Giving in The Gulf Cooperation Council

By October 11, 2022 No Comments

The study “Giving in The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Evolving towards strategic philanthropy” has been developed in partnership with the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP), University of Cambridge Judge Business School and is informed by interviews with philanthropists and experts.

Despite the growing importance and scale of philanthropy across the region, in-depth research on giving has been remarkably limited. The goal with this pioneering study is to help address this knowledge gap and provide important insights into this unique socioeconomic and cultural context for giving, as well as the motivations, approaches and opportunities for philanthropy. The study estimates the size of philanthropic giving in the GCC and describes its overall evolution towards strategic philanthropy.

The goal with this study is to deepen knowledge about the motivations, practices and trends in philanthropy in the GCC. Due to the lack of data on giving in the region, this pioneering study is based on the review of existing literature and inter-views with 32 philanthropists, experts and professionals across the six GCC countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. We uncover 15 findings that illuminate the fascinating flavor of philanthropy in the GCC.

Philanthropy in the region is also becoming more strategic, shaped to a large extent by the demands of the next generation. From the limited sample, the majority of philanthropists that we interviewed expressed their ambition to not only increase but uplift their giving towards more strategic, structured and institutionalized philanthropy, reinforced by a greater use of data and evidence-based methodologies for impact assessment.

The study reveals interesting trends in the region. Religious beliefs are tightly interwoven with family and societal values that shape giving. While a minimum level of giving is mandated by religion, philanthropic practices in the GCC extend far beyond this on a voluntary basis, which philanthropists see as part of their duty as members of society.

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Image: LGT Group Foundation
Publication date: August 31, 2022

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