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.


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.

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

Study highlights leading companies in corporate giving in Brazil and worldwide in 2020

Unprecedented research carried out by IDIS points out the organizations that allocated the most resources to social initiatives on the first year of the pandemic

IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment, as a request from Itaú Unibanco, accomplished a survey on social investment carried out with companies around the world. The Corporate Giving Ranking reveals which are the 10 Brazilian and 10 international companies that contributed the most to socio-environmental actions, through donations and sponsorships, on 2020, first year of the pandemic.

In Brazil, the best-placed company is Itaú Unibanco, with a total invested amount of USD 350 million. The bank also stood out in the global ranking, classified in 8th, only behind US giants companies and a large Chinese organization. In the international ranking, the highlight was Microsoft, with USD 2.3 billion invested. Check out the rankings below:


Brazilian Corporate Giving Ranking in 2020





# 1 Itaú 350.007.709 2.903.064.174 12,1%
#2 Vale 213.534.615 4.496.146.153 4,7%
#3 Bradesco 182.219.230 3.741.923.076 4,9%
#4 Cogna Educação 62.855.769 -1.116.499.615 n/a
#5 JBS 60.788.461 884.288.461 6,9%
#6 Rede D’Or 43.096.538 88.350.576 48,8%
#7 Banco do Brasil 39.625.000 2.670.000.000 1,5%
#8 Claro 29.532.692 668.435.192 4,4%
#9 Ambev 28.847.746 2.327.750.000 1,2%
#10 Petrobras 27.990.961 2,3%
TOTAL 1.038.498.721

Font: IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment


International Corporate Giving Ranking in 2020





#1 Microsoft



#2 Salesforce




#3 Walmart



#4 Google


#5 Wells Fargo




#6 Cisco Systems



#7 ByteDance




#8 Itaú




#9 Tencent




#10 Mastercard






Font: IDIS – Institute for the Development of Social Investment


The criteria for positioning the companies took into account the financial volume of donations and the percentage that this value represents in the net profit of each corporation. In addition to financial donations in cash, the ranking considers donations of products and services, sponsorships carried out through incentive laws (in the national case), donations reported together with other companies (provided that the value of each one is specified), and the portion referring to the contributions of the sponsoring company by income from the equity funds to the Business Institutes and Foundations.

In addition to the quantitative assessment, IDIS considered in the study the strategic alignment of the actions with the company’s business and also whether the amount made available to combat the pandemic was only on an emergency basis or if there was a history and forecast of maintenance of the contributions of resources.

All values ​​used in the research were obtained from public sources of information related to philanthropy. They are: Giving USA 2021, CANDID-Philanthropy and Covid-19 Measuring One Year of Giving, Foundation Maps – Philanthropy’s response to coronavirus, Foundation Directory Online, Investor Relations Reports, ABCR Giving Monitor, GIFE, Tax Incentive Laws and Integrated Annual Reports – Sustainability, Corporate Responsibility and ESG.

This Corporate Giving Ranking complements the recently released findings of the GIFE Census and BISC Report. The studies, which include a considerable part of the most important companies in the country, estimate a volume of USD 1.3 billion related to private social investment in 2020. Considering methodological and sample differences, the total investment of the 10 companies that make up the ranking by IDIS is USD 1 billion, showing a high concentration of investments in a few companies.

“Data is essential to guide our action. It is clear that corporate social investment is still very concentrated and that it is necessary to engage more and more organizations. This is a journey that begins with the understanding that companies are part of the solution to our socio-environmental challenges and continues through a long-term commitment to transformation. Another important point to consider will be the behavior of these companies in the coming years, how much the increase seen in 2020 will influence their corporate social investment strategies and policies, as well as the effect on the sector in general”, comments Renato Rebelo, IDIS Consulting unit director.


Download the full publication here (content available in Portuguese only)