difference in their own lives. KCDF’s work puts the organisation in a unique position of linking poor rural and urban communities, community based organisations, non-govemmental organisations, local and international donors and the private sector who contribute to the welfare of needy Kenyans. Different challenges affect impact of KCDF work. These includes legal and policy environment for philanthropy in Kenya which is not conducive at the moment and promoting philanthropy in Kenya while encouraging poor communities to build endowments.
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