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Philanthropists need to be bridging leaders: Peggy Dulany

Peggy Dulany, the founder and chair of Global NGO Synergos Institute, on the role of leadership and how family shapes attitudes towards philanthropy

Philanthropists often go in with an assumption of what is the most important need of a community. For example, education. Of course, it is an important need always. But somehow without that intermediary process of consultation, things that are simply donated are often passively accepted and you don’t get the community engagement that you need. The main thing for philanthropists is to learn to respond to the needs that the community diagnoses as its problems. But if you just go in and talk to the village leader, you will not, for example, include women in the diagnosis and you get a very different image.

That’s why I often advocate that philanthropists should engage for greater impact. 

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