Palestinian companies discuss innovations in community philanthropy

Palestinian companies discuss innovations in community philanthropy
--Release: Tuesday, December 3, 2013—

Ramallah, Palestine – Corporate executives are gathering today at the initiative of Dalia Association, Palestine’s community foundation, and under the sponsorship of Palestine Investment Fund. Hashim Shawwa, Chairman and CEO of Bank of Palestine and Rabea Ataya, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Bayt.com (from Dubai by videoconference) will speak about how philanthropy supports their business strategy and how they perceive the private sector’s role in addressing community problems. Sam Bahour, Managing Partner of Applied Information Management (AIM) will lead discussion among the by-invitation attendees.

Mr. Hashim Shawwa Mr. Rabea Ataya Mr. Sam Bahour

“It’s critical that Palestine’s business leaders work more strategically as part of a philanthropic community so their giving can have more impact,” says Saeeda Mousa, Executive Director of Dalia Association, a local organization that promotes local, private sector and Diaspora philanthropy as a means to decrease dependence on international aid and achieve self-determination in development. Winner of the Arcus Social Justice Prize in 2013, Dalia Association supports private sector philanthropy through “company funds” – companies can contribute $2,500/year in money, materials or services. Dalia Association consolidates funds and makes small, unrestricted grants through which grassroots civil society groups are empowered to lead their own development agenda with integrity and be accountable to local communities. Three companies piloted the company funds concept: The Abraaj Group, Aramex, and Jabbar Internet Group.

Solutions for Development Consulting Company in Ramallah will be launching the “Solutions Philanthropy Fund” at the December 3rd meeting -- the first local Palestinian company to open a company fund with Dalia Association. Iyad Joudeh, CEO, says, “We always support community initiatives whenever we can. But we're especially pleased to be able to give through a local partner like Dalia Association. Their deep contacts in the community and long-term commitment will ensure that our resources are used in ways that are most sustainable.”

The Global Fund for Community Foundations
, a grantmaker based in South Africa, is supporting Dalia Association’s efforts by offering a $1,000 contribution to each new company fund opened this year.
“When we realize that there are over 11 million Palestinians in the world, and we realize how abundant the community is, not only in money, but in natural resources, skills, ideas, culture, faith, and so much more, it just makes sense that there should be an organization like Dalia Association that can receive contributions of all kinds, consolidate them, and make grants in ways that support Palestinians’ right to self-determination in development,” says Saeeda Mousa.


 
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