With solidarity on the rise, individual donations to Brazilian NGOs total BRL 12.8 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2022

Promoted by IDIS –Institute for the Development of Social Investment, the Brazil Giving Research is the broadest study on individual donation in the country. In its third edition, it features a special chapter on the Generation Z

Donating is becoming increasingly popular in Brazil. In 2022, 84% of Brazilians over the age of 18 and with a family income above one minimum wage (approximately $270), made at least one type of donation, be it money, goods, or time, in the form of volunteering. Two years earlier, the average was 66%. Donating directly to NGOs and socio-environmental projects was practiced by 36% of respondents, remaining stable despite the socio-economic crisis faced by the country. These findings are part of the third edition of the Brazil Giving Research, an initiative of IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment and carried out by the Ipsos research institute.

The Research also explores the volume of resources. The median of donations reached BRL 300. It was BRL 240 in 2015 and BRL 200 in 2020. The growth was driven by higher donations over the last year. For comparison, in 2021, according to the Brazilian Benchmarking of Corporate Social Investment (BISC), the amount allocated to organizations and causes of public interest by the 324 participating companies and 17 institutes was BRL 4.1 billion ($833 billion).“Brazil is a country with many inequalities and the practice of donation is a fundamental aspect of our society. In the Brazil Giving Research, we set out to understand who the donors are, what are their motivations, what is their perception of NGOs, and what are the barriers presented by non-donors. This year, we also looked at Generation Z, the donors of the future. This is important data that helps us to strengthen the giving culture,” says Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS.


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Among the respondents, 48% said they would make some kind of monetary donation in 2022. The figure is 7 points higher than that found in 2020 and equivalent to the 2015 level (52%). Part of these funds went to NGOs, socio-environmental projects, or social campaigns, with 36% of the population making what we call institutional donations. Interestingly, however, there was a significant increase in the percentage of people who reported donating alms, rising from 6% in 2020 to 16% in 2022. This growth is in line with the increase (from 1% in 2020 to 10%) in institutional donations to organizations and projects that serve homeless people, showing the heightened sensitivity to the cause.

The Research’s figures are also a social portrait of Brazil, whose homeless population exceeded 281,000 in 2022. This means an increase of 38% over the previous three years and most of this is due to the impoverishment of the population, a consequence of the economic crisis that is plaguing the country.



In 2020, with NGOs playing a leading role during the pandemic, there was a significant improvement in public opinion about civil society organizations. Two years later, the data shows a considerable downturn, but even more positive than the picture in 2015.

The biggest setbacks appear in questions relating to trust in third-sector organizations. For the statement “NGOs make it clear what they do with the resources they invest”, there was a 14-percentage point drop in agreement (from 45% to 31%); and for “Most NGOs are trustworthy”, there was a 10 percent point drop (from 41% to 31%).

“The findings begin to make it clearer which effects of the pandemic are short-lived, and which are here to stay. The image of the work carried out by the Third Sector is still quite volatile and prone to following the social context. It’s important that the sectors collaborate to strengthen the perception and engagement of society in general,” says Luisa Lima, Communications and Knowledge Manager at IDIS.

On the other hand, Generation Z, youth aged between 18 and 27 years old, are much more optimistic and positive about NGOs in all respects. The difference with the general population is especially large when it comes to the statement that ‘NGOs bring benefits to those who really need them’ (74% among Generation Z against 58% of the general population). In statements such as ‘NGOs make it clear what they do with the resources’ and ‘Most NGOs are trustworthy’, Generation Z’s agreement is around 39%, which, even though it is higher than in the general population, is still a point of attention.



This edition includes a question about the main drivers of donation practices. We asked the institutional donors to choose the three most important to them from a list of possibilities. The responses showed that social interaction in religious settings and communities has the greatest power to influence a donor, followed by family, neighbors, and friends. Meanwhile, social media and digital influencers came fourth with 17%. Among Generation Z, the value of the reach of digital media and influencers grows to 25% of donors.

When asked which social media influences them to donate, both among institutional donors from the general population and from Generation Z, the most common mention was Instagram (85% and 89% respectively), followed by Facebook (33% and 37% respectively),. After the top two, we have the most significant changes: while the general population considers YouTube and WhatsApp (both with 13%) to be among their other biggest influences, Generation Z, third and fourth place goes to TikTok and YouTube. In this group, WhatsApp appears with only 4% of responses, behind Twitter. In both cases, LinkedIn was the least mentioned network.



We sought to understand how the perception of the reputation of brands and companies influences consumer decisions. The result shows that people punish companies and brands that behave inappropriately (77%) much more than they reward those that adopt good social investment practices (44%). This impact is even greater among institutional donors – 85% and 49% respectively.



As with the general population, the data on Generation Z shows that they are also donating more. Meanwhile, in 2020, 63% of them said they had made some kind of donation, and in 2022 the figure reached 84%, matching the national average. The highlights of donations in this section are mainly donors of goods (76%) and voluntary work (30%). When it comes to donating money to NGOs and socio-environmental projects, young people are 9 points below the general average, at 27% compared to 36% – a natural phenomenon, since the availability of money at these ages is sometimes lower than when compared to older people. On the other hand, they also tend to have a more positive view of donations and NGOs.

The Research also shows that young people who donate also tend to promote or contribute in some way to fundraising or mobilization campaigns to help other people. This was confirmed by 7 out of 10 young donors in 2022, and 20% of them say they have done it more than once.

When it comes to causes, actions related to children, health, and the fight against hunger are the most popular among Brazilians, and this is also true among young people. However, the ranking still shows a difference between Generation Z donors and the general population. Young people are more sensitive to homeless people, showing a willingness to take on more visible issues with more immediate impacts. The animal cause also has more supporters among Generation Z than in the population as a whole.



In general, there is an optimistic outlook regarding the growth in donation practices. Among institutional donors, 45% say they will donate more the following year. In the previous edition, this percentage was 36%. The same movement appears among Generation Z donors: 52% say they are willing to donate more. It is also positive that 93% of non-donors said they could start donating, a big change from 2020 when only 57% were willing to do so. The trigger for the change in attitude, however, was mixed. 28% said they would donate if they had more money, 13% said they would like to know how the money is being used and 12% wanted to meet an NGO they trust.



The 2022 Brazil Giving Research was carried out between May 3 and June 13, 2023, using a quantitative approach, with 1,508 telephone interviews. The sample is representative of the national scenario and the margin of error is 2.5 percentage points up or down.

Participants’ profile

– Men and women

– Class: ABC

– Age: over 18 years old

– Family income greater than 1 minimum wage



The 2022 Brazil Giving Research is an initiative of IDIS Institute for the Development of Social Investment and CAF – Charities Aid Foundation. Ipsos was responsible for carrying out the research and Instituto Beja, Movimento Bem Maior, Raízen, Instituto ACP, Instituto Galo da Manhã, Instituto MOL, Doare, and Instituto Phi, were the financial supporters. Philanthropists Luis Stuhlberger and Teresa Bracher also contributed.


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Brazilian Philanthropy Forum: the importance of boldness for the evolution of philanthropy

On September 14th, the 12th edition of the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum took place in São Paulo. Organized by IDIS – the Institute for the Development of Social Investment, the event aims to accelerate solutions through connections and promote philanthropy in the country.

With the theme of BOLDNESS, the sessions covered topics such as ESG, territorial transformation, impact assessment, endowment funds, and much more. Throughout the day, more than 40 speakers from Brazil and abroad participated. There were 265 guests in attendance, and the live broadcast received over 1,800 views.

There were 13 sessions in 10 hours of programming, featuring 43 speakers. Notable names included Armínio Fraga (Philanthropist and former President of the Central Bank), Braulina Baniwa (Director of the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestry), Eduardo Saron (President of the Itaú Foundation), Gelson Henrique (Executive Coordinator of the PIPA Initiative), Geyze Diniz (Co-founder of the Pact Against Hunger), Gilson Rodrigues (President of G10 Favelas), Jean Jereissati (CEO of AMBEV), Luciana Temer (CEO of the Liberta Institute), Priscila Cruz (Executive President of Todos pela Educação), Roberto Sallouti (CEO and board member of BTG Pactual), Rodrigo Mendes (Founder of the Rodrigo Mendes Institute), as well as international guests such as Guerda Nicolas (Co-founder of Ayiti Community Trust) and Nivedita Narain (CEO of CAF India).

“When we began planning this gathering, we had doubts if we would have enough cases of boldness. As we designed the agenda, we discovered surprising stories, and seeing them together was very powerful,” commented Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS, at the event’s conclusion.

Watch the full event recording here:


The event was organized by IDIS – Institute for Social Development, in partnership with the Global Philanthropy Forum and the Charities Aid Foundation, with silver support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and bronze support from Ambev, B3 Social, BNP Paribas Asset Management, BTG Pactual, Itaú Foundation, José Luiz Egydio Setúbal Foundation, Sicoob Institute, Movimento Bem Maior, RaiaDrogasil S.A and Vale.

This year, the forum had again Alliance Magazine as a media partner. Based in England, the world’s largest philanthropy magazine covered the event and livestreamed it in English on its YouTube channel.


The Brazilian Philanthropy Forum provides a space for the philanthropic community to gather, exchange experiences, and learn from their peers, strengthening strategic philanthropy for the development of Brazilian society. The event has already brought together over 1,500 participants, including philanthropists, leaders, and national and international experts. Recordings of all editions are available on our YouTube channel. Check it out!

Global crises and the power of youth: highlights from the Philea Forum 2023

The Philea Forum 2023, one of the most important events in the European philanthropic ecosystem, took place between May 22nd and 25th in the city of Šibenik, Croatia. IDIS was present, represented by Guilherme Sylos, Director of Prospecting and Partnerships.

Under the theme “A new compass for Europe: Forged in crisis, Forward in hope”, the lectures addressed the various crises that have accumulated in recent years, both in Europe and worldwide. The discussions covered significant challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as a keen focus on climate change, socioeconomic inequality, and growing tensions between countries.

In the midst of this context, the Philea Forum 2023 brought together over 700 people at the heart of the Euro-Mediterranean region to discuss what they call “European values” and how philanthropy can use them as a compass to face current challenges.

The opening plenary of the event addressed the landscape of European philanthropy and the importance of collaboration within the sector itself. Among the speakers was Nada Al-Nashif from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She emphasized the importance of partnerships and collaboration to promote change:

“Equality, dignity, and justice are what unite us. We are calling on the philanthropic community to commit and, through vibrant partnerships, promote human rights”, she declared.

A research study was also presented, conducted with the participants of the event, about their perceptions regarding the performance of civil society organizations, donors, and the European philanthropic sector. The majority of respondents indicated that EU organizations should prioritize tackling climate change, followed by inequality.

Another highly debated topic during the meeting was the role of youth, their contributions, and obstacles in the fight against climate change, with a focus on the session ‘Building infrastructure to support resilient youth movements on climate: lessons from all over Europe’.

Katie Hodgetts shared her story as a climate activist, a process that earned her admiration from her peers and a sense of personal fulfillment, but also led her to face a difficult phase of burnout and emotional exhaustion. Inspired by her own story and that of thousands of other activists who also deal with the mental strain of their work, she created ‘The Resilience Project‘, an initiative that offers emotional support to climate activists.

The session also highlighted the current role of young people, who, through risky and disruptive ideas, can be some of the most powerful voices and agents in the fight against climate change. “Why are young climate activists effective? They are agile and outraged”, says Christian Vanizette, co-founder of makesense.

Several conversations focused on philanthropy, including reflections on its real impacts amid so many demands and its ultimate goals, which tend to be forgotten along the way.

In the debate session ‘Lessons learned over more than 30 years of philanthropy by a closing foundation’, Lynda Mansson from the MAVA Foundation shared the story of her organization’s closure, which, after 12 years of operation with a focus on biodiversity conservation, concluded that its goal had been achieved, and there was no longer a need to exist.

The closing session summarized the themes highlighted throughout the three days, with an even greater emphasis on youth and the potential for change that exists in movements formed and led by this group. The stage was reserved for representatives of the ‘new generation’ of young people who dedicate their days to seeking changes and positive impacts in the world.

“You wake up every day with anxiety, expecting bad news, and yet you brush your teeth and start your day. You maintain resilience. Young people are resilient and don’t realize that, often, what they are doing is democracy”, declares Anna Bondarenko, founder and director of the Ukrainian Volunteer Service.

The participants concluded with a simple but powerful message: ‘do good’. They also emphasized the importance of starting by looking at what is around us before any large-scale movement:

“How can we change the world, how can we change Europe, if we cannot change our local community, our family, our friends, our neighborhood? It’s simply impossible”, says 16-year-old Aleksej Leon Gajica, Junior Ambassador for the EU and for Children’s and Youth Rights at UNICEF.

The event highlighted the global similarities of problems and needs to be discussed and worked on by the private social investment sector, regardless of the region you are in.

“The issues are quite similar to ours in Brazil: trust, democracy, and freedom of expression. Furthermore, it is clear that combating climate change is a priority in Europe, another recurring and extremely important cause for the Brazilian and Latin American context,” comments Guilherme Sylos, Director of Prospecting and Partnerships at IDIS.

International ranking recognizes IDIS as one of the best Brazilian NGOs

Dot Good has announced the top 50 social organizations in Brazil

On June 12, the Swiss organization The Dot Good, responsible for ranking the leading social organizations at the international level, released a ranking highlighting the 50 most prominent Third Sector institutions in Brazil. The evaluation criteria were based on transparency, maturity of governance levels, management, and strategic planning developed by the listed NGOs.

IDIS secured the 19th position in the ranking, proving our commitment to the socioeconomic development of the country and the advancement of the Brazilian Third Sector ecosystem.

Accounting for 4.27% of Brazil’s GDP, Third Sector organizations employ approximately 6 million people and have a significant impact on the social and economic landscape of the country, as demonstrated by the recent study “The Importance of the Third Sector for Brazil’s GDP,” conducted by the Institute of Economic Research Foundation (Fipe), Sitawi Finanças do Bem, and the Movimento Por Uma Cultura de Doação (Movement for a Culture of Donation).

The achieved social and economic outcomes are amplified due to the collaborative nature and networked approach in which projects of excellence and significant social impact are developed. The sector has been growing in recent years, and the effects of social actions are visible in the country’s sustainable development. The contributions of this work represent achievements in the realization of rights, and the transparency in the use of mobilized resources aligns with the highest compliance standards.

This trend of growth and qualification of the Third Sector in Brazil is a reflection of several factors, such as the commitment and dedication of organizations to improve their practices, the adoption of more efficient management models, and the constant pursuit of innovation.

“Initiatives like Dot Good contribute to bringing visibility to the great work carried out by our social organizations, with commitment, seriousness, creativity, and impact. It is another tool available to enhance trust among local and international social investors. We are happy to be included in the ranking; however, we also congratulate others who were not highlighted. Our sector is vibrant, strong, and diverse, and the contribution comes from everyone!” declares Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS.


About IDIS

We are IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment, a civil society organization founded in 1999 and pioneer in technical support to social investors in Brazil. With the mission to inspire, support and promote strategic philanthropy and its impact, we serve individuals, families, companies, corporate and family-run institutes, and foundations, as well as civil society organizations, in actions that transform realities and contribute to reducing social inequality in the country.

IDIS’s actions are based on generating knowledge, offering advisory, and developing social impact projects that contribute to strengthening the ecosystem of strategic philanthropy and giving culture. We value partnerships and co-creating and believe in the power of connection, joint learning, diversity, and plurality of points of view.


Global CAF conference promotes network integration and discusses global philanthropy trends

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Global Leadership Conference brought together representatives from partner organizations in the first week of June. The event took place in London, where the organization’s headquarters are located.

Since 2005, IDIS has been the representative of CAF in Brazil, a British organization dedicated to philanthropy with 100 years of experience, supporting donors – individuals, major donors, and companies – in achieving the greatest possible impact from their initiatives. Starting this year, new members will join the network, which currently includes representatives from South Africa, Bulgaria, Canada, the United States, India, New Zealand, and Turkey.

The event is a celebration of partnerships and international collaboration in the field of philanthropy, reaffirming the institution’s commitment to the continuous growth of international giving practices.

Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS, was one of the guests at the event. She was able to share some perspectives on philanthropy in Brazil and highlight the importance of collaboration in increasing international donations to our country.

Paula was one of the speakers at the parallel event, open to external guests, called ‘Powering World Giving Reception,’ where she emphasized Brazil’s position at 18th place in the World Giving Index, our challenges, and advancements in the philanthropic field. She shared the stage with Grace Maingi, Executive Director of the Kenya Community Development Foundation, who shared insights on philanthropy in Kenya, and Emma Cherniavsky, CEO of the UK for UNHCR, who contributed with a speech on the role of networks in encouraging international donations.

“I was truly inspired to hear from incredible people from around the world! I would like to thank the entire CAF team for their impeccable organization and the wonderful reception,” says Paula Fabiani.

IDIS achieves Great Place To Work® certification

IDIS – Institute for Social Investment Development – has achieved the Great Place to Work (GPTW) seal. This certification recognizes IDIS’ ongoing commitment to creating a positive, inclusive, transparent, and ethical work environment that promotes employee well-being.

This is the result of a rigorous evaluation conducted by the consulting company Great Place To Work. The survey, which is 100% confidential, covered aspects such as employee trust in leadership, quality of work relationships, organizational culture, people management, growth and development opportunities, compensation and benefits, and employee’s perception of the company as a whole.

“This is an incredible recognition for IDIS. It reinforces our institutional values: Excellence, Learning, Collaboration, Respect, Transparency, and Sustainability, as well as our commitment to maintaining a work environment with these characteristics. An organization is made up of people, and there is no success without them,” says Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS.

IDIS is proud to have achieved this certification, which reflects the organization’s commitment to promoting a healthy and collaborative work environment. The Institute believes that investing in the well-being and professional development of its employees is essential to achieve positive results and driving social impact.

“Having accompanied the development of the IDIS team for over 3 years is extremely gratifying. This achievement is just a validation of the sentiment that is already felt among the people at IDIS. And, of course, the survey is a way to always listen to each other and further improve our work space,” comments Mariana Côrrea, HR consultant.

The GPTW certification not only strengthens IDIS’ reputation as an excellent employer but also reinforces its ability to attract and retain talent, enhancing its capacity to generate positive social impact. IDIS will continue to cultivate an inclusive, transparent, and stimulating work environment, valuing and supporting its team of employees in their professional journey!


Great Place To Work is a renowned global consulting company that helps organizations create and maintain an exceptional work environment. The GPTW certification recognizes companies that excel in promoting trust, collaboration, and employee well-being, contributing to the success and sustainability of the business.

Operating Archetypes’ launch brings together philanthropists and social investors in Brazil

On a June morning, IDIS – Instituto para o Desenvolvimento do Investimento Social (Institute for the Development of Social Investment) and RPA – Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors brought together philanthropists, members of business and family organizations, and civil society organizations for the launch of the brazilian version of ‘Operating Archetypes: Philanthropy’s New Analytical Tool for Strategic Clarity‘. The publication addresses and analyzes the main profiles of philanthropists and social investors, providing guidelines to maximize impact for each type of organization.

The study is an extension of the ‘The Philanthropic Framework’ project, promoted by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2019 through interviews with 75 foundations, as well as dozens of working sessions with over 200 funders, experts, and research partners in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The Brazilian version was published in partnership with IDIS, an RPA partner for over 10 years, in order to expand private social investment.

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Aligning resources with objectives for more effective philanthropy

Melissa Berman, CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and one of the authors of the publication, opened the event by presenting the goals and findings of the study. Melissa explained that the idea arose from the recognition of the need to systematize and renew existing philanthropic models in the face of emerging and growing global challenges. It was necessary for private social investment worldwide to also update itself in order to address such significant issues.

“It is not possible to solve 21st-century problems with a 19th-century philanthropy model”

The CEO of Rockefeller explained that the 8 archetypes were created with the aim of providing a strategic planning guide for organizations, bridging the gap between their ultimate goals, purposes, and available resources.

Melissa Berman, CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, presenting the publication

After the initial presentation, a panel discussion took place on the findings and their implications for the Brazilian philanthropic sector. Moderated by Paula Fabiani (CEO of IDIS), the panel included the participation of Cassio França (Secretary-General of GIFE), Thiago Piazzetta (Project Manager at Boticário Group Foundation), and Patricia Loyola (Director of Social Management and Investment at Comunitas).

Paula Fabiani (IDIS), Thiago Piazzetta (Fundação Grupo Boticário), Cassio França (GIFE), and Melissa Berman (RPA) discussing the publication in the context of Brazilian philanthropy

Piazzetta highlighted the work of Boticário Group Foundation, which supports organizations promoting biodiversity conservation in Brazil. The group was one of the featured cases in the publication and serves as an example of the so-called ‘Venture Catalyst’ archetype, a profile characterized by providing initial funding, often unrestricted, to new or less-established organizations. “We avoid funding large organizations and choose to support smaller and more innovative groups and companies”, says Thiago.

Boticário Group Foundation has already financed 1,600 non-established and innovative environmental conservation initiatives through donations and other financial instruments, including an environmental impact acceleration program to strengthen the investment capacity of the business community.

Cassio França added to the discussion the importance of organizations that apply the Venture Catalyst archetype in their actions to combat inequalities in the brazilian context. According to the Secretary-General of GIFE, this model ensures power to truly innovative and impactful organizations addressing brazilian challenges. “It is one of the most revolutionary aspects that can exist in Brazilian philanthropy”, he indicates.

França also emphasized the importance of understanding the archetypes in the process of decolonizing philanthropy. The concept is based on the understanding of the need to overcome power imbalances within the philanthropic field, so that the mechanism does not perpetuate inequalities but effectively contributes to their eradication.

In this context, Cassio pointed out the archetypes as an excellent tool for philanthropists and social investors to recognize their modes of operation, understand their potential, and contribute effectively to the mitigation of social inequality. “I see this material as a great benefit for the field because it helps organizations understand themselves”, he highlights.

Patricia Loyola enriched the discussion by highlighting the importance of collaboration with the government in enhancing philanthropic actions. She exemplified the strength of the collaboration model through the Together for Health program, an initiative by BNDES managed by IDIS, which combines private sector donations with contributions from BNDES itself for public health projects in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil.

She related this movement to the Campaign Manager archetype, a profile that seeks to bring together experts from different fields, including the public sector, in order to produce more innovative philanthropic initiatives. “The government is familiar with the field and the needs that need to be addressed. It is not possible to partner with the government without recognizing its legitimacy”, she states.

At the end of the panel, Melissa pointed out the need for a review of philanthropic practices and indicated the content of the publication as a path to achieve this transformation. “I don’t think we have a choice but to react to the changes in the world, becoming more diverse, inclusive, and transparent organizations”, she believes.

To conclude the morning of reflections, the team from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) conducted an interactive workshop on the 8 archetypes with the event participants. They had the opportunity to reflect on which profile best represented their institute’s investment model, with the assistance of the RPA team for identification, and shared their findings with everyone present.

Interactive workshop with Melissa Berman during the event

The moment sparked deep reflections among the participants and revealed members who identified their organizations within various archetypes, including the Talent Agency, which identifies and amplifies the voices of individuals and groups who experience the issues more directly and closely; the Field Builder, who strengthens institutions responsible for generating and disseminating scientific perspectives; and the Sower, a model that provides support through diverse sources for the same cause.

Get to know the 8 archetypes and also take the opportunity to understand which model best characterizes your philanthropy. Download the publication here.


About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that advises and manages over $400 million in annual donations from individuals, families, corporations, and foundations. Founded in 2002, with the aim of continuing the Rockefeller family’s philanthropic legacy, RPA has become one of the largest philanthropic service organizations in the world and has facilitated the distribution of over $3 billion to more than 70 countries. RPA also acts as a fiscal sponsor for over 100 projects.

For more information, please visit www.rockpa.org.

Endowment funds: New country for an old form

Originally published in Alliance Magazine on 06/06/2023

by Paulo Fabiani, CEO at IDIS, and Andrea Hanai, project manager at IDIS

A relatively new phenomenon on the Brazilian scene, endowment funds are strengthening social causes and organizations

With a long history behind them, endowment funds have become an effective mechanism for the sustainability of causes and organisations around the world. The first known example dates from the first century BCE, when Plato left his farm to support the Academy he had founded. Since then, many institutions have been establishing significant endowments, such as Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wealthy families and individuals have also created endowments, such as Gates, Rockefeller, Mott, and others. In Brazil, the adoption of the mechanism is more recent, however, it has been expanding rapidly in this century, following the strengthening and maturity of the philanthropic environment.

The first endowments in Brazil emerged in the 1950s, as a way for families and businesses to build lasting legacies. In the absence of a specific regulation on the subject, they used the international experience as a reference to create their own governance, policies and rules to manage the endowment structures. Nevertheless, at first very few took this step, and by 2000, there were only six known endowments in the country.

In Brazil, the adoption of the mechanism is more recent, however, it has been expanding rapidly in this century, following the strengthening and maturity of the philanthropic environment.

A leap forward

However, in the following years, civil society organisations and families began to recognise the importance of endowment structures for the financial sustainability and perpetuity of their philanthropic activities, a trend which was accelerated by the work of IDIS (Institute for the Development of Social Investment) and other civil society actors to promote a better regulatory environment for endowments. A turning point was the disastrous fire at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, which led politicians to seek solutions to the lack of long-term financing for museums and other cultural institutions. In 2019, the endowment fund boom gained traction with the enactment of the first relevant law (Law 13.800/19), aimed at setting a regulatory baseline for the development of the endowment industry.

In the following years, civil society organisations and families began to recognise the importance of endowment structures for the financial sustainability and perpetuity of their philanthropic activities.

The legislation has contributed significantly to a more favourable environment, by ensuring visibility to the mechanism, and bringing attention to long-term strategies and sustainability. It has also established a framework, both legal and institutional, that engenders confidence in donors.

Moreover, the Law 13.800/19 has also ensured that public institutions of education, health and culture, among others, also benefit from these structures, regulating a mechanism that facilitates private donations and reduces dependence on already scarce public funds. In this context, the creation of endowments by public institutions that seek financial sustainability through an instrument that diversifies their sources of funds and increases their budgets is on the increase.

The Brazilian Endowments Outlook, published by IDIS in 2022, revealed for the first time the size and characteristics of the industry in the country. The study mapped 52 active endowment funds, 23 per cent of which were constituted after the enactment of the Law 13.800/19. Together, their patrimony totalled BRL 78.8 billion (approximately $14.3 billion). The most significant one is the endowment from Bradesco Foundation with assets equivalent to $11 billion, which puts it among the leading endowments not only in Brazil, but worldwide. Education is the chief beneficiary of this growing trend, supported by 24 Brazilian endowments, followed by culture (nine) and health (eight). Another sign of their growing popularity is that, according to the GIFE Census 2020, a survey among 131 corporate, family, and independent philanthropic Brazilian institutions, endowments were the source of 26 per cent of their budgets that year, corresponding to almost BRL 1.4 billion (approximately $300 million) in funds destined to causes and institutions, an amount which indicates the impact of endowments for the development of socio-environmental causes in the country.

The creation of endowments by public institutions that seek financial sustainability through an instrument that diversifies their sources of funds and increases their budgets is on the increase.

The challenges remaining

To explore endowments’ full potential, though, the philanthropic sector faces significant challenges: governance implementation, investment returns and fundraising capability are the main concerns. An emerging range of specialised consulting, legal and fundraising services, along with financial institutions and academic researchers, is now dedicated to supporting philanthropists, businesses, civil society organisations and public institutions in structuring their endowments. In another study, IDIS sheds light on the endowment financial performance and portfolio of investments to provide the sector with relevant benchmarking information.

Further advances in the regulatory environment for endowments are also needed. For example, despite being positive and innovative, the Brazilian endowment law does not foresee tax incentives for donors. The experience in countries like the US and the UK demonstrate that tax incentives create a fertile environment for the donations to such funds, resulting in large and long-standing endowments. In addition, the exemption from income tax on investment returns is not guaranteed by the Brazilian legislation, which cuts down endowments’ spending capability and the volume of resources destined for the causes and institutions supported by these funds.

In order to influence this environment, the Brazilian Endowment Coalition has been set up, a network that brings together 102 signatories and which urges tax incentives for donations and tax exemption of endowment funds as a way of accelerating the adoption of this mechanism and strengthening the philanthropic sector. Heading the coalition and supported by Brazilian donors and international organisations such as WINGS (with resources from the EU), IDIS reinforces its advocacy strategy by having regular communication with members of congress, monitoring bills, conducting studies and publishing case studies.

Notwithstanding the challenges, there is great potential and opportunity for endowments to flourish in Brazil. For the fourth consecutive year, Brazil rose in the overall ranking of the World Giving Index, jumping from 54th to 18th position, despite the difficulties arising from the socio-economic context and political turmoil of recent years. A giving culture is on the rise. As they become more popular, contributing to endowments provides another option for the exercise of citizenship and the promotion of socio-environmental equity and justice.

Umbrellas, Lightning Rods, and Cisterns for a More Transformative Philanthropy

by Felipe Groba, Project Manager at IDIS

Still not very popular in Brazil, CFs stand out to support independent intermediation between investors and social organizations.

Imagine if there was a mechanism in Brazil that allows companies and individuals to allocate resources for emergencies and address highly complex socio-environmental issues in a specific territory, without compliance risks, and that also served as a legitimate instrument to advocate for causes and public policies without partisanship. Imagine if this mechanism could foster a culture of local giving and strengthen social organizations and local collectives.

These mechanisms exist. There are about 20 in Mexico, 201 in Canada, and over 900 in the United States — some with over 100 years of history — and they are commonly referred to as Community Foundations – CFs. CFs are independent civil society organizations that strengthen local philanthropy by raising resources from companies and individuals and strategically allocating them to generate impact in a specific territory, at the same time that supports the growth of formal and informal social organizations. They generate impact in a specific territory.

Visit of the IDIS team to ‘Tabôa’, Serra Grande, in Bahia.

Brazil currently has 14 organizations operating under this model in 10 states. Among this group, there are well-established organizations such as the FEAC Foundation of Campinas, the Baixada Maranhense Institute, and the ICOM – Community Institute of Greater Florianópolis, as well as younger organizations such as FEAV, operating in Valinhos, the Cacimba Institute in the São Miguel Paulista region (outskirts of São Paulo), the Manauara Community Association, and the recently formed ICOSE – Community Institute of Sergipe. All of them are part of the Transforming Territories Program, launched in 2021 by IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment, financed by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and with institutional support from the Brazil Foundation, Comunitas and GIFE.

Visit of the IDIS team to Redes do Bem, a community organization in Rio de Janeiro

Most Brazilian CFs already have philanthropic funds established to raise and distribute resources to organizations and initiatives within their territories. In addition, they promote campaigns such as ‘Giving Day’, initiatives to engage volunteers and offer courses and training for local social leaders and organizations. Some of them also act as spokespersons for other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the territory, advocating for the strengthening and regulation of philanthropic funds, unlocking resources, and advocating for legislative changes. The legitimacy to activate philanthropy and represent the social sector of the territory comes from the fact that CFs are not oriented towards implementing projects, but to channeling resources to local organizations that works directly with beneficiaries. Therefore, CFs become allies of local CSOs rather than competitors.

Successful experiences have brought some changes in the sector. According to the BISC – Corporate Social Investment Benchmarking research, published annually by Comunitas, 38% of the surveyed companies indicated some degree of priority to  support CFs in the 2022/2023 biennium, while 86% of Foundations and Corporate Institutes assigned medium or high priority to them. Within the industrial sector, 75% of respondents stated that they have introduced or strengthened CFs in their social investment strategy (compared to 20% in the service sector), confirming the trend of the extractive and manufacturing industry to seek local socio-environmental solutions to mitigate their negative externalities and enhance their positive ones, in line with ESG practices (environmental, social, and governance).

The potential of CFs as channels for local social investments primarily stems from establishing robust, diverse, and enduring governance, as well as a systemic approach based on the diagnosis of local potential and needs. This is achieved through listening to different voices within local civil society and engaging in constant dialogue with organizations working for the territory. These characteristics align with what companies expect to strengthen their engagement with non-profit organizations. According to BISC, 90% of companies consider “greater evidence of impact in partnerships” as a determining factor for strengthening the relationship. In comparison, 80% indicate the “need for the company to operate within a network”. These are precisely some of the main characteristics of CFs.

It is important to note that CFs are primarily important intermediaries between donors and local organizations, aiming to meet donors’ philanthropic interests while always considering the demands of the territory. An example of this is Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), which are still relatively recent in Brazil. DAFs function as “philanthropy current accounts” for individuals and companies, managed by CFs, which are responsible for investing these resources in the capital market and distributing them to social organizations according to the donors’ preferences. This ability to accumulate resources for future allocation is analogous to cisterns that store water for strategic or high-need moments.

By consolidating and managing third-party donations, CFs are responsible for due diligence, monitoring, and accountability regarding the use of these resources. This allows large companies to fund projects and smaller organizations, as well as informal movements and collectives, as CFs act as a compliance lightning rod, mitigating risks for donors by being the direct receiver of these companies’ donations. Once the due diligence for receiving the resources is completed, it is up to the CF to mentor donors on the strategic use of these resources based on their broad knowledge of the territory, its demands and potential, and its organizations and leaders.

Last but not least, this privileged and democratically  territorial perspective allows CFs to serve as spokespersons for the local social sector, advocating for rights and visibility, conducting social campaigns, or even advocating for changes in public policies without being directly exposed to authorities. CFs act as an umbrella, protecting social leaders from unnecessary exposure to political and power games.

Get to know the 8 principles that guide the SROI Protocol

Get to know the 8 principles that guide impact assesment based on Social Return on Investment (SROI) protocol:


Individuals and organizations involved in the project should be identified and consulted in the evaluation process. After all, they are the ones who will experience the impacts from the interventions.


The evaluation should identify how the project generates social changes through data collected for this purpose. These changes can be positive or negative, intentional or unintentional. This process generates what we call Theory of Change (ToC), which establishes the causal relationship between the intervention and the impacts generated. The ToC serves as a map of the intervention that guides the entire evaluation process.

PRINCIPLE 3: VALUing the things that matter

The valuation process, one of the key stages of SROI evaluation, should consider the preferences of beneficiaries regarding the degree of importance among the different changes they experience.


Materiality here carries a financial sense, referring to considering things that are substantial and supported by evidence.

PRINCIPLE 5: DO not overclaim

The evaluator should be conservative and assign value only to the impacts that are actually caused by the intervention carried out. By doing so, they avoid overestimating the impact of a project.


The evaluator should ensure that the sources, foundations, and methodological procedures are clear and accessible to the general public.


Design, implement, and document the procedures adopted in the evaluation, ensuring that they can be reviewed and validated.


Make evaluation an instrument of strategic planning, guiding solutions aimed at course correction and maximizing the generated social impact.

Where do the principles come from?

The SROI protocol originates from the British organization Social Value International (SVI), which has been certifying professionals worldwide for its application for the past 15 years. Paula Fabiani, IDIS CEO, is the only Brazilian certified by the organization, and IDIS is now a reference in the application of the protocol in Brazil, with work carried out for organizations such as Amigos do Bem, Gerando Falcões, Petrobras, and Vale.

According to the social value network, “social value means understanding the importance that people attribute to changes in their well-being and using the insights we gain from this understanding to make better decisions.” In other words, the evaluation aims to inform evidence-based decision-making processes in social organizations.

Considering the challenges of measuring impact, SVI establishes a protocol for calculating the SROI index that encompasses various participatory research methodologies, including conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups with beneficiaries, questionnaires, and analysis of secondary data.

It is evident, then, that SROI is not just a numerical index but primarily the process and results of an intensive research and consultation activity involving beneficiaries of social programs.

Brazilian companies are not prepared to respond to emergency situations

By Andre Hanai, project manager at IDIS, and Paula Gonçalo, project coordinator at IDIS

About 25% of the deaths caused by rain in Brazil in the last 10 years occurred in 2022, and social investors must prepare more than ever for emergencies.

Between January 2013 and April 2022, natural disasters caused losses of R$341.3 billion throughout Brazil, according to data from a survey conducted by the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM). The study also shows that in just the first three months of 2022, about eight million Brazilians had already been affected by some type of environmental disaster.

Speaking of numbers, another alarming fact on the subject comes from the government transition report released in late December 2022. It shows that the public money reserved for “support for emergency mitigation works for disaster reduction” was reduced from R$2.57 million to a mere R$25,000, becoming one of the budgetary bottlenecks for 2023.

In this context, solidarity has moved individuals and companies around emergency campaigns that seek to help communities most affected by natural disasters through the donation of food, clothing, medicine, etc., with Private Social Investment being a complementary alternative to public resources. The reduced volume of financial resources available and, mainly, the lack of coordination and strategic planning of actions show that there is a huge gap between social demands and the capacity of private social investors to respond to these tragedies, which increase in frequency and severity every year.

By definition, according to the ISDR – International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, a “disaster” is a “serious disruption of the functioning of a community or society, with impacts on people, goods, economy, and the environment, that exceeds the capacity of those affected to deal with the situation through the use of their resources.” The Covid-19 pandemic, a disaster of global proportions, has revealed the important role that companies can play in efforts to address emergencies, for example.

According to the 2020 Corporate Giving Ranking produced by IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment, the ten companies that made the most donations and sponsorships in the world in 2020 allocated more than US$4 billion to Covid-19 response actions – equivalent to about R$20 billion. Meanwhile, in Brazil, the top ten corporate donors have given more than R$3 billion to the fight against the pandemic.

Floods in the State of Bahia in December 2021. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

On the other hand, these numbers contrast with what had been observed as a trend in private social investment by companies focused on situations caused by disasters. According to the study Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy, conducted by Candid & Center for Disaster Philanthropy in 2019, although 70% of companies reported that disaster response is significant, the amount allocated to this type of action has been decreasing year by year, demonstrating that companies see this type of philanthropy as not very strategic.

The same study shows that philanthropy and private social investment could be more strategic. More than half of the resources aimed at emergencies are directed toward immediate response and relief of the initial shock caused by the disaster. At the same time, only 20% of donations support communities in becoming more resilient, promoting risk reduction and mitigation, and preparedness and readiness for emergencies.

The study “A purpose-action Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Shock”, developed by Francisco Javier Forcadell and Elisa Aracil, corroborates these data. It analyzed the performance of 218 companies in Spain during the first weeks of Covid-19 in the country and classified them into 4 categories (symbolic, selective, reactive, and supportive), based on the company’s performance in the two main dimensions considered critical to the effectiveness of corporate interventions in emergencies: the scope of the intervention and response time.

Companies classified as symbolic or reactive have a very slow response time but differ in the scope of their actions, with the symbolic being quite restricted and the reactive being quite broad, with a greater sense of social responsibility. The selective and supportive classifications categorize companies with a quick response time to emergencies. The selective is restricted in terms of the scope of intervention, generally preferring to act only when there is an immediate need for support, while the supportive looks broadly at the scope of intervention, allowing for greater flexibility and fostering proactivity and innovation. According to the research, 42% of companies had a “selective” performance, meaning they acted quickly but with a significantly reduced scope and less strategic approach, limiting the potential impact of actions on the beneficiary public.

The City of Petrópolis in February 2022 after landslides | Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano / PR

Companies must broaden their view of emergencies, rethinking their private social investment strategy to support society. There is room for greater impact in the medium and long term, not only to assist communities in times of tragedy but also to seek their resilience and preparedness to face these tragedies, as well as their recovery and reconstruction. To do so, companies need to ensure clear structures, policies, and governance that operate quickly in emergency cases, ensuring that actions are effective and response times are shorter.

It is a fact that we must act to prevent the disastrous consequences of floods, collapses, or fires. But it is also a fact that they will come, and will have disastrous consequences in the lives of thousands of people. Are you prepared to do your part?

IDIS participates in the global event CCW2023 with a panel on Matchfunding

Between the 1st and 5th of May 2023, will occur the 4th edition of Catalysing Change Week (CCW). Considering the most significant global event led by civil society organizations and social entrepreneurs, this year’s theme is “Solutions from the Frontlines.”

To inspire attitudes that contribute to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stipulated by the UN, the event – ​​which takes place online – will bring together actors who are at the forefront of socio-environmental change ecosystems. The idea is that they share, throughout the week, their experiences and knowledge with a focus on accelerating collaborative change systems. Participants include representatives from the private sector, governments, civil society organizations, and philanthropists.

The event is organized by Catalyst 2030 and has more than 250 sessions and activities proposed by people worldwide. The objective is to identify local solutions to global issues and expand the debate and knowledge about good practices developed worldwide. To access content and best practices shared at previous events, click here: Embracing Complexity and here: New Allies.


About IDIS participation

IDIS, a founding member of the Brazilian Chapter of Catalyst 2030, will again be at the event. This year, the panel led by the organization “Matchfunding: a strategy to Enhance the Impact of Socio-environmental Projects” will discuss the concept of Matchfunding as a powerful strategy to raise funds and expand the expected social impact.

To illustrate the strategy, the Together for Health Program case, a BNDES Matchfunding initiative managed by the IDIS team, will be presented. The objective of the Program is to support and strengthen the Unified Health System (SUS) in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil, with a focus on improving and expanding primary care services. Over four years (2023-2026), the aim is to raise BRL 200 million for health projects that operate in this part of the country.

Luiza Saraiva, Manager of the Together for Health Program, will open the conversation, which will have the mediation of Guilherme Sylos, Director of Prospecting and Partnerships at IDIS.

Among the confirmed speakers is Carla Reis, representative of the BNDES, who will present the Together for Health Program and reflect on how the MatchFunding model can contribute to expanding the impact of government initiatives and strengthening public policies.

João Abreu, Executive Director of ImpulsoGov, the organization behind the “ImpulsoPrevine” Project, will also participate in the session. His initiative brings together free solutions and services for municipalities to expand the scope and quality of primary care in the SUS. The project is a potential beneficiary of Together for Health and is already ready to receive investments. Among other topics, João will address the challenges of fundraising for Health.

Maria Izabel Toro, Social Investment Manager at Grupo RD, and Andreia Rabetim, Intersectoral Coordination and Volunteering Manager at Vale, are also part of the panel of speakers for the session. From the funders’ perspective, the guests will discuss the reasons and benefits of a private company participating in a match funding style.

The week is an opportunity to engage, advocate and nurture the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. We’ll wait for you!

Registration to attend the session is now open! Register here.


Matchfunding: a strategy to enhance the impact of socio-environmental projects

When: May 4, 2023, from 10 am to 11:15 am
Where: Online event on the Catalyst 2030 website (Registration required to view sessions).

Luiza Saraiva – Manager of the Together for Health Program

Carla Reis – Head of the BNDES Industrial Complex and Health Services Department
João Abreu – Executive Director of ImpulsoGov
Maria Izabel Toro – Social Investment Manager at Grupo RD
Andreia – Intersectoral Coordination and Volunteering Manager at Vale

Guilherme Sylos – Prospecting and Partnerships Director at IDIS

Brazilian Philanthropy in Perspective: sign up for IDIS newsletter

Reinforcing our mission to inspire, support and expand private social investment and its impact, IDIS has launched ‘Brazilian Philanthropy in Perspective’, a newsletter which will bring highlights on Brazilian philanthopy and our contrbutions to its advance. Among the topics, trends on philanthropy, cases studies, articles, publications and surveys.

The newsletter will be sent quartely, and you may sign up using the form below.


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We are IDIS, the Institute for the Development of Social Investment, a civil society organization founded in 1999 and pioneer in technical support to social investors in Brazil. With the mission to inspire, support and promote strategic philanthropy and its impact, we serve individuals, families, companies, corporate and family run institutes and foundations, as well as with civil society organizations, in actions that transform realities and contribute for the reduction of social inequality in the country.

Our actions are based on the tripod generating knowledge, offering advisory, and developing social impact projects that contribute to the strengthening of the ecosystem of strategic philanthropy and of giving culture. We value partnerships and co-creating, and believe in the power of connection, of joint learning, of diversity and plurality of points of view.

Perspectives for Brazilian Philanthropy is featured in Alliance Magazine

In the Perspectives for Brazilian Philanthropy 2023 by IDIS – Institute for Development of Social Investment presents the current scenario, identifies inspiring actions, and points out ways for a more strategic and transformative private social investment, bringing together elements that contribute to decision making.

It second edition is features in Alliance Magazine, the biggest philanthropy magazine in the world. The article highlighted the eight perspectives that have ‘boldness’ as a common element, in addition to also pointing out the complex and current Brazilian political, social and economics challenges.

The news also addressed the contents present in the publication. Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS, highlights in the introduction, the content ‘presents examples of innovations, new methodologies and financing models unexpected partnerships, significant changes, and new ways of doing differently (and better) what was already working’.

Download de full material:

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Check out Alliance’s full article here.

CAF launches Global Philanthropy Hub with free content from 10 countries

The platform aims to promote the culture of giving around the world, through content on philanthropy produced by partners of CAF’s International Network

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a British organization dedicated to philanthropy for over 90 years, facilitating donations and charitie programs around the world. In Brazil, CAF has been represented by IDIS since 2005.

Nowadays, CAF International is the largest support structure for philanthropy around the world. Beyond of the UK Office, the network also includes operations in South Africa, Australia (Good2Give), Brazil (IDIS), Bulgaria (BCause), Canada, United States, India, and Turkey (Tusev).

Thinking about facilitating and strengthening this cross-border giving, CAF launched in the first weeks of December 2022, during #philanthropyweek , a  Philanthropy Hub, which brings together contents, both from network members and other partners in 10 different countries.

The Hub includes content about the themes:

  • Country Philanthropy Profiles
  • Supporting Emergency Relief
  • Enabling Private Philanthropy
  • Inspiring Corporate Giving
  • Facilitating Workplace Giving