2nd World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists: Fostering Partnerships


Conventional to Strategic: A New Paradigm in Giving

March 22-23, 2009 • Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, UAE: The 2nd World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP) concluded today after several key developments had been achieved that indicate an evolution in Muslim giving. The WCMP is a high-level network of donors and foundations established to promote informed and effective giving. The annual Congress itself is a unique event which brings together a diverse set of participants, with the hope that enhanced cooperation between different philanthropies through strategic partnerships will add profound value to address global challenges that affect both humanity and the environment.

Dr. Tariq Cheema, the founder of the WCMP, affirms that the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP)' brings together leaders who understand the risks and opportunities they have are common as global citizens, and therefore realize that collaboration across the lines of faith and race is a necessity and not merely a choice'.


The conference, co-sponsored by Islamic development Bank, Emirates Foundation and Al-Faleh Group, served as an important occasion for the major Muslim philanthropic organizations—such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Islamic Development Bank—and other major regional or international organizations—like Tony Blair Faith Foundation, The Global Fund, Malaria No More and UN Millennium Campaign—to meet one another. It enabled excellent opportunities for bridge building between participants and accordingly a series of high-level negotiations took place that are likely to lead to future partnerships.
The WCMP organization itself also showed dynamism as it grows and its role expands. The WCMP organizers fostered deeper connections with a growing number of key philanthropies in the Muslim world, affirming its place as the as a research centre, a unified voice and a staunch advocate of Muslim philanthropy.

The atmosphere of openness, cooperation and trust-building in the Congress enabled the development of closer working relationships between the WCMP and its partners. The reality that organizations need to work more closely together to address challenges was underlined.

The speakers carefully examined the current economic situation's effect on Muslim philanthropy, and looked at ways that can be found to deal with challenges we face. The need for foundations to continue to fund social- and third-sector activity was stressed.

The speakers underlined the harmful effect that economic troubles have on the poorest members of our societies, but raised the encouraging fact that as need increases during a recession so does giving. It was emphasized that in every recession the amount of giving increases, and we should not shy away from the idea of donating during an economic downturn. The speakers suggested that the onus should be put on spending more efficiently, creating strategic partnerships, and reducing non-developmental spending.
The WCMP also succeeded in launching the Academy of Philanthropy. The Academy will provide donor education with an emphasis on how to give strategically and safely through a program known as “Building Leaders for Change”. The Academy will also partner with Human Development Foundation to establish “Human Development Institute” that will enhance the capacity of service delivery at the grassroots level.

World-renowned industry experts and high-level representatives of the World Bank, Organization of Islamic Conference, Islamic Development Bank, Malaria No More, Reach Out To Asia, the Emirates Foundation, the King Khalid Foundation, Religions for Peace, Al-Waleed bin Talal Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Grameen-Jameel and Arab Science & Technology Foundation contributed to the vibrant debates around global challenges, accountability, and partnership building.

Former UK Prime Minister Mr. Tony Blair, HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, icon of the Muslim world Mr. Amr Khaled, UAE Minister Shiekha Lubna Al Qasimi, UK Justice Minister Shahid Malik, UN Special Envoy Mr. Ray Chambers, SheikhaAisha bint Faleh Al-Thani of Qatar, and internationally renowned Musician and philanthropist Mr. Youssou N'Dour addressed the conference, among others.

Further information on developments and a full list of speakers, participants and conference presentations will be available at http://www.thewcmp.org