The art of giving takes on an academic hue. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The NYU Abu Dhabi is taking the art of giving seriously. It has launched a Strategic Philanthropy Initiative (SPI), the first academic and community-based platform that aims to shape the practice within the UAE as well as across the region. The SPI was established through a multi-year framework agreement between NYUAD and Emirati businessman Badr Jafar, who will support this initiative throughout its formative years.

The SPI involves three tracks of research, convening, and training at a time when historic wealth creation and transfer is expected to lead to a significant increase in philanthropic activity both within and from the region. Badr Jafar, SPI’s Patron, said: “Over the next decade alone, $3.9 trillion is estimated to be transferred to the next generation. This, coupled with the rise of young change-makers embracing purpose as a core driver of value creation, has the potential to lead us into a golden age of philanthropy. This is particularly true in the MENA region where 60 per cent of the population is under the age of 25.

“Equipping our youth with the tools, resources, and infrastructure needed to boost impact using their time, talent and treasure is a massive and timely opportunity, and this collaboration with NYUAD is well-positioned to champion this cause and make a real difference.”

According to a recent global survey by Alliance, 89 per cent of respondents believe that Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, will account for the most growth of its philanthropy sector over the next 25 years. The launch of the SPI also coincides with significant shifts taking place in the nature and practice of philanthropy, especially amongst next-generation donors who are fundamentally transforming giving, and redefining the role of philanthropy in society.