The Lebanese government is mulling over a plan to create charities by providing them with the money and expertise they need to operate effectively.
The government has proposed giving the charity institute at the centre of the proposed new model of charity, Sanger Institute, a $4.8 million grant to help it build and operate its network of centres and centres of excellence.
The institute has operated under the umbrella of the Lebanese Civil Society Association (LCA), which is responsible for running charitable organisations in Lebanon.LCA’s president, Ali Hassan, said the new model could create a number of new charities, with the centre receiving about half of its funding from the government.
“It is a project that would allow the organisation to become self-sufficient and run with a profit motive,” Hassan said.
“We have already decided that there will be four new charities: two charities in the civil society sector and one in the humanitarian sector, and they will be established at Sanger.”
A separate $1 million grant will be given to Sanger for an NGO called the Women’s Charity Institute.
Hassan said the institute will also be able to create new centers and centres that will have more capacity, while the existing centres will be replaced by new centres that have more expertise.
The Lebanese government has been considering the idea for several years, but it took a big leap forward when it was revealed last month that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Development (MSAD) had approved a $1.5 million grant for the institute to set up centres and a network of centers of excellence to help charities build capacity.
The ministry said it had received applications from a range of organizations in the Lebanese civil society, from the Women, Peace and Justice Movement (WJP), to the Women and Children’s Research and Relief Organisation (WCRO) to the National Union of Women, Refugees and Communities (UNWRC).
“The government has also given the institute a $2 million grant and this grant will help it to set-up its centres and networks,” said the ministry.
The Sanger institute has been given the support of the International Monetary Fund, as well as from the UN.
According to Hassan, the institute has also received a grant from the Lebanese central government, the National Agency for Civil Society (NACS), and the UNDP.
The money will allow the institute, in the process, to build capacity in a number or sectors.
Sanger Institute is not the only charity in Lebanon considering creating a new charity, with another charity, the Sanger Foundation, looking to establish a similar network.
The new model is a response to the rise in charitable organisations, with charities spending a significant amount of time on fundraising and marketing.
In 2015, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that charities spent $1 billion on marketing, fundraising and other marketing activities.
In the same year, the charity sector saw a 10 per cent decline in the number of donors, according to UN figures.
The government also wants to increase the number and size of charities in Lebanon, but Hassan said they are still working on the details.
“We are looking at all sectors and all sectors are looking for a solution, whether it is the public sector, NGOs, charities or individuals,” he said.
The Government of Lebanon (GLE) did not respond to questions about the new proposal.
Suri Taha, a spokesman for the Minister of Public Services and Development, told The Lad that Sanger’s funding will not be used to fund charities, and said the government is still working out how to distribute the money.
“Sanger is an independent charity, and we are looking to give them this grant,” he told The Journal.
Siri Abboud, the head of the Sangers’ foundation, said that his foundation would continue to focus on helping Lebanese women and children, and not on promoting the government’s agenda.
“Our aim is to support the development of women and girls in Lebanon,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“As part of our work we want to help them to build their own foundations in order to provide a stable and safe environment for them to grow up in.
We hope that this will make them stronger, better, and more confident in their abilities.””
It’s a big step forward, and hopefully we will see a lot of other NGOs following this path in Lebanon.”