Mackenzie Scott Donates $1.5 Million to IDIS

IDIS – the Institute for the Development of Social Investment – has received a donation of $1.5 million, equivalent to R$7.5 million, from American philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

The gift received will be the first contribution to IDIS Endowment, which is being stablished on the year the Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary. The mechanism aims to contribute to the organization’s sustainability and shall provide greater predictability for investments in projects to strengthen strategic philanthropy and the culture of giving in Brazil, including advocacy initiatives for a favorable regulatory environment and knowledge contents.

“The endowment will provide perpetual source of funding, which will be used to expand our efforts to strengthen strategic philanthropy in the country, as it provides us with greater long-term stability. It’s a recognition of the relevance of IDIS and the potential we have to generate even more positive impact,” explains Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS.


Ranked as the fifth richest woman in the world, the philanthropist is a signatory of the Giving Pledge. This commitment encourages people and families with substantial wealth worldwide to contribute a significant portion of their wealth to social causes and publicly pledged to donate at least 50% of her wealth during her lifetime. In Brazil, Elie Horn, founder of Cyrella, and the Latin American couple, David Vélez, co-founder of the digital bank Nubank, and his wife, entrepreneur Mariel Reyes, are also signatories of the commitment.

Social Impact Valuation Drives the “S” in ESG

by Denise Carvalho, Senior Manager of Monitoring and Evaluation at IDIS.

In the corporate world’s waze of words, ESG has become a consensus for assessing and validating whether a company is socially conscious, sustainable, and has good governance. These are criteria supported by impact measurement methodologies that identify good companies to invest in. After all, ESG is directly linked to sustainability – here, related to the very viability of businesses’ existence and profit generation.

Transitioning to the realm of social investors, where profit is not the ultimate goal, ESG serves as a compass guiding organizations’ strategic actions and opens doors to measure the impact that developed projects have on the communities served. But how do you know if the positive impact justifies the investments involved?

Environmental impact measurement, for example, fosters various relationships: how many hectares have been spared from deforestation, how many greenhouse gases have been avoided, which water bodies have been cleaned, how much waste has been reduced. However, the calculation on the social side may be somewhat different.

One of the main obstacles faced by social investors, as highlighted by the ecosystem itself, is obtaining quality data related to the social pillar of the ESG Agenda. This perception was corroborated by the ESG Global Survey 2023, conducted by BNP Paribas, in which 71% of respondents pointed to result measurement as the biggest concern for investors. This agenda is seen as a guiding element for organizations towards more responsible practices, yet the challenge of standardization and consistency of data persists, particularly in the social sphere.

Currently, impact assessment methodologies are capable of rigorously measuring the results generated by the actions of social projects. These methodologies provide a thorough and well-founded analysis of how an organization’s activities influence people, communities, and the environment, seeking to understand the extent and effects of its actions, programs, and projects.

Impact assessment doesn’t just study “what” but also measures “how much,” “why,” and “how” changes occur. Since impact assessments are always data-driven and can provide information in a common language, communicating these analyses can bring great visibility to the organization itself, as well as enrich the debate on the ESG agenda in the corporate world.

Some companies and organizations already recognize the potential of impact assessments as allies of the ESG Agenda. For example, Petrobras has been conducting rigorous analyses in its various social and environmental projects as part of its commitment to the agenda. To achieve this, the company began a process of diagnosing and harmonizing indicators aligned with its socio-environmental strategy, allowing for a clearer identification of the impact in the communities where it operates. Intelligently used data enables strategic direction of actions and the expansion of the positive impact of projects.

Another aspect to keep an eye on when it comes to measuring social impacts is the adoption of tools such as Artificial Intelligence and blockchain as allies in this process, aiming to ensure even more transparency for social investors. The decentralized nature of blockchain, for example, prevents potential data manipulation, enhancing the credibility of impact reports. This allows investors to assess the socioeconomic results of funded projects more precisely, securely, and efficiently. Fintech Moeda Seeds and the Banqu platform are examples of organizations that have been working with the support of these tools to increase the credibility of the data presented.

It is through the materialization of impact that managers are armed with data that enable the strategic actions of organizations, relating the invested value to the social return of projects. It’s the antidote to the infamous “washing”.

Impact assessment is fundamental to establish a solid foundation for the sustainable success of organizations. It transcends mere measurement and becomes a strategic guide, directing companies towards paths more aligned with the ESG agenda. Although conducting impact assessments can be challenging, the benefits it offers far outweigh the possible obstacles.

Equity in Employment: A Vital Step Toward Dismantling Structural Racism in Brazil

The ‘Stanford Social Innovation Review‘, a global reference publication in social innovation, recently launched a series of articles called The Global Pursuit of Equity’, produced in collaboration with partners from seven units around the globe.

The series aims to analyze inequalities in the context of seven specific regions and how local innovators are working to balance the scales and promote inclusion in a variety of problematic areas.

For the Brazilian version, Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS; Guibson Trindade, Executive Manager of the Pact for the Promotion of Racial Equity; and Debora Montibeler, Associate of the Pact, contributed to the article ‘Equity in Employment: A Vital Step Toward Dismantling Structural Racism in Brazil’, which highlights the urgent need for data-driven approaches to combat systemic inequalities in our country.

In it, the ESG Index for Racial Equality is presented, linked to the Pact for the Promotion of Racial Equity. Aimed at attracting companies and institutional investors to the cause, the protocol offers companies a way to quantify inequality within their teams, compare the composition of the workforce to the local demographics, and develop new policies and processes required to achieve greater balance.

Check out the full article on the Review’s website, available in Portuguese, English, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and Spanish.

Know more about it:
Stanford Social Innovation Review 

Together for Health Program closes its first year with the prospect of reaching almost 300 municipalities

In 2023, Juntos pela Saúde (Together for Health) Program was launched, an initiative of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) managed by IDIS. Aimed at strengthening the public health system in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil, the Program supports projects that operate in places with coverage gaps, prioritizing municipalities with less than 1 doctor per 1,000 inhabitants. The financial support offered to these projects is based on the logic of matchfunding, a fundraising model that multiplies the donations raised.

For every real (Brazilian currency) donated by partner organizations, BNDES adds another R$1,00, doubling the amount that will be transferred to health projects. The goal is to have approximately R$ 200 million (equivalent to USD 40 million)  by 2026. The supported projects undergo a validation process envolving specialists and a Validation Committee, in which the funders confirm the investment. In order to receive support, projects must focus on priority municipalities in the North and Northeast regions and aim to benefit public health actions and services within the Brazilian Unified Health System.

To learn more about the selection of new projects, click here.

On its first year, five supporters joined Together for Health – Dinamo Institute, RaiaDrogasil Group, Umane, Vale Foundation, and Wheaton. Over 2024, other organizatons shall join, to meet the fundraising goal (learn how to join here). Three wide-ranging also started to be implemented, and together they aim to reach nearly 300 municipalities, improving management and service processes, access to technological tools, infrastructure and training for professionals. Learn more about them:



This initiative by Cedaps and Vale Foundation aims to contribute to strengthening the Basic Care, expanding the capacity for diagnosis, planning, operationalization, monitoring and evaluation of services through shared work plans with public management, guided by the health needs of local populations.

It is currently present in 8 municipalities in the state of Pará and, through the partnership with the Together for Health, will be expanded to 24 municipalities in the stated of Maranhão. Wheaton Precious Metals, BNDES and IDIS are also involved in this partnership.

By 2026, it is estimated that the project will reach 396 Basic Health Units (UBS), 55 Social Assistance Reference Centers (CRAS) and an average of 5,000 professionals, focusing on social protection and promoting the individual and collective health of the population,

“The Together for Health Fund helps to enhance social investment in territories that require special attention to access to quality healthcare. Through the partnership, we were able to take the Social Protection Health Cycle to 32 municipalities where we already work with education projects in Pará and Maranhão. In partnership with municipal departments, we hope to collaborate in a structured way to improve public services and benefit the entire population.” expresses Pâmella De-Cnop, Executive Director of the Vale Foundation.



The project created by the non-profit organization ImpulsoGov is a digital solution that centralizes data, analysis and recommendations from the Federal Primary Care funding program on a platform, providing a dashboard to health managers.

The solution allows, for example, monitoring the performance of cervical cancer preventive examinations, available free of charge in the Unified Health System (SUS). With it, local managers of the municipalities served will be able to improve their strategies to prevent the disease, which records 17 thousand new cases annually, according to 2023 data from INCA.

It is also worth highlighting that the Impulso Previne platform works with other Primary Health Care indicators and offers free support to municipalities, in order to contribute to better management and monitoring of the health situation of local populations.

With the financial support of Dynamo Institute, Impulso Previne will invest in the expansion of solutions focused on developing a cytopathological exam indicator and providing access to 19 municipalities.

The resources coming from Umane will be directed to the development of a vaccine indicator, covering 240 municipalities.



Created by ImpulsoGov in partnership with the Cactus Institute, a non-profit organization that aims to expand debate and care in disease prevention and mental health promotion, the project aims to expand access to data and simplified information for mental health managers. With financial support from RaiaDrogasil Group.

“There are no established standards to evaluate the quality of services offered by Psychosocial Care Networks and managers often do not have access to information such as the profile of people served in the municipal network, and which services they attend. Our objective with the Mental Health Indicators Platform is to facilitate access to reliable information for these professionals, assisting in decision-making and contributing to the improvement of mental health services”, says Daniela Krausz, Mental Health project manager at ImpulsoGov .

Brazilian delegation discusses Community Philanthropy in the Americas

Still little known in Brazil, the model of community philanthropy has been increasingly consolidated internationally as an important institutional arrangement for social development and addressing the various demands of the territories. According to a survey carried out by the Community Foundation Atlas, there are more than 1,800 community institutes and foundations in the world. Together, these organizations handle more than USD 5 billion every year.

To discuss the different contexts, opportunities, and challenges of community philanthropy in the Americas, 119 guests from ten countries in South, Central, Caribbean and North America met in February in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Brazilian delegation included Felipe Groba, IDIS project manager, and six other representatives of Brazilian Community Institutes, all participants of the Transforming Territories – a program from IDIS: Instituto Baixada Maranhense; ICOM – Greater Florianópolis Community Institute; Espraiada and Tabôa Community Strengthening Institute.

The event, promoted by CCA – Connecting Communities in America, an initiative of CF Leads (Community Foundations Leading Change), featured panel discussions and visits to social projects supported by Corporativa de Fundaciones – the community foundation of Greater Guadalajara – and which work directly on the issues of migrants and refugees, street children and community development. With a careful eye on diversity and the importance of everyone being able to express themselves in their mother tongue, there was simultaneous translation into four languages – Portuguese, English, Spanish and French..

During the plenary and parallel sessions, the participants discussed the contexts in which community philanthropy with a territorial focus takes place in their countries and realities. It became clear that there are regulatory and donation culture characteristics that differentiate the USA and Canada from the rest of the Americas, and that imply different levels of power and financial sustainability. On the other hand, all participants reinforced the need to strengthen organizations and collectives led by minority groups such as blacks and indigenous peoples, with the role of Community Foundations and Institutes – the CFIs – to make visible and support these groups in mobilizing material and technical resources and immaterial. According to Robson Bitencourt, Manager of the Territorial Development Program for Serra Grande and Tabôa surroundings

“the trip to Mexico was an immersion of observation, learning and exchanging knowledge in the field of philanthropy with other foundations in the Americas. It is important to broaden perceptions about the similarities and differences between what we do and what other organizations have also done, as well as the challenges and opportunities. The impression was left that we have opportunities to increase networking and leverage our actions”

The consequences of climate change on vulnerable populations were also at the center of the agenda, reinforcing the point that although the solution to this issue is global, the negative impacts will always be local and specific to each community. In order to unite efforts and address structural issues, the role of the CFIs as articulators of causes emerged, by creating local and even national coalitions to address major issues such as the lack of job opportunities, rural poverty, the issue of refugees, security and advocacy for rights and social justice..

The theme of trust in civil society organizations (CSOs) and their role in expressing the plurality of voices in a territory permeated all discussions. Panelists and event participants reported successful cases of North American grantmaking foundations that have increasingly adopted the donation of free resources – free of charge and without restriction to projects – as a basis for its financial contributions, recognizing the excellence and expertise of social leaders in managing their organizations and allocating resources in order to generate more impact in the long term.

During their stay in Mexico, the Brazilian delegation took the opportunity to meet and exchange experiences with teams from Comunidar (the community foundation of Nuevo León), Comunalia (an organization that supports community foundations in Mexico) and Corporativa de Fundaciones, in addition to having visited in loco the community foundations of Morelos and Malinalco.

“The technical visits to community foundations reinforced the similarities between Brazil and Mexico, promoting numerous insights and possibilities between Brazilian and Mexican organizations. We found qualified and motivated teams working in networks to promote social justice and community development in their territories” commented Willian Narzetti, executive manager of ICOM.


Felipe Groba, leader of Transforming Territories, adds, recalling that the meeting contributed to the identification of development opportunities for Brazilian CFIs at different levels of maturity.

Transforming Territories Program

Transforming Territories, an initiative by IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment – ​​with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to encourage the creation and strengthening of Community Institutes and Foundations in Brazil.

Perspectives for Brazilian Philanthropy in 2023

‘Boldness’ emerges as a transversal element and opens the way for a more transformative, diverse, and inclusive philanthropy in the country


In its second edition, the publication Perspectives for Brazilian Philanthropy 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. At the background, resonances of the preview’s year, marked by polarized elections and the need for organizations and entities to come out publicly and demonstrate their commitment to democracy, in apparent check. Also, the worrying return of Brazil to the UN Hunger Map, the serious situation of indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon, in addition to the record levels of deforestation.

The material, comments Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS, “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”.

There are eight perspectives that has ‘boldness’ as a common element, reflecting and showing practical examples on how philanthropists and social investors can act in a strategic, effective, and agile way.


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Find out what these trends are:

1. The power (and necessity) of dialogue for building bridges
Solutions will be found in interaction, require collaboration, and contemplate multiple demands and points of view.

2. Far beyond responsibility: legacy
What companies are leaving for the next generations.

3. Diversification of financing models
More than ever, optimizing and contributing to the evolution of possible sources of financing is necessary to solve challenges.

4. The number is not the finishing line
Social Impact Assessment has been increasingly debated and sought after, but once the numbers are discovered, what is the next step?

5. Environmental and Social Agendas walking side by side
The interdependence between climate, forests and people.

6. Third Sector engaged in promoting public policies
Civil society organizations strengthens democracy and accelerate systemic change.

7. Strengthening civil society organizations: trust, governance and transparency
The relevance of CSOs grow as the population’s confidence in its achievements evolves.

8. Family Philanthropy shows its face
Individuals and families make public commitments about their donation practices.

Systems Change Funding: Lessons from Funders in Brazil

On 16 December 2022, IDIS and Catalyst 2030 co-hosted the third in a series of global conversations for funders on the future of funding systems change (read about the first salon and second salon). This series brings together funders within a country or region to share context specific feedback on the ten principles in the Urgent NGO Letter.

The Letter, led by Catalyst 2030 members, gained over 1,100 signatures from 80+ countries and marks a significant call from the social sector to shift funding practices globally. It outlines ten key calls for funders to consider in their grantmaking practices, including: giving multi-year, unrestricted funding, investing in capacity building, and creating transformative rather than transactional relationships. Read the full list of principles in the letter here

This Salon assembled Brazilian philanthropists and funding organisations to discuss how these principles could work in practice, and the impact they would have on Brazilian philanthropy and civil society. We are hugely appreciative of all of those that participated in this discussion and who are leading the way in open and inclusive dialogue to improve philanthropy for all. 


Here are five key takeaways from the conversation:

Recognise the impact of national context  

Grantmakers  usually have specific guidelines for their social investment. While it could be read as a sign of transparency, it also limits Brazilian funders’ ability to provide unrestricted and flexible funding. This restriction affects both funders and grantee-partner’s ability to embrace this principle as the sector is not currently set up to enable such flexible practices. This inflexibility also impacts funders ability to fund institutional needs or networks, as statutory restrictions require grantee-partners to follow traditional due diligence and accreditation processes.  


Foster collaboration across the sector

Although this challenge is not unique to Brazil, the group discussed how there is a need for greater collaboration among funders and civil society actors within the country. This requires both a behaviour and mindset shift across the sector; a move away from siloed work and towards funders and grantee-partners working in true partnership; collaborating with other funders, grantees, and cross-sector stakeholders to achieve systemic change. 


Offer philanthropists multiple entry points which recognise their variety

Embracing these ten principles will be a different journey for every organisation. It is important to respect the difference in maturity of philanthropies, different investment strategies, and different statutory and operational arrangements which may impact this journey. The group suggested taking into account the different entry points of each funder and evaluating it accordingly, ensuring a funder response recognises the need and strength of each funder’s progress and individuality.


Consider other tools (such as a rating) to help funders improve their practices 

It is crucial to consider which tools and resources we are able to provide in order to better improve funders’ abilities to embrace these principles. This could include incentivising funders in new captivating ways by, for example, using a rating and grading system to indicate their progress towards embracing these principles. This way funders would not only obtain a grade but also understand in which areas they can improve. We must acknowledge the fact that making a donation goes beyond its social value. Creating a public ranking in which companies will be acknowledged for their contributions and their “legacy” can mobilise other funders to join the movement, positioning these principles as a Brazilian innovation in the sector.


Recognise that this journey might take time and support funders along the way 

Philanthropy as a sector is relatively new to Brazil. It is important to recognise this and the time it will take to bring funders on this learning journey before they are able to fully adopt these principles. Therefore, the group discussed the importance of respecting each funder’s journey and celebrating progress along the way. Documenting this progress and creating a community of practice whereby funders can learn from best practices in the field, could provide the long-term support funder’s need to make this shift. This requires establishing strong ecosystems of funders who can turn to one another, share learnings, and grow as a sector. 


Where do we go next?

We are continuing to host Donor Salons to gather feedback from funders in different country and regional contexts. Our next stop in this journey is with funders in Africa. Stay tuned to hear the key takeaways from this conversation.

Together for Health: a Matchfunding initiative to strengthen the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS)

The Brazilian Unified Health System, known as SUS, is universal, free, and a worldwide reference. Nevertheless, it could benefit even more people and perform better if allocating public and private resources.

Did you know that for 18% of the Brazilian population, especially in the North and Northeast regions, the number of doctors available in public health is less than 1 for every thousand inhabitants? The Brazilian average is 2.15 per thousand.

In addition, the average life expectancy in these regions is 3 years lower than in the rest of the country. At the same time, the infant mortality rate is 3% higher compared to the Central and South regions.

Let’s change this reality together!


What is Together for Health?

Together for Health Program is a donation initiative of the BNDES (National Bank of Social and Economic Development) in the matchfunding style. In other words, it will be co-financed by the private enterprise and social organisations to allocate R$ 200 million* to projects in the health area of the North and Northeast regions over four years.

R$ 1 in donations + R$ 1 BNDES = donation to strengthen public health

With these guidelines, the initiative confirms its alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 – Health and Wellness, and 10 – Inequality Reduction.


What is the Program’s goal? 

Supporting and strengthening the Brazilian Health System (SUS) in the North and Northeast regions, focusing on improving the efficiency of health service provision, quality, and integration of the system as a whole.

Who will benefit from the Program?

The entities that can receive resources from the program are: non-profit private organizations (Philanthropic Health Units, for example) or public bodies that do not depend on transfers of resources from the Union for their maintenance. The health projects presented must be in line with the premises of Together for Health and will be submitted to the approval of the Validation Committee, formed by members of the BNDES and other supporters of Together for Health.

How will the resources be invested? 

Depending on the supported health unit’s needs, there will be three possibilities for investment:

– Fixed assets: equipment acquisition or execution of recovery, modernization, expansion, and construction works;

– Management: telehealth system, digital systems, regulation systems, and implementation of applied management methodologies;

– Campaigns: cost of temporary health service provision campaigns associated with the start of health infrastructure operation.

Who participates:


– BNDESBanco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (National Bank of Economic and Social Development): promoter and financer of the initiative.

– IDIS – Instituto para o Desenvolvimento do Investimento Social (Institute for the Development of Social Investment): responsible for resource management, fundraising, and project selection that will benefit from the Program.

– Impulso Gov: author of “Impulso Previne”, a project that brings together solutions and free services for municipalities to expand the reach and quality of SUS primary care and is already eligible to receive investments.

Together for Health supporters

– Vale Foundation

– Banco do Brasil Foundation


Join us!
To learn more about how to get involved, visit our website or contact 

* On December 2022, USD 1 is equivalent to R$ 5,20

Hope is a discipline: highlights from the Global Philanthropy Forum 2022

With a view to the Golden Gate, San Francisco’s postcard, the Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF) took place in November. In celebration mood, after two years without face-to-face meetings, the event brought together 160 participants over two days of programming. The Brazilian delegation, led by IDIS, was once again present, with 11 members from different organizations.

Racial and Gender equity, local and trust-based giving, and philanthropy’s contribution to the fight against climate change were some of the GPF themes present throughout many of the event’s debates.

The opening plenary had as its theme ‘Democracy under Threat’. Authoritarianism, disinformation, hate speech and attacks on human rights are evident in many parts of the world. The challenges are not few, but as speaker David Litt said, “people still want to live in a democracy” and that’s why there are so many initiatives that pave the way for a more promising future. Examples include actions to reduce polarization based on building relationships, crowdfunding and strengthening of institutions. In this session, as in others throughout the day, the importance of a helathy information spece, with independent vehicles and the safety of journalists, was highlighted.

Racial justice was the focus of the second session of the event, but it permeated a number of other conversations. Angela Glover Blackwell, activist at PolicyLink, was interviewed by Philip Yun, CEO of the GPF, and drew attention to the fact that the fight for equity is known to blacks, but whites are still not comfortable talking about racism and we must find ways for them to develop that muscle. Angela spoke the phrase that became the mantra of the event – ​​“hope is a discipline”. She reinforced that talking about racism requires discipline and that better narratives are needed, as there are many stories that can be told. She highlighted that it is necessary to change the system based on oppression to one where generosity is the engine and that it is with equity that we will all progress.

In a session that focused on impact businesses led by blacks and browns, it was stressed the importance of unrestrited giving, so that organization may invest in their priorities and eventually make mistakes. On the other had, philanthropists shoulnd´t face out. They can be close, contribute to reflections and offer training and capacity building. For the next year, the GPF announced that it is interested in bringing a session based on a study on donors of colour, carried out by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Several debates focused on philanthropy. One session addressed the role of donations in building a more equitable economy, the other a reflection on how to invest in local knowledge. There was a workshop on how to structure giving circles and encourage giving from a community perspective. And of course, a plenary session showcased innovative models. The importance of trust-based giving, and long-term support was mentioned at every table. According to Glen Galaich, CEO of the Stupski Foundation, “we waste time over complicate things, while our concern should be just donating resources”.

There were many speeches about the importance of social agents being able to invest their energy in action and not in such detailed rendering of accounts. The idea was also defended that donors should be analyzed by their grantees and receive grades for that. The issue of greater willingness to risk was sometimes related to a way of solving complex issues: it is necessary to act and failure can bring great learning and even lead us faster to lasting solutions. Degan Ati, executive director of Adeso, an organization in Somalia, brought some figures for reflection: only 12% of foundation resources are destined for the global south, and 0.076% is earmarked for youth initiatives. “Transformative philanthropy must change these numbers, while giving visibility to the generosity and small donations that happen daily among the most vulnerable,” said Degan.

Another very important aspect was the look at the donation from the local perspective. Canadian activist Yonis Hassan called attention to the change in narrative – “it’s not a charity. Donors are not helping organizations. It is the organizations that are helping donors achieve the change they want to see.” He was very emphatic about the importance of funding organizations that operate in a specific territory and strengthening leadership. The indigenous Nemonte Nenquimo, in turn, told her story of fighting for the right to land and protecting forests in Ecuador. In its movement, it brings together indigenous people affected by state action and those who still live in more isolated lands, as well as international agents that contribute to articulation.

It is estimated that the equity of American foundations invested in funds is 160 billion dollars. These resources are ‘stopped’ and that’s why the debate on management is big in the country. The #HalfMyDAF movement advocates that half of these amounts be transferred to CSOs and proposes to match everything that is donated. Along the same lines, Glen Galeich points out that “foundations today are just part of the financial system and that money is just circulating to generate more money”. Increased speed of resource transfer, transparency, accountability, blended finance and venture philanthropy mechanisms were explored. The duration of funding was also highlighted. For Carlos Saavedra, executive director of the Ayni Institute, “transformation takes time. Donations for just 1 year is nothing. Financing must be between 3 and 10 years.”

The issue of global health, based on the experiences of the pandemic, gained a specific session. “Covid was a magnifying glass, revealing the inequalities in detail,” said Chet Hewitt, CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation. The importance of social organizations at this time was highlighted, the legitimacy that local leaders had to guide the population and how they were crucial partners for the public power.

Empathy and collaboration as basic elements for the advances we want to see were present throughout the event, which included in the agenda several moments for interaction between participants. “I had the opportunity to meet people with very interesting experiences and exchange points of view. By participating in the event, I broadened my horizons and I believe that interesting partnerships may emerge.” comments Luisa Lima, communication and knowledge manager at IDIS, and also responsible for producing the Brazilian Forum of Philanthropists and Social Investors, the local version of the GPF.

Brazil at the Global Philanthropy Forum

Led by Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS, and Luisa Lima, the GPF delegation had the participation of Antony Assumpção and Rodrigo Lowen (Hospital Pequeno Príncipe), Carolina Barrios (Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal), Daniela Grelin (Instituto Avon), Fernanda Quintas and Rosalu Ferraz Fladt Queiroz (Solidarity League), Guilherme Barros (Lemman Foundation), Juliana Depaula (BTG) and Nicole Rodrigues Carnizelo (Santa Plural Association). As partners of the event, IDIS annually organizes the trip, strengthening the relationship between the participants and with the global philanthropic community. Interested in participating? Contact us. The GPF does not yet have a set date, and will be released to our community as soon as it is announced.


IDIS is named the best Brazilian philanthropy organization

Efficiency and excellence in management are key factors for social organizations to achieve greater impacts on the causes they defend. The “Best NGO Award” recognizes good practices in governance, transparency, communication and financing and, for the fourth time, IDIS was among the top 100 in Brazil. And this year, a surprise: IDIS was also named the best organization on the brand new category Promotion of Philanthropy, Volunteering, and CSO support, taking two trophies home.

“Receiving these awards makes me very emotional and fulfilled! We made many investments in people, processes and tools to strengthen our projects, and ending the year with this recognition reinforces that we are on the right path”, says Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS. “This is the result of the dedication of our team and council, in addition to the trust placed by our partners”, she adds.

Among IDIS´s highlights are the monitoring strategic planning and indicators, investment in financial management and CRM platforms, the creation of a diversity and inclusion committee, and the growing investment in team training and development. The result was the expansion of advisory projects with new clients and the strengthening of relationships with those who were already in the house; strengthening of own projects such as endowment´s advocacy and Transforming Territories, a program to develop community philanthropy at Brazil. Equaly important was the productions in the field of knowledge, such as the 2021 Volunteer Survey, the Brazilian Endowments Outlook, the Seminar on ESG and Strategic Philanthropy; and the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum.

The selection of the prize is based on a rigorous evaluation carried out by O Mundo que Queremos Institute, the Doar Institute and “Ambev VOA”, with the support of researchers from Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Humanize Institute and of the Toyota Foundation.

We congratulate all the organizations that work every day for socioeconomic development in the most different causes and regions of Brazil and who were also recognized on this year´s edition.


National Bank for Economic and Social Development selects IDIS as ‘manager partner’ to improve Brazilian public health system

The matchfunding initiative will finance new technologies to expand health service in the North and Northeast of Brazil. By encouraging the participation of private donors, BNDES – National Bank for Economic and Social Development will double any contribution made to the program. Over 4 years, the equivalent to USD 40 million will be donated.


The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) selected the consortium formed by IDIS and Impulso Gov as the managers for the “Juntos pela Saúde – Together for Health” initiative

Launched in June 2022, the initiative aims to increase investment in technology and equipment for the Brazilian population’s access to health, in addition to improve the Brazilian free and public health system (SUS). The focus will be the North and Northeast regions of the country.

BNDES will use the matchfunding strategy, in which it doubles the amount invested by private donors. The initiative aims to gather R$ 200 million in non-reimbursable resources, equivalent to about USD 40 million, health of it invested by the bank, which will be transferred to public and philanthropic health units that serve the SUS by the means of acquisition of equipment, IT, management improvements and health campaigns.

So far, there is already a declared intention of a contribution from the multinational miner company Vale, in the amount of R$34 million, that, as the strategy suggests, will be also matched by  BNDES. These resources will strengthen primary care in the municipalities surrounding Vale’s operations in the State of Maranhão, with the expansion of the successful experience of the “Ciclo Saúde” (health cicle), project by Vale Foundation. 

The Bank’s resources come from the BNDES’ socio environmental fund.

The contracted manager will be responsible for supporting fundraising and carrying out public selection of projects and/or structuring projects eligible for support, in the minimum amount of R$2 million. All proposals will be submitted to a validation committee, with equal participation of BNDES and donors.

The project manager will also have the attribution of receiving funds from BNDES and other supporting institutions and passing them on to the contemplated projects, following up on the application and monitoring the results. The management of “Juntos pela Saúde” will follow all the corporate governance and compliance requirements, with the establishment of measurable goals, contracting of external audits, dissemination of results and public selections. In addition to improving access to healthcare, the initiative has as goals the efficiency and transparency of the investments.

“IDIS is very proud of this achievement. Our experience in managing donations and creating robust governance structures, such as the Emergency Health Fund – Coronavirus Brazil and the Private Social Investment Fund for the End of Violence against Women and Girls, was certainly decisive in demonstrating our ability to deliver such an important and complex project”, comments Paula Fabiani, CEO of IDIS.

Founded in 1999, IDIS is considered one of the pioneering organizations in advisory for social investors in Brazil. ImpulsoGov, on the other hand, has the mission of improving health policies through the intelligent use of data and technology.

The expectation is that the selected consortium will be hired in December, after technical and legal analysis by the BNDES, and that, in 2023, it will start working on the selection and structuring of projects.

Volunteering in Brazil: Two Decades of Transformation

In 2001, when the United Nations – UN established the International Year of Volunteers, amid the many celebrations at the time, the first Brazilian Survey on Volunteering became a landmark to know the profile of Brazilian volunteers.

Ten years later, in 2011, on the celebration of the Decade of Volunteering, the 2011 Survey “Volunteering in Brazil” expands its scope to better understand the volunteers.

Since 2011, Brazil experienced important events, such as the evolution of corporate volunteering, the holding of major events, humanitarian emergencies, and especially the impacts of the pandemic.

In a year deeply marked by the reinvention in the way voluntary work is done, the Survey “Volunteering in Brazil” becomes one of the main contributions to society.

This is a collection of papers to celebrate volunteering in Brazil, containing opinion papers whose purpose is to present the writer’s point of view.
They are diverse in terms of themes, characters, and styles, written by authors who kindly accepted our invitation to tell inspiring stories and bring relevant data capable of showing us how the Brazilian citizens, with creativity and perseverance, build a better and fairer society through volunteer work.

These sensitive reports show and record the important role of volunteer work in building a nation of citizens and solidarity.

The 2021 Survey “Volunteering in Brazil” legitimizes the work of thousands of volunteers in building a better Country, now and for future generations. In its third edition, the Survey brings a Brazilian portrait of the topic, points out to trends, and analyzes the changes in the last two decades.

It was prepared and coordinated by Silvia Maria Louzã Naccache, with the support of the consultants Kelly Alves do Carmo and Felipe Pimenta de Souza. The Institute for the Development of Social Investment – IDIS and Datafollha are responsible for the implementation.

To access the full Survey, CLICK HERE

Volunteering at Brazil: what companies have to do with it

By Luisa Gerbase de Lima, communicaton manager at IDIS


The “2021 Volunteering at Brazil Research” shows a positive scenario and points the way to evolution through the participation of companies! In just two decades, the number of people who have done some volunteer work at any time in their life has more than tripled, from 18% to 56% of the population.

The number of active volunteers is also remarkable – more than one-third of the population (34%). In other words, there are 57 million Brazilians who donated, in 2021, their time, talent, and energy for a cause they believe in, and who made a difference in the lives of those who benefited from the action. And why do they do it? The greatest motivation was solidarity, indicated by 74% of the volunteers.

We are thrilled with the numbers, but we cannot say they are surprising – they match the findings from other surveys that show the strengthening of the Culture of Giving and volunteering. In the World Giving Index 2021, a global study by the British Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), promoted by IDIS, Brazil was ranked 54th among 114 nations. This solidarity ranking contemplates attitudes such as donating money, helping strangers and volunteering, and in absolute terms, we moved up 14 positions compared to 2018 and 20 positions compared to the average of the previous 10 years.

Another study, the Brazil Giving Research 2020, conducted by IDIS and with an emphasis on individual donations of money to causes, shows that despite the drop in donation rates, there is a tendency for society to mature – more than 80% of interviewees agree that the act of donating makes a difference and, among nondonors, this agreement reaches 75%. The concept that donation is good for the donor also grew significantly between 2015 and 2020, from 81% to 91% of the population, reaching an almost absolute majority. Another positive aspect is that the idea that the donor should not talk about donating is losing strength. In 2015, the statement had the agreement of 84% of the population, and in 2020, the percentage dropped to 69%. This is an especially important point because talking about donations stimulates their practice, brings inspiration, clarifies fears, and arouses interest in other people.

It is in this context that volunteering is developing in Brazil, and it can be noticed that, despite the pandemic and social isolation have shaken structures, requiring quick readjustments, we were capable of meeting these challenges – 47% of the volunteers started to be more dedicated, and 21% have started to carry out online volunteer works such as psychological support and actions linked to education.

Such advances are by no means spontaneous. They are the proceeds from the work
and investment of countless organizations and individuals. Studies and research
generated data and considerations; practice enabled us to learn from successful
experiences and also from mistakes; the enhancement of the regulatory environment brought more solid bases and technology enabled us to exceed barriers and contributed to connecting people and knowledge.

The “2021 Volunteering at Brazil Research” provides a portrait of where we are, indicates points of attention, and possible paths to continue evolving. Keeping the number of volunteers growing is always desirable, but the great challenge is to turn this trend into a routine practice – we currently have 34% of Brazilian volunteers, but only about onethird of them do it on a regular basis, with a defined frequency. The answer to this transformation is in another figure – only 15% of volunteers say they participate in business programs, an indication of the huge potential that can be explored.

When we unite corporate social investment with individual desires, we find a fertile field for solidarity actions by companies with their internal stakeholders, and that is where the corporate volunteering programs come from. Possible results of this merger are many, going beyond the social impact generated and the creation of an action routine. Improvement of the organizational climate, increase of the feeling of belonging, an opportunity for the development of competencies, strengthening of ties between employees, deepening of the relationship with the company’s community, contribution to the impact strategy and private corporate social investment, attraction of talent, and contribution to the brand reputation with other stakeholders are some of the benefits of solidarity actions involving employees. Such programs are also an integral part of the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) agenda, which is increasingly being considered in investor decision-making. By promoting corporate volunteer programs, everybody wins.

Generosity in the world increased, especially in economies with the most vulnerable people. This movement of caring for others and making donations, whether of time or resources, needs to continue if we are to confront the perverse effects of the pandemic and accelerate the improvement of the well-being of those who need it most. We are going in the right direction and we will move forward.

The “2021 Volunteering at Brazil survey” was promoted by Institute Datafolha and IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment, and was coordinated by Silvia Maria Louzã Naccache and the consultants Kelly Alves do Carmo and Felipe Pimenta de Souza.

View philanthropy as a borderless endeavour

By Atti Worku at Alliance Magazine

Looking back on the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum 2022 brings me a sense of joy and excitement. When IDIS invited me to join the panel to discuss collaboration in philanthropy, there was no way I could pass up the chance to join forces with my fellow panelists to highlight the importance and impact of localising philanthropy.

My introduction to IDIS came about a year ago by way of the Alliance magazine team. I’ve always been impressed with their work and was reaffirmed during the conference as I learned more about the multi-pronged and progressive approach they take in their work in the philanthropic space. While I initially didn’t know what to expect, I was confident that the event would be well-run given the thorough and friendly preparation process of the IDIS team.

I landed in Brazil a few days before the event. I was lucky enough to spend that time exploring São Paulo, and I found the city to be immensely beautiful and fun. From the MASP’s Black and Indigenous art to the stellar sushi restaurants, I fell in love with the small slice of this stunning city. I also joined other panelists for pre-conference dinners and had the pleasure of connecting with Matthew Bishop, a renowned economist who shares a similar vision to mine for modern philanthropy. I’ve admired his work for a while, so it was really special to meet and sit with him on a panel.

To continue reading click here.

Global generosity growth as more people donate and help strangers

Brazil reaches record and is among the 20 most supportive countries in the world

More people donated money to charity and helped a stranger last year than in any year of the previous decade, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s – represented in Brazil by IDIS, World Giving Index 2022.

Around the world, 3 billion people helped someone they didn’t know last year, increasing by approximately half a billion compared to prior to the pandemic.  Around 200 million more people also donated money to charity worldwide, with donations rising by 10% in high-income economies.

The World Giving Index is one of the biggest surveys into giving ever produced with nearly 2 million people interviewed since 2009. This year’s Index includes data from 119 countries, representing more than 90% of the global adult population. People around the world are asked three questions: have they helped a stranger, given money or volunteered for a good cause over the past month? Produced by CAF, the World Giving Index will launch during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, at an event in New York to discuss the role of the private sector in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

For the fifth year in a row, the world’s most generous country is Indonesia, followed by Kenya in second place. Many high-income countries returned to the top 10, having seen a steep decline in volunteering and giving since 2018 which accelerated during the pandemic. In addition to the United States in third place, Australia (4), New Zealand (5), and Canada (8) join the world’s most generous countries.

The United Kingdom ranks 17th overall, up from 22nd in 2020, largely due to many lower-income countries also increasing their scores and rising the Index.

Ukraine came out 10th in the Index, rising from 20th in the previous year, and is the only European country occupying a place in the top 10. The high score from data collected prior to the 2022 conflict reflects the new ways to engage with charity which emerged in Ukraine, along with an increase in living standards and the need that was created by the pandemic.

Neil Heslop OBE, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“Giving takes different forms around the globe, and even the definitions of what constitutes charity and generosity differ across cultures. Our World Giving Index aims to measure generosity as expressed through three human behaviours. Encouragingly, the overall Index score has increased, indicating that people around the world have been engaging more in generous actions than during the previous year.

“Against an uncertain economic, social, and political backdrop, the World Giving Index improves our understanding about global giving. Covid-19 has affected the world’s poorest and vulnerable the most, which has also disrupted progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Private donors and businesses are likely to be called upon to fill funding gaps and charities will need to work out how best to direct their limited funding for the greatest impact. However, in the wake of two difficult years and with further challenges likely to come, we continue to see great instances of global generosity.”




World Giving Index 2022 Top 20 countries:




Ranking Score
Indonesia 1 68%
Kenya 2 61%
United States of America 3 59%
Australia 4 55%
New Zealand 5 54%
Myanmar 6 52%
Sierra Leone 7 51%
Canada 8 51%
Zambia 9 50%
Ukraine 10 49%
Ireland 11 49%
Thailand 12 48%
Czech Republic 13 48%
Nigeria 14 48%
United Arab Emirates 15 47%
Poland 16 47%
United Kingdom 17 47%
Brazil 18 47%
Guinea 19 47%
Philippines 20 47%


Collaboration, capacity, and change at the 2022 Brazil Philanthropy Forum

by Agustín Landa at Alliance Magazine

After three years since the last national reunion, the philanthropic sector of Brazil came together on 15 September in Sao Paulo at the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum organized by the Institute for Development of Social Investment (IDIS).


More than 200 guests attended in person, and many more joined the conference virtually. With 11 sessions and presenters from around the world, the Forum explored the topic of collaboration. It was very inspiring to see many young participants and future philanthropists in the venue among more seasoned people.

Opening with Paula Fabiani – Forum IDIS 2022

Collaboration in action

A fascinating first dialogue was with Celso Athayde, the Founder of Central Unica das Favelas, Neil Heslop, CEO of CAF, Monica Sodre, CEO of RAPS – and moderated by Atila Roque, Ford Foundation Brazil. All of them were from very different backgrounds and used the space to host a dialogue around the factors that need to be addressed for collaboration in the sector to reach far, as well as fast.

Forum IDIS 2022. São Paulo. Picture: Andre Porto

The panellists stressed that cooperation is not the same as collaboration. Trust, honest dialogue, an openness to diversity, and empathy were among the factors that need to be a part of working in collaboration. But it must also be accompanied by a systemic focus to obtain a shared goal.

Monica Sodre reflected especially on how democracy is being attacked and should take care of. Democracy she said is a value, cannot be underestimated, and is a very recent conquest of society.

To continue reading click here.

The ‘S’ of the Brazilian ESG will not evolve without dialogue with CSOs

The B3 (Stock Exchange in Brazil) revealed last year that it would have new rules for its Corporate Sustainability Index. The changes in the ranking stemmed from pressure from investors so that the companies evaluated became increasingly attentive to ‘ESG’ actions (Environmental, Social and Governance).

Following the announcement, B3 started to openly publish the scores of the 73 organizations participating in the index. Dimensions such as human capital; corporate governance and senior management; business model and innovation; social capital and environment were all disclaimed.

Among the top 10 companies, the dimension with the lowest average rating was human capital, which includes issues such as diversity and labour rights – followed by the social capital index, which covers the topics of private social investment and community relations. Both represent, not only, but essentially, the ‘S’ within ‘ESG’.

The findings reveal a weakness in materializing actions, measuring achievements, and an unclear commitment to social transformation. A study by BNP Paribas (ESG Global 2021) revealed that 51 per cent of investors surveyed considered the ‘S’ the most difficult to analyse and incorporate into investment strategies. Another analysis, carried out by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in partnership with Deutsche Bank, shows that only 14 per cent of the ‘social’ ratings compiled by the GRI are aimed at investors. In contrast, 97 per cent of environmental ratings and 80 per cent of governance ratings have investors as their primary audience.

The next step for Brazilian companies

Facing this scenario, what should Brazilian companies do to evolve on the social agenda in their ESG practices? The answer is not simple, nor is it unique. Among the options, there is a great opportunity for companies to rethink the way they dialogue with communities, and the role of grantmaking and strategic philanthropy, promoting social transformations aligned to the business.

As a trend, we see a raising involvement of CSOs in companies’ initiatives and, more than that, a transfer of knowledge from the social organizations to their investors, instead of the other way around. Projects are developed in collaboration, and direct investment is made on CSOs, which can increase their influence and capacity for execution and transformation alongside beneficiaries.

The pandemic showed that in the most difficult moments, problems are concentrated in the most vulnerable populations, whether due to the precariousness of the system or to the lack of work and income. At the same time, the experience made it clear that they were the ones most capable of finding the best solutions. Proofing points are the gigantic mobilizations conducted by community leaders during the emergency, such as those carried out by CUFA (Central Única de Favelas), which provided basic needs such as food and PPEs and promoted entrepreneurship in favelas across the country.

The connection between the ESG Agenda and philanthropy can no longer be invisible or ignored. A Census conducted by Gife in 2020 registered an increase of 11 percentage points in the number of social investors focused on ‘strengthening civil society’ in relation to the 2018 survey. Instead of creating new and promoting their own projects, companies should choose to strengthen grassroots organizations, which are more likely to act faster, more precisely and promote the changes we long to see.

Renato Rebelo was the Project Director at IDIS.

Brazilian endowments outlook

The first registered endowment in Brazil dates from 1956. The model, however, was not adopted by many organizations, and only in the decade of 2010 it started becoming more popular. The first law that regulates endowments was created in 2019 and since then the debate around them has been rising.

Little by little, there were news about new endowment, but there was no information about their number and sizes, or where they were located and causes they beneficiated. These are some of the questions that we at IDIS often hear. And the problem is that there was no data to answer them. Despite seeing the fruits of our efforts, we were not sure about the size of the endowment fund field in the country, nor its characteristics.

It was the urge to answer these questions, and many others, that led IDIS to develop the BRAZILIAN ENDOWMENTS OUTLOOK. After more than ten years of advocating for the regulation of endowment funds in our country, providing technical support for the creation of more than ten funds, and launching six publications on the subject, we wanted to have a clear picture of how far we have come.

The challenge was easy, as endowment fund managers are not used to disclosing numbers, let alone talking about their own difficulties. To our surprise, some traditional funds were willing to participate promptly, and this attitude spurred others to do the same. We gathered information on 58 endowment funds, six of which are still in the planning or structuring phase. In this publication, we have gathered the highlights we consider most important for the international public and those who are interested in learning more about this important aspect of philanthropy in Brazil.

Click here to download the Brazilian Endowments Outlook

Live Stream: Brazilian Philanthropy Forum 2022

The 11th edition of the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum already has a date: September 15th. This year, in addition to the in-person event in São Paulo exclusively for guests, the program will also be broadcast live, both in Portuguese and in English.



Philanthropy is increasing its presence in the Brazilian news and society demands commitment and results. There´s been a move forward, solutions were accelerated through connections and challenged the saying ‘alone you go fast and together you go far’.

Brazil has never advanced so far, and in so little time. The mobilization caused by the pandemic showed the potency of collaboration. Public authorities, companies of all sizes and segments, civil society organizations and individuals joined forces. They intensified pre-existing partnerships and created new bridges.

Therefore, this year’s theme is COLLABORATION. At the Brazilian Forum of Philanthropists and Social Investors 2022 the audience will see how it is possible to go ‘fast and together’. Discover the complete agenda here.

Register here for English live broadcast


Register here for Portuguese live broadcast



Among the speakers already confirmed are Ana Buchain (Executive Director of People, Marketing, Communication and Sustainability at B3), Flavia Rosso (Social Impact Manager at Ifood), Atila Roque (Director at the Ford Foundation in Brasil), Celso Athayde (founder of CUFA), Marcilio Pousada (CEO of RaiaDrogasil) and Mafoane Odara (Human Resources leader for Latin America at Meta).

Among the international guests we´ll have Atti Worku (Co-CEO of the African Visionary Fund), Agustín Landa (Founding Director of Lanza and Representative of the Alliance Magazine in Latin America), Melissa Berman (Founder and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), Neil Heslop (CEO of the Charities Aid Foundation), and Sonali Patel (partner at the Briedgespan Group).


The Brazilian Philanthropy Forum is promoted by IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment, in partnership with the Global Philanthropy Forum and the Charities Aid Foundation, and has the silver support from Ford Foundation; and bronze support from de Ambev, B3 Social, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Arymax Foundation, José Luiz Egydio Setubal Foundation, Sicoob Institute,  Movimento Bem Maior, RaiaDrogasil and Santander.

The event´s media partner is Alliance Magazine, the world’s largest philanthropy vehicle – who will cover the event and broadcast the event live in English on its YouTube channel. The sessions will happen from 1 p.m. at 10 p.m. (BST), with English translation.




The Brazilian Philanthropy Forum aims to provide an exclusive space for the philanthropic community to gather, exchange experiences and learn with peers, enriching the strategic philanthropy in order to promote the Brazilian society’s development. The event has already brought together over 1,500 participants, including philanthropists, leaders and national and international experts. Watch the 10 year aniversary video to see what is said about it!

See you soon!

Culture of giving in Brazil: Brief scenario

It is not possible to talk about innovation and trends in giving in Brazil without first looking at the landscape of the donation culture.

According to the World Giving Index 2021, an initiative of the British organization
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) carried out since 2009, Brazil occupied the 54th
position among the 114 countries covered in 2000, rising 14 positions in relation
to 2018 data and 20 positions in relation to its average position in the last 10 years
(Charities Aid Foundation, 2021). The index is composed of the answer to three
questions made to a sample with national representation: in the last month, (1) did
you help a stranger, (2) did you donate money to a social organization, or (3) did you
do some kind of volunteer work? In a year of socioeconomic crisis and lockdown
caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, helping out a stranger was the variable that
evolved the most in Brazil, showing that empathy and solidarity are on the rise.

Another study also helps us understand how the culture of donation has been
transformed in the country: Brazil Giving Research 2020, the most comprehensive
survey on the practice of individual donation in the country, promoted by the
Institute for the Development of Social Investment (IDIS). Its second edition,
carried out by Ipsos Research Institute between January and June 2021, shows that
the landscape of the donation culture has changed in the country in the past five
years since the first edition of the survey in 2015 (IDIS, 2021).

Part of the change was an evolution in the positive perception of giving and of
civil society organizations (CSOs), as well as an increase in their credibility. There
was also a great advance in the way Brazilians understand what citizenship
is and engage in solving problems, with a greater awareness that social and
environmental challenges in Brazil must be addressed by civil society and not
exclusively by the government.

An aspect of Brazilian culture that has an impact on the donation culture is people’s
resistance to publicizing or commenting on a donation made to others. Brazilians
understand that saying that they donated means expecting some compensation or
something in return, or promoting themselves, and this is socially disapproved. This
attitude, however, is beginning to change as a result of assertive communication
campaigns and concrete actions by a local movement to foster the culture of giving
in Brazil. When talking about donations, influence grows, and so do donations.

Taken together, these elements are indicative of a more mature society.

In the five-year period from 2015 to 2020, donating in cash was the most popular
way of giving, chosen by 53 percent of the respondents, and only 17 percent said
they had made some kind of online transation. However, there was also a great
development of technological tools for donation, such as giving platforms, taxfree instant bank transfer methods (PIX), social media to promote giving with live
broadcasting and giving buttons, and even a timid emergence of crypto giving.
These developments resulted in advances in two directions: accountability and
operational ease of donating. From the perspective of CSOs, it is easier to publicize
their performance and be accountable, even though the third sector requires
a general improvement to become more professional and have a more robust
management structure.

From the donor’s point of view, it is easier to follow what is done with the donated
resources, meaning the effective destination of the money. Regarding operational
ease, faster and more practical mechanisms for donation emerged with donation
buttons on e-commerce and social media, PIX, and so on. Combined, these effects
are beneficial to further boost donations in Brazil.

With cultural changes and technological advances, an increase in the volume of
donations in the country would be expected, but it has not happened. In 2020, 66
percent of the Brazilians said they made some kind of donation, while 37 percent
confirmed they actually donated money for a CSO. Together, they summed a total
of BRL 10.3 billion (equivalent to a bit more than USD 2.1 billion in 2021, adjusted
for inflation). In 2015, the total donations from the Brazilians reached BRL 13.7
billion (equivalent to over USD 4.7 billion in 2021, adjusted for inflation).

In these last five years, Brazilians had to deal with the effects of one of the worst
socio-economic crises in their history, and then faced the worsening of this
situation with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World
Inequality Report 2022, Brazil is one of the most unequal countries in the world:
the top 10 percent captures 59 percent of the total national income while the
bottom half of the population takes only around 10 percent of the national income
(World Inequality Lab, 2022). The pandemic has further accentuated this scenario.
The World Bank estimates that its effects drive up to 49 million people into poverty.
According to the Brazilian Instituto for Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the
country reached its highest unemployment rate since 2012 on April 2021, when
14.8 million people were looking for a job and the survey published by Oxfam in
January 2022 presents an estimate that, between April 2020 and April 2021, 377 Brazilians lost their jobs per hour, and that more than 600,000 companies
went bankrupt (Barros, 2021). The impact was felt in other areas as well. A survey
carried out by the Brazilian Research Network on Food and Nutrition Sovereignty
and Security pointed out that Brazil had at least 19 million people suffering from
hunger in that year (Gandra, 2021). The number of Brazilians who went hungry in
the new coronavirus pandemic doubles what was recorded in 2009, with a return to
the level observed in 2004. Before the country starts to recover and restructure its
economy, the tendency for this crisis is to worsen.

The figures show that average Brazilian in 2020 was poorer and more
concerned about their future than they were in 2015 (IDIS, 2021). Therefore, it
is understandable that part of their willingness to donate has been nullified by
uncertainty and economic insecurity, justifying the decrease observed in 2020 in
the proportion of donors of any nature, whether of money, goods, or time. Many
donors have probably become grant beneficiaries. On the other hand, classes with
greater purchasing power have responded, and donated more in 2020 than before.
As Brazil Giving Research 2020 shows—while the national average of donors was
37 percent, 58 percent of the people who earned between 6 and 8 times of the
minimum wages donanted in 2020—7 points higher than in 2015 (IDIS, 2021).

In Brazil, according to a sector mapping carried out by the Institute for Applied
Economic Research (IPEA), there are more than 800,000 active CSOs that
respond to the most diverse of causes (IPEA, 2021). The impact they generate is
increasingly communicated, contributing to the understanding that Brazilian CSOs
are closely linked to problem solving. Brazilians are empathetic and supportive,
and this cultural trait is receptive to the appeals of philanthropy. These are solid
foundations, and when the economic situation improves, a consistent recovery in
donations is expected. With knowledge and an understanding of new models for
enabling donations, it will be possible to go even further.

What Brazilian philanthropy learned from pandemic giving

Paula Jancso Fabiani CEO of IDIS and Luisa Lima Communications Manager at IDIS. 

Collaboration and strengthening civil society organisations are key to tackling Brazil’s social inequality, a new report from the Institute for Development of Social Investment asserts.

It’s easier to make a fortune than to give money away wisely, Andrew Carnegie said in the 19th century. More than 100 years separate us from that statement, but it´s still an idea that philanthropy reckons with as year by year, it tries to evolve. While global trends are helpful to anyone working in the sector, a local understanding is crucial.

In this article, we share some perspectives on philanthropy in Brazil from our research, which we hope are useful to anyone interested in contributing to development in our country or their own.

The pandemic and philanthropy in Brazil

Brazilian philanthropy had been characterized by a project-making vocation for many years, but when the pandemic struck, the sector had to quickly work to respond to the moment’s urgency. Many philanthropists realised it would be more efficient to finance projects led by civil society organisations (CSOs) than to try to build solutions themselves – CSOs had more knowledge about the problems, were close to the beneficiaries, and had implemented solutions. Corporate giving in Brazil reached its peak in 2020, and most of the resources for dealing with the effects of Covid-19 were allocated to third parties.

In this context of increasing grantmaking, another trend was strengthened. Besides the success of the projects funded, philanthropists became also concerned with the survival of CSOs. The deficiency of project focused grantmaking was more visible during the pandemic, when hundreds of organizations, were prevented from continuing their activities, having, sometimes, no resources to maintain their own structures. Many received donations of food for distribution but could not find donors to support them pay the rent or the electricity bill. This logic is slowly changing in the country with the emergence of philanthropic entities focused on the institutional strengthening of CSOs, meaning good management, capable teams, and a financial structure with reserves to face adversities.

Philanthropy in Brazil was developing towards long-term investments. Strategic philanthropy, planning aimed at systemic changes and influence on public policies increased as a practice, as well as the importance of endowments and impact assessment. This transformative approach was leading the way towards the search for more definitive answers to problems.

Nonetheless, the health crisis and its consequences boosted emergency actions, such as direct distribution of food, basic supplies and even cash transfers. Urgency required immediate reaction. During this period, unemployment, hunger, and poverty grew in Brazil, deepening the inequality gap. The societal demands have expanded because the pandemic has shown, for instance, that those who do not have access to internet cannot study and miss opportunities for health care.

Expanding the learning from pandemic response to other causes

During this moment, some causes gained new attention. Racial equality, fighting climate change, and access to technology and connectivity have particularly stood out. And other urgent causes were reinforced such as the fight against poverty, the protection of democracy, and the struggle for human rights and equity for other minority groups.

When putting a light on corporate giving, some factors have contributed to a higher engagement. Many became involved for the first time in 2020 and some decided to continue the practice, even after the most dramatic moment of the pandemic. As reported in the 2020 GIFE Census, 60 per cent of the donating companies declared that they intend to maintain or increase the total amount of social investments in the years ahead. This positioning is consistent with the pressure from investors and consumers.

On the investors’ side, the ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) agenda gained relevance. Nevertheless, Brazilian companies still invest relatively little in following ESG guidelines. The room for development is immense, and there´s a growing understanding that philanthropy is a path to strengthen the ‘Social’ pillar of the acronym.

On the consumer side, there is increasing pressure for companies to take a stand and intercede when the government does not solve society’s problems. According to Edelman Trust Barometer 2021, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of the population agrees with this statement, and 59 per cent of Brazilians expect CEOs to speak out publicly about social issues.

Above all, no single institution or sector, in isolation, has the solution to the complex problems that we face nowadays. The world in general, and Brazil particularly, are experiencing intense polarisation that fray the social fabric and makes dialogue difficult. Philanthropists, however, can build partnerships helping to connect CSOs, companies and government. If we had to choose only a word to summarize all that is needed, it would be collaboration. The pandemic has made it clear that we get further when we walk together and, contrary to the saying, we can get there faster too.

Article originally published at Alliance Maganize’s blog (click here) on June 4th

An Urgent Invitation to Shift Funding Practices

Catalyst 2030, a global network that works to make the world better and fairer for all, has launched an open letter aimed at donors and funders of non-profit organizations with an appeal for changes in their practices, making them more effective and improving sustainable social impact.

The action aims to gather 1,000 signatures worldwide, drawing attention to this important issue. As of May 25th, more than 500 organizations from 60 countries have signed the petition.

We at IDIS signed the letter and invite you, a member of a non-governmental organization, to join us in this call. This is an opportunity to accelerate social change by making financing practices more effective for the sector.

“To have any hope of making the world a better place by working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must more effectively address the root causes of problems through transformative changes in systems. A growing number of funders and organizations have realized that now is the time to advance global progress and find new ways to support change by changing current practices and norms of funding in the social sector.” Catalyst 2030. #ShiftingFundingPractices

Read the full letter

We are now in a stage of our civilizational journey where our world faces a cascading and interrelated set of global challenges that threaten the future for people and the planet. From endemic poverty, racial and gender inequity, species extinction, and deforestation, to growing fascism, and the climate crisis, the combination of these co-occurring and overlapping challenges signals that we urgently need to fundamentally transform the entrenched systems underlying these major problems.

To have any hope of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reversing the destructive trajectory facing people and the planet, we must more effectively address root causes of complex problems, rather than treating symptoms. This is possible if we transform policies, practices, customs, mindsets, power dynamics and resource flows to achieve a lasting impact on a local, national, and global level. This is the work known as systems change. It is a comprehensive approach to social change that seeks to address the complex, large-scale, and deep characteristics of social issues.

A key aspect of systems change is sustained collaboration. True systems change occurs when multiple players across sectors, disciplines, and social groups – including funders and movement leaders – work together towards common goals over extended timeframes.

While we encourage funders to explore different opportunities to finance projects that can lead to social good, including those that offer some financial return to investors, achieving effective systems change, particularly the many aspects that need grant funding, will require a powerful shift from traditional philanthropic approaches where:

  1. funders tend to rely on sources of expertise to understand social impact that may not center the leadership and lived experience of those who are closest to the issues we seek to address;
  2. most funding goes toward alleviating symptoms of failing systems rather than towards the longer-term work of understanding, addressing, and mobilising change to address root causes;
  3. project-specific funding is given in short-term allotments, which also often involves excessive paperwork, transactional power dynamics, and an overreliance on short-term metrics to evaluate success; and,
  4. application processes and criteria can lead to unhelpful competition among organisations instead of incentivising the types of collaborations that are needed to change systems.

An increasing number of funders and organisations are discovering that there is a real-time opportunity to advance global progress and model new ways of supporting change by shifting current funding practices that finance the social sector. These needed shifts span across multiple types of funders, including funding from private philanthropy, governments, and multilateral bodies.

The following principles outline what we, a large group of civil society organisations and systems change innovators, as well as many philanthropic thought leaders and funder allies, believe to be the most critical and effective practices funders need to adopt as we tackle the complex problems facing our world today.

We invite you to consider adopting the transformative grantmaking practices below. Given the powerful role of funders and donors in influencing the work and scope of organisations working on systemic issues, these shifts will better enable and empower the social sector and will foster multi-sectoral collaborations that work towards the types of systems changes that are urgently needed.


  1. Give Multi-Year, Unrestricted Funding: Addressing root causes of inter-connected systemic problems requires continuous adaptation and learning over the long-term. Trusting organisations with general operating funds for multiple years (at least three to five years, and preferably longer) allows them the flexibility to take the necessary long-term, iterative approach to tackling big, complex, systemic problems. This type of flexible investment frees up organisations to adapt to changing conditions and enables nonprofits to focus on their mission-critical work rather than focusing on where next year’s grants may be coming from.  If a funder can only offer restricted project grants, make them multi-year and ensure they cover the actual direct (including staff salaries) and indirect costs of delivering impact (such as office rent and equipment).  Consider providing more than enough for these costs to enable nonprofits to grow a surplus and reserves.
  2. Invest in Capacity Building. Good ideas are not enough. Help your programme partners to build core organisational capacity and be responsive to what they say they need most. Nonprofits need to build a diverse set of capacities, either in their organisation or through their partners, to bring collective strength and sustainability to their work over time.  Funders who put restrictions on overhead costs constrain organisations ability to achieve optimal social impact.
  3. Fund Networks: Networks are tools in our social change toolboxes that support stakeholders to take collaborative action and to develop strategic initiatives that include multiple players who are part of the solution.  Networks are also an excellent source for capacity building for those participating, incentivising collaboration, experimenting with new approaches, and allowing course corrections to happen quicker and more efficiently.  Invest in infrastructure and coordination capacity for organisations to collaborate, build networks, and work together more efficiently and effectively.
  4. Create Transformative Rather than Transactional Relationships: We need to evolve from the corrosive power relationships that have characterised many interactions between funders and grantees to date. To achieve transformational change, we need to practice a partnership model where we all bring assets and gifts to the change at hand. Money is one of those assets, as is community knowledge, people power, relationships, expertise, economic power, and political clout. Effective systems change work relies on all of these assets. It also requires shared sensibility for listening, learning, humility, and collaboration. Funders can give up some of their power to build our collective power for impact.
  5. Build and Share Power: Non-profits and movement leaders have traditionally not been present in rooms where governments and corporations make big structural decisions. This is especially true for black-, indigenous-, and people of color-led organisations, as well as those led by women, young people, and people with disabilities. Funders can help rebalance these inequities. They can achieve this by sharing power with and building power for the social sector, giving more resources directly at the local level to organisations with local leadership and local ownership, and making more robust investments in organizations led by proximate leaders of color.  More inclusive decision-making structures and spaces need to be designed. These spaces should encourage general operating and capacity building support to help leaders win policies and practices that advance the SDGs in their arena of influence.  It is also important that funders are open to funding newer, early-stage social entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs.
  6. Be Transparent and Responsive: Bring humility to your grantmaking and recognise the power imbalances in your relationships with programme partners. Communicate your equity journey with your grantees. Be crystal clear about your priorities and expectations. Be swift to say no if it’s not a good fit, and respond in a timely manner. The urgency of our challenges requires no less of us all.
  7. Simplify and Streamline Paperwork: Nonprofits spend too much time writing grant proposals and reports to satisfy funders’ requirements, while doing the difficult work of systems change and meeting regulatory conditions. Funders can help give time back by streamlining application processes, coordinating with other donors on due diligence and reporting, and aligning reporting with a systems change mindset. Reporting on systems change work is often more complex and nuanced than listing short-term outputs tied to individual projects.  As additional methods of evaluating impact, funders can be more open to stories as examples of progress. They can ask grantees what shifts in the system they are seeing over time, and they can talk to grantees about what’s working in their efforts and what is not.
  8. Offer Support Beyond the Check: Funders have more to offer than money alone. Be a connector. Make helpful connections for grantee partners to other possible funders and peer organisations, be curious and responsive to their needs, and create opportunities to showcase them and their work in channels to which you have access.  Support networks that build strong connections and provide platforms for collaboration rather than competition.
  9. Collaborate With Other Funders: Just as non-profits need to weave together networks to achieve scale, funders need to build ecosystems of investors in systems change work. Share knowledge, connections and expertise with other donors; enhance efficiencies through coordinated action; open doors for your grantees and walk through them together as partners. Connect with funders that are investing in similar areas and hold one another accountable for thinking broadly about your funding ecosystem and being intentional to include leaders and organisations that have historically and systemically had a hard time accessing funds from donors.
  10. Embrace a Systems Mindset in Your Grantmaking: Funders should embrace a systems change mindset with their grantees to address their chosen priority problem(s). The overall goal is to meaningfully shift the conditions that hold the problem in place.  This involves identifying, understanding, and addressing root causes of the problem(s) you are tackling.  This mindset also extends to thinking differently about evaluating and understanding impact over a longer-term horizon.

Many funders can point to some of these principles where they are leading or making progress.  However, partial progress, while worthwhile, won’t be enough if we are to respond to the urgency of the complex needs facing us.  We call upon philanthropic sector leaders and different types of funders to commit to adopting all of these principles in meaningful ways within their organisations, so that our shared commitment and ability to achieve lasting social change is accelerated.

Specifically, we ask for funders to commit to the following concrete, practical steps to show your support for these principles:

  1. Take the Funder Diagnostic on funding systems change, found here This is a comprehensive tool designed to support and inform the journey of shifting towards more systems change philanthropy. Develop concrete actions you will take based on the recommendations in the tool, work to improve your score over the next year or two, and commit to re-taking the Funder Diagnostic again to assess your progress.
  2. Make shifts towards the key elements of funding systems change, such as increasing funding given to groups that use systems change approaches, increasing the percentage of your grants that provide unrestricted core support, and increasing the percentage of your grants that are multi-year funding commitments.
  3. Revisit and streamline your grant-making processes. Identify at least one way that you can incorporate more perspectives or information from proximate leaders to help you shape your grant decisions.
  4. Hold yourself accountable to these principles by inviting feedback from your grantees on a regular basis, either through an anonymous grantee survey that you develop, a Grantee Perception Report, a staff survey, or other feedback mechanisms that you create to invite input.

*Many of the principles in this letter are derived from three sources: Embracing Complexity, a collaborative report authored by Catalyst 2030, Ashoka, Co-Impact, Echoing Green, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the Skoll Foundation, and McKinsey & Company that reflected the perspectives of many social entrepreneurs across the world; The Trust Based Philanthropy Project; and principles of Racial Equity-Based Philanthropy.

We look forward to working with you our shared journey to create lasting solutions to many of the biggest problems facing people and the planet today.

  • Signed by 1,191 organisations.

IDIS participates on report focused on the impacts of the pandemic on philanthropy

Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) released a new report, Philanthropy and COVID-19: Examining two years of giving, that details COVID-19-related philanthropic funding in 2021. Candid and CDP’s third assessment of COVID-19 philanthropic data notes a concerning decline in giving by large U.S. foundations even as communities face decades-long efforts to recover from the compounding effects of the pandemic.

One of the chapters of the report is dedicated to pointing out how the pandemic impacted philanthropy in other countries, one of them Brazil. IDIS contributed with its expertise and point of view and the project Emergency Health Fund – Coronavirus Brazil created by IDIS, BSocial and Movimento Bem Maior in 2020 and which raised R$ 40.4 million to help hospitals in 25 Brazilian states against COVID, was highlighted as a case study.

Check out the main highlights of the report:

Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) released a new report, Philanthropy and COVID-19: Examining two years of giving, that details COVID-19-related philanthropic funding in 2021. Candid and CDP’s third assessment of COVID-19 philanthropic data notes a concerning decline in giving by large U.S. foundations even as communities face decades-long efforts to recover from the compounding effects of the pandemic. The new report highlights the need for more philanthropic support for long-term recovery, and CDP provides actionable steps funders can take to invigorate their COVID-19 giving strategy, including:

  • Increase support to marginalized communities.
  • Provide flexible funding to grantees.
  • Implement trust-based philanthropy.
  • Fund as locally and grassroots as possible.
  • Commit to transparency by sharing grants data with Candid.

In previous reports, CDP and Candid noted the record amount of disaster-related funding for the pandemic. The new report includes analysis of Candid’s coronavirus data set (as of December 15, 2021) to illuminate funding trends among U.S. foundations, corporations, and high-net-worth individuals. To date, Candid has recorded $1 billion for COVID-19 in 2021. Additional key findings from the report include:

  • 18% of COVID-19 funding was explicitly designated as flexible funding or general support.
  • 17% of funding was coded for policy, advocacy, and systems change.
  • Health, human service, and education organizations received the highest shares of funding.
  • U.S. donors allocated 22% of funding dollars to recipients based outside the United States.
  • For U.S.-focused domestic funding, 27% of dollars was explicitly designated for racial and ethnic identities. Of this, 71% didn’t indicate a specific identity, but instead, was broadly designated for “racial equity” or “communities of color.”

This report also examines data from Candid’s Foundation Giving Forecast Survey, which surveys large U.S. foundations about their grantmaking. This year’s survey asked respondents about their total grant payments in FYE 2020 and 2021 and also sought to find out how much of this funding was specifically for COVID-19-related support. Results show:

  • An 11% increase in overall grantmaking, but a 31% decline specifically for COVID-19-related funding in FYE 2021.
  • Corporate foundation funding for COVID-19 decreased by 76%; community foundations’ funding decreased by 43%; and funding by independent foundations decreased by 24%.
  • COVID-19 funding accounted for 7% of total giving in FYE 2021, compared to 12% in FYE 2020.

“Overall, surveyed funders did not maintain their COVID-19 support in the second year of the pandemic,” observes Grace Sato, director of research at Candid. “But defining COVID-19 support can be challenging. Since there isn’t a universal definition of COVID-19 funding, survey respondents used their own criteria to estimate how much of their grant payments were allocated for COVID-19. Many may not have considered increased general support or increased flexibility as part of their pandemic funding.”

Chart: Covid-19 support as share of total grant payments FYE 2020 vs 2021

To illustrate funding flows outside the U.S., country and regional experts described the philanthropic response in their localities. The report presents snapshots of COVID-19 funding in 11 countries, including case studies of how philanthropy responded to the crisis in India, Brazil, and Ukraine.

The report also provides information about CDP’s approach to disaster grantmaking. In 2021, CDP granted nearly $2.6 million in 2021 to address psychosocial health and wellbeing needs after disasters.

“We strongly believe that mental health is an area that will need ongoing funding to support global COVID-19 recovery,” said Regine A. Webster, vice president of CDP. “Our communities—especially communities of color—are going to feel the impacts of the pandemic for decades to come. We need to keep the momentum in ensuring that frontline organizations have the financial resources to address immediate needs and root causes to help all community members thrive.”

Philanthropy and COVID-19: Examining two years of giving is available here.

Perspectives for Brazilian philanthropy in 2022

Societies are more complex. Problems to be faced too.

In the 19th century, one of the great names of philanthropy, the entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie, said it was easier to make a fortune than to give money away wisely. More than a century separates us from that statement, and since then societies have become more complex, as have their problems. And the challenge faced by philanthropists, who want to generate the greatest possible impact with their donations, has grown considerably, after two years of the pandemic and its consequent economic and social crisis.

Thinking about the decisions which Brazilian philanthropists will face in 2022 that IDIS prepared this article, bringing some perspectives we see in our daily work, both in Brazil and abroad. Perspectives work like windows opening onto different landscapes, and in each one something different is happening that can influence the way the private social investor understands the context in which he/she is inserted, the various possibilities within his/her reach, and the effects of his/her resolutions.

It should be clear that IDIS have never intended to draw a complete picture of reality and of what should be considered by a philanthropist when reflecting on how he or she intends to make donations. But we do have the intention of enriching this moment and, somehow, contributing so that the social investor has more elements to collaborate with in order for his/her decision to be the best for him/her, the best for the beneficiaries, and the best for Brazil.

Check out: Perspectives for Brazilian philanthropy 2022