Research/Networking Covid-19 and Third Sector
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ISTR's new research and networking forum is designed to provide an active and engaging space for our members to share new research being carried out on Covid-19 and the Third Sector. Use this space to share research ideas, identify research partners/collaborators, seek feedback and support on work-in-progress, and solicit and discuss research ideas and methods. Also use this space to publicize relevant reports, op-eds, papers, etc. you have published that might be of interest to your peers and provide links to collections of research being compiled by other organizations that represent third sector sub-fields (philanthropy, volunteerism, governance, legal studies, etc.) or global regions (Asia, LAC, Africa, Europe, etc.) to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas. We will cross post these on our static resources page: This forum is open to all, though you must be logged in to an ISTR account to post. To post, click on "Add new post" below.


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COVID 19 and responses in Africa

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Director, Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI), South Africa


COVID 19 has caused a lot of damage to societies across the world. As of Thursday 21 May, there were over 5 million confirmed cases, close to 2 million recoveries and more than 238 172 deaths globally. In Africa, the virus started slowly but has since been on the increase in several countries. However compared to most European countries and the United States of America, Africa’s numbers are still very low. Africa has a population of 1,216 billion and as of the 21st May 2020, Africa’s confirmed COVID 19 cases was 95 058, with 38 115 recoveries and 2 995 deaths. South Africa has the biggest numbers (18 003 confirmed cases, 7 950 recoveries and 339 deaths), followed by Egypt (14 229 confirmed cases, 3950 recoveries and 680 deaths). Other countries with high numbers include Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tunisia, Senegal and Cameroon. Only Lesotho has zero infections at the time of writing. This raises a number of questions. Is this due to the measures that Lesotho might have taken ahead of time to make sure there are no infections. How long will this continue for? Is there a possibility that this is because of poor testing especially given the close proximity between Lesotho and South Africa.  Read more here

Originally published in the ISTR Africa Network Newsletter

Tags:  Africa  civil society  covid-19  Philanthropy 

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The PhiLanthropic Year Journal - COVID-19 Special Edition

Posted By Katherine MacDonald, Monday, May 25, 2020

The PhiLanthropic Year COVID-19 Special Edition

The PhiLanthropic Year is a bilingual journal that specializes in the transmission of scientific and professional knowledge within the philanthropic sector, and more specifically, grantmaking philanthropy. The journal meets the need of rendering available, in French and English, knowledge mainly produced by or highlighted by the scientific activities that take place within the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab).

The COVID-19 pandemic led us to publish the first Special Edition Edition, including 24 articles that cover a diversity of angles, perspectives and locations.

Click here for a flip-through version of the whole journal



Tags:  canada  covid-19  Grantmaking  Philanthropy 

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Philanthropy and the COVID-19 Response in India

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 21, 2020

Philanthropy and the COVID-19 Response in India By Pritha Venkatachalam, Donald Yeh, and Niloufer Memon May 18, 2020, The Bridgespan Group

Tags:  India  Philanthropy 

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Giving Tuesday Research Priorities

Posted By Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer, Giving Tuesday, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The GivingTuesday Data Commons is a global collaboration of research partners including more than 150 organizations, donation platform, and researchers in the US, as well as teams in 47 other countries. Together, we are working to understand giving behavior and how to motivate increased generosity. I wanted to share with you an update on our work and priorities right now. Things are moving very quickly and we want to stay connected to our network and maximize opportunities for collaboration.  

There is new urgency behind our data efforts as we work with our partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fidelity Charitable to help address the current crisis and emerging threats around the world. We are leveraging our data, findings, collaborative research, and network in a number of ways. These include, identifying opportunities and challenges for sector resilience, measuring and understanding individual behavior in response to crisis, identifying and scaling best practices for mitigation, and understanding how to leverage emergent generosity action for longer term culture shifts.

We want to help the social and charitable sectors to realize the opportunities for a positive legacy of this crisis.

Our Research Priorities

We are implementing measurement processes right now to answer this need:

  • Meta-analysis of research on the impact of economic shocks to the social sector and distilling findings for actionable insights.
  • Analyzing 990 and our unique transactional datasets to uncover deeper insights and identify key indicators. We’re using tools we developed with our collaborators and making the code and data open for others.
  • Global social and media listening to measure the conversation, test interventions, and connect engagement to action. We’ll use this to identify the opportunities for scalability, mitigation and recovery.
  • Fielding survey research in global markets to establish baseline attitudes, values and self-report behavior. We’ll run a second round after GTNow to measure impact.
  • Developing values and behavior dashboards to track longer term trends and forecast.
  • Coordinating our network of 47 global teams and US working groups to gather data, collaborate on research and share findings and best practice.
  • Working with our platform partners to collect and analyze transaction data to identify current and emerging trends and forecast opportunities and risks.

Tags:  Philanthropy 

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Special Edition: Philanthropy & COVID-19

Posted By Katherine MacDonald, Tuesday, May 5, 2020
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Philanthropy and the Coronavirus crisis : Making the shift towards a preventive model

Posted By Katherine MacDonald, Wednesday, April 8, 2020

On behalf of PhiLab,The Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network, I would like to share a recently published article on four strategies being used by the third-sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked an unprecedented state of emergency in Quebec, Canada, and the rest of the world. Reassuringly, we are also witnessing a wave of solidarity, mutual aid and generosity that rises to the challenges emerging alongside the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The strength and resilience of philanthropy, when faced with large scale international issues, has already been discussed this past Januaryduring the Australian bushfires[1].

 Manifestations of solidarity will continue to increase with the recent announcement of the UN’s “Global Humanitarian Response Plan” paired with a 2 billion dollar call for donations. The Secretary-General, António Guterres, who has already spoken out against the “million” deaths caused by lack of solidarity, has reinforced his claim, on March 25th of this year, by calling out the inevitable need for solidarity at the global level, as “countries’ individual responses will not be enough”. Within this global pandemic, what role does philanthropy play?"

The article is available in different formats and has been published on various platforms as listed below.

In French

Long version: Face au coronavirus, une mobilisation sans précédent des organisations de bienfaisance,

 Short versions:

In English:

Short version: 

 We hope these resources can help push other third-sector entities to reflect on the many opportunities. PhiLab is also working on an upcoming special edition on the current pandemic specifically and how the Canadian philanthropic sector is reacting. I will be forwarding the different resources and articles that come from it here. If you have any questions or would like to participate in this edition as guest writers, please do not hesitate to contact me at .

Tags:  Canada  Philanthropy 

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