Footprints: How a community grantmaker shifts the power

This case study profiles the Ikhala Trust, a community grantmaker attempting to unleash the power that exists in local communities and shift and share the power of dominant institutions. Established in 2002, the trust provides small grants and mentoring support to community‑based organizations operating within the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Small but mighty (and working with the small and potentially mighty) it has been at the vanguard of an approach to development assistance that is a clear departure from conventional philanthropic endeavours.

Its grantmaking ethos is about valuing and investing in people and their assets, while helping to build capacities and networks so that community‑based organizations can build community relationships themselves and connect to outside organizations to sustain their community‑building work. The Ikhala Trust assumes that ‘everyone has something to give’, whether time, money, or other resources, and that mobilizing these are in keeping with deep‑rooted traditions of giving and helping. As such, their work shines the light on the potential for community philanthropy to be the foundation for rebuilding civil society.

Author: Alison Mathie & Ninnette Eliasov

Published by: GFCF

Published: October 2019

Download: ‘Footprints: How a community grantmaker shifts the power’ (a long version of the paper ‘Expanding the footprint: The Ikhala Trust story‘ is also available)

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Naude Malan
Naude Malan

Great Stuff Ikhala!