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US community fundraising has more in common with Latin America than Europe

Community fundraising and philanthropy in the USA has “more in common with new ideas coming out of emerging markets” than it does with the United Kingdom and Europe.
Speaking at a session on global fundraising perspectives at the IoF National Convention, Andrew Watt, CEO and president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals  (AFP), said that communities in the US were solving their problems the same way impoverished communities do in Latin America and Asia. But they did not rely on traditional fundraising.

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Andrew Watt


[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]’If we want to look for entrepreneurship and innovation in fundraising, we have to look at emerging markets'[/quote]
“Ten years ago I would have looked at the US and seen huge markets and so thought scale and professionalism were most important,” said Watt, who moved to the AFP in 2005 from the Institute of Fundraising, where he was deputy CEO. “But if we want to look for entrepreneurship and innovation, we have to look at emerging markets.”
Europeans take state-funded health, social welfare and education for granted, Watt said. But in places such as the favelas in Brazil, communities had to solve themselves the problems Europeans could rely on their government to fix. Watt said this was the situation that now affected industrial cities such as and Flint, in Michigan, where the APF has been assisting philanthropists to reach the community directly.
“What I see in the places like Flint and the favelas are groups of people who see a need and a way to meet it. The community groups in Flint are looking to the favelas for their fundraising inspiration.”
 
Image: Brazilian bank notes by Cifotart on Shutterstock.com
 

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