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IFC Joins Global Philanthropy Forum

Submitted by: International Finance Corporation

Categories: Human Rights

Posted: Mar 23, 2006 – 11:00 PM EST


Mar. 23 /CSRwire/ - Washington, D.C. - Strengthening its ties with a critical element of the international donor community - private and family foundations - the International Finance Corporation today became a member of the Global Philanthropy Forum.

The annual Global Philanthropy Forum conference is the forum's marquee event, attracting close to 400 donors, investors and other partners annually. The 2006 conference will be held April 3-5 in Washington, D.C. As part of this conference, IFC and the forum will cohost an event on April 4 at IFC headquarters to showcase 21 people from around the world who take an innovative, market-based approach to development -- some of the world's leading social entrepreneurs.

IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. It supplements its investment operations each year with more than $100 million in grant-funded technical assistance programs. Addressing a wide range of areas to increase the private sector's contribution to poverty reduction throughout the developing world, these programs have, to date, been funded primarily in partnership with bilateral aid donors.

By joining the Global Philanthropy Forum, IFC now gains an additional opportunity to partner with foundations in providing products and services that support job creation and income generation by encouraging private sector development.

The purpose of the Global Philanthropy Forum is to create a community of donors committed to international causes -- and to inform, enable, and enhance the strategic nature of its giving and investing. Of the more than 600 foundation leaders and investors in its membership, 77 percent devote more than a quarter of their portfolio to international giving and almost 80 percent acknowledge having increased their giving in recent years. The forum informs their philanthropy in part by introducing them to issues, actors and strategies for giving. The Global Philanthropy Forum is a project of the World Affairs Council of Northern California. Much of this giving comes from individuals and foundations that show a keen appreciation for entrepreneurship, results measurement, and global business strategy -- traits that also mark IFC's operations.

"The Global Philanthropy Forum has emerged as the leading organization helping grant makers to network, share best practices, and form strategic funding partnerships," said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, IFC's director of partnership development. "We look forward to working closely with its members in building new partnerships around IFC's investment and technical assistance activities."

"Private philanthropists are engaged, strategic, and often shaped by their private sector experience. They want to see the benefits of globalization more evenly shared," said Jane Wales, cofounder of the Global Philanthropy Forum and president of the World Affairs Council of Northern California. "They recognize that among the key paths to sustainable development will be investments in small and medium enterprises that provide essential goods and services, thus creating income-generating opportunities throughout the developing world. IFC has blazed this trail. We are pleased to be its partner in this and other critical areas of the private sector's contribution to development and greatly welcome its membership."

About IFC
IFC promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.

IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

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