Princess Banderi bint Abdulrahman Al-Faisal, director general of the King Khalid Foundation (KKF), has announced plans to assist Saudi Arabia in boosting the nonprofit sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) at 5 percent by 2030.
According to the latest government statistics, the non-profit sector accounts for less than 1 percent of GDP.
“The sector has witnessed tremendous changes in the last decade, and is now ready to join forces with other public and private sectors and achieve both the Kingdom’s development and 2030 Vision,” Princess Banderi said in a statement. She called upon nonprofit entities to focus “on sustainability and impact, not on cash handouts and charity.”
She said that the KKF plays a major role by directing its efforts toward building the capacities of local NGOs and attempting to change prevailing mindsets. She added: “We aim to help cultivate and scale the country’s fledgling non-profit sector to meet national challenges and lobby for socioeconomic change. While there is still much work to be done, change is underway.”
To address non-profit sector challenges, the foundation has created various initiatives. Last year, the KKF teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund “Shaghaf,” the Saudi Philanthropic Fellowship Program.
Shaghaf, meaning “passion,” kicked off by placing 10 young Saudis in a two-year program with an NGO in the Kingdom, a summer course at New York’s Columbia University and an internship at the Gates Foundation. The princess hoped that the professional skills gained from the project will aid in building a solid strategic infrastructure for the non-profit sector.
Referring to the services rendered by the foundation, Princess Banderi hailed the efforts of the KKF to influence decision-makers, referring to the Council of Ministers that passed the Women and Child Abuse Prevention Law in 2013. “The law was triggered by the KKF as we have an internal unit that focuses on evidence-based policymaking to influence decision-makers,” added the princess.
The KKF is a major Saudi charitable organization established by family members of the late King Khalid, who ruled the country from 1975 to 1982.
Since its establishment, the foundation has developed and implemented a number of social and economic development and research projects, and has awarded millions of riyals in grant and award money.