Sri Lankan Philanthropy Study Coming Soon

The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) and the UK-based School of Global Studies of the University of Sussex will be relasing a study on charity, philanthropy and dvelopment in Sri Lanka. The study includes giving in Colombo and Sri Lanka’s diaspora donors. According to the news report from Lanka Business Online, the study will include

… Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and secular forms of giving – including Corporate Social Responsibility – in the form of cash, kind or time and assess their contribution towards achieving development goals.

This scope is fairly impressive but in Sri Lanka as elsewhere in Asia, religious giving is an important central interest of the people.

The article provides hints of what to expect from the report – which are not surprising at all if you have been following philanthropic trends in Asia. For example:

* Civil society organizations are limited in their ability to raise funds.

* Sri Lankans give generously to poor relatives, the temple and their old school but not to civil society organizations and their causes (fear of corruption, financial mismangement, reluctance to pay for charities’ administartive costs).

* Giving is focused on humanitarian relief rather than long-term change.

* Private business owners account for the majority of large-scale giving but their giving is very personal and to causes they care about.

I look forward to reading the study when it is published. I am most interested in the layers of giving CEPA is focusing on:

“Our research is highlighting the multi-layered relationships forming between different kinds of social engagement, from traditional gift-giving through communal religious charity to corporate social responsibility.”

The report is expected to be released next year. I hope the report will also provide some guidance on working with indigenours donors and how to promote greater philanthropy. Stay tuned as we continue to track this development!

Photo credit: BoJay (Flickr)

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