‘There is a changing paradigm inside philanthropy’: Clare Woodcraft, chief executive of the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi. Delores Johnson / The National
‘There is a changing paradigm inside philanthropy’: Clare Woodcraft, chief executive of the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi. Delores Johnson / The National

Emirates Foundation leads ‘transformation’ of philanthropy sector by adopting business model



ABU DHABI // The business of philanthropy in the region is being transformed – led by Emirates Foundation, the UAE’s leading youth development organisation.

The foundation is moving from short-term intervention to long-term change and has adopted “venture philanthropy”, which boosts efficiency and value for money and obtains better results.

“Through our own transition we want to demonstrate how you can increase your impact when you switch from traditional philanthropy to more strategic philanthropy,” said Clare Woodcraft, the foundation’s chief executive.

She said a revolution was taking place across the sector and venture philanthropy was becoming a trend.

“We don’t want to go into a village or town and do a nice project for 18 months. We want to create systemic long-term change.

“When we talk to other organisations, we find they are asking how can we become more impactful, deliver more value and make sure it is all sustainable.”

The foundation also spoke of its latest plans to empower youth.

These began in 2012 when it shifted from a predominately grant-making entity, donating money to third parties, to one focused on in-house programmes.

Empowering young people through social engagement and volunteering, encouraging them to seek careers in the private sector and teaching them how to manage their money are the core issues that have shaped the foundation’s agenda since then.

“When we looked at our portfolio, we found the most interesting stuff was happening in our programmes, so we phased out all of our grants and asked what were the key issues impacting young Emiratis,” Ms Woodcraft said.

The organisation has developed the Takatof and Sanid programmes, which now engage more than 30,000 young Emiratis.

Takatof volunteers help out at social centres, sports and social clubs, and Sanid is an emergency support group.

The foundation also created four more programmes to assist in youth development.

The Think Science programme aims to encourage Emiratis to go into science and technology. Kafa’at offers career development through mentoring and internships. Kayani increases job opportunities for young people with disabilities. And the Esref Sah programme promotes better management of debt and finances.

With its new business model, the foundation will develop each of these six programmes so they eventually become stand-alone organisations.

“We want each programme to build and grow as if it were a subsidiary of Emirates Foundation,” said Ms Woodcraft.

Because Takatof and Sanid have been in existence for longer they are further down the line in terms of this process, she said.

As a founding member of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s Global Network of Foundations, Emirates Foundation used last year’s Philanthropy in Transition summit to engage debate on the shift they hope to encourage in the field.

“I called it a revolution. There is a changing paradigm inside philanthropy where more are asking, are we really doing enough? Is philanthropy really working? Are we creating real outcomes?” said Ms Woodcraft.

To promote the debate, Emirates Foundation is hosting a forum on The Guardian newspaper’s website giving philanthropic foundations, experts and others the opportunity to share ideas and experiences.

The forum will last for six weeks but Ms Woodcraft hopes the debate will continue for some time.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae

First-round leaderbaord

-5 C Conners (Can)

-3 B Koepka (US), K Bradley (US), V Hovland (Nor), A Wise (US), S Horsfield (Eng), C Davis (Aus);

-2 C Morikawa (US), M Laird (Sco), C Tringale (US)

Selected others: -1 P Casey (Eng), R Fowler (US), T Hatton (Eng)

Level B DeChambeau (US), J Rose (Eng) 

+1 L Westwood (Eng), J Spieth (US)

+3 R McIlroy (NI)

+4 D Johnson (US)

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Adele: The Stories Behind The Songs
Caroline Sullivan
Carlton Books

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The stats: 2017 Jaguar XJ

Price, base / as tested Dh326,700 / Dh342,700

Engine 3.0L V6

Transmission Eight-speed automatic

Power 340hp @ 6,000pm

Torque 450Nm @ 3,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined 9.1L / 100km

Structural weaknesses facing Israel economy

1. Labour productivity is lower than the average of the developed economies, particularly in the non-tradable industries.
2. The low level of basic skills among workers and the high level of inequality between those with various skills.
3. Low employment rates, particularly among Arab women and Ultra-Othodox Jewish men.
4. A lack of basic knowledge required for integration into the labour force, due to the lack of core curriculum studies in schools for Ultra-Othodox Jews.
5. A need to upgrade and expand physical infrastructure, particularly mass transit infrastructure.
6. The poverty rate at more than double the OECD average.
7. Population growth of about 2 per cent per year, compared to 0.6 per cent OECD average posing challenge for fiscal policy and underpinning pressure on education, health care, welfare housing and physical infrastructure, which will increase in the coming years.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Dunki

Director: Rajkumar Hirani 

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover

Rating: 4/5

Company profile

Name: Infinite8

Based: Dubai

Launch year: 2017

Number of employees: 90

Sector: Online gaming industry

Funding: $1.2m from a UAE angel investor

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone


The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today