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South Asian philanthropy in Britain and “Desi Donors”

July 23, 2009

What is South Asian giving like across the pond?  Dien did a very informative post at Asian American Giving recently about British Asian philanthropy.

After explaining that “Asian” in the UK generally means South Asian, the post goes on to describe two main initiatives that promote philanthropy among South Asians in Britain – the Asian Foundation for Philanthropy (AFP) and the British Asian Trust (BAT).  The AFP works primarily on channeling volunteers and funds to India from the UK, while the British Asian Trust funds projects in both the UK and across South Asia.

I was particularly interested in BAT, which makes 12 to 15 big grants each year in the UK, Bangladesh, India, etc.  This cross-border example of diaspora philanthropy is very interesting to us at SAPP – what inspires giving within our countries of residence and “back home” to our countries of origin?

I was also interested – and disappointed – to read that there is a lack of research on British Asian philanthropy, very similar to the lack of research about South Asian giving in North America.  Does this suprise anyone else?  I imagined that the longer history of South Asians in the UK would have led to some more examination of our giving patterns there.

A friend also e-mailed me this article from Asians in Media about “Desi Donors” – a new British initiative that has garnered the support of author and actress Meera Syal in order to raise awareness about the importance of diversifying blood and bone marrow registries with more Asian donors.  This new charity just held a fundraiser two weeks ago to support Britain’s Anthony Nolan Trust.

Please send along any other examples of charities and fundraisers being established to inspire South Asian giving in any country… and look out for a new series on South Asian philanthropy in Canada, my new home country!

11 Comments leave one →
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    March 8, 2015 7:27 am

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    March 10, 2015 3:49 pm

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  1. Give2Asia Talks About Asian Philanthropy in the UK « The South Asian Philanthropy Project

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