The submission is being made by Kenya Development Community Foundation (KCDF), a Kenyan initiative that has made tremendous impact in improving the livelihoods of poor communities in the country. With a vision to see all Kenyans giving and working together with permanent resources for equitable development, KCDF has over the past ten years given grants in excess of US$ 3 million to more than 300 community-serving organisations. At the same time, it has built an endowment fund worth US$4 million and is on course to build this fund to a level that will sustain its operations and its grant making work within the next five to ten years.
Having been established to support communities to overcome the enduring problem of too much dependence on external funding, KCDF has developed a unique model through which it enables community-serving grassroot organizations, to build and grow their own community endowment funds. The Foundation in turn provides a mechanism for investment on behalf of the communities and disburses grants from the yields (profits only) to go towards meeting priorities set by the community, in their efforts to address poverty challenges they have.
The success of this model has attracted interest from other parts of the East African region, the rest of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Locally, the Government of Kenya has recognized KCDF’s work as contributing significantly to its poverty reduction aspirations and it has therefore given withholding tax relief on KCDF’s endowment yields.
Over the next five to ten years, KCDF plans to get more Kenyans and friends of Kenya as well the corporate sector much more engaged particularly with its endowment building and its grant making work. Over this period, the Foundation plans to grow its endowment to a level where it will need minimal support from outsiders, making it one of Africa’s few endowed foundations and a showcase for the developing world.