Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Tapping Philanthropy for Development: Lessons Learned from a Public-Private Partnership in Rural Uganda

Lorna Michael Butler and Della E. McMillan, editors
Tapping Philanthropy for Development: Lessons Learned from a Public-Private Partnership in Rural Uganda
ISBN: 978-1-62637-194-1
ISBN: 978-1-62637-195-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-453-9
2015/289 pages/LC: 2014036411
A Kumarian Press Book
"A collective work of impeccable scholarship, Tapping Philanthropy for Development is very highly recommended for community, NGO, governmental, and academic library collections."—Willis M. Buhle, Midwest Book Review

"A must have tool for individuals who manage international development programs…. The applied examples and the lessons learned are pure gold."—Harold V. Tarver, US Department of Agriculture

"A comprehensive guide for universities seeking to work with local partners in project implementation, detailing many of the lessons learned from [the ISU] experience… This book is an honest, forthright discussion of an innovative project."—David M. Leege, Catholic Relief Services

"The practical knowledge gained from the ISU experience in Uganda provides a unique resource that links theoretical material to the realities of fieldwork. This clear case study helps to bring alive the discussion of field methods and their importance in the success of projects."—Grace S. Marquis, McGill University

"An invaluable guide for forging productive development partnerships. It should be on the mandatory reading list of government officials, donor agencies, practitioners, and students of development.... This book is as rich in lessons as it is timely in appearance."—Calestous Juma, Harvard University

"A wonderful case study on the challenges and rewards of creating a university program that is a collaborative effort between private funders and public institutions.... I appreciated that each chapter highlighted a particular stage or step that other institutions will encounter in developing this type of privately funded program and also shared lessons learned and recommendations to assist others in the future."—Sarah K. Blom, Michigan State University

"A must-read book for university faculty and administrators who are serious about undertaking long-term international development work that has lasting benefits."—R. Hunt Davis, Jr., University of Florida

"Sharing important lessons for others pursuing a similar path, Tapping Philanthropy for Development shows how one philanthropic couple worked with a university to structure gifts to meet their philanthropic goals."—Eric Friedman, author of Reinventing Philanthropy: A Framework for More Effective Giving.

"This first-hand account ... provides keen insights into the benefits and challenges of establishing partnerships with various actors in the developing world. The vignettes and broader case study elaborate on key details that are important to implementing effective programs and candidly describe stumbling blocks the actors encountered.... The specific lessons and recommendations included at the end of each chapter serve as a practical guide for those of us seeking to engage in similar public-private and third-sector partnerships."—Nora Tobin, Self Help International

"This well-written study of an international development project provides both an excellent overview of what works—-and what does not—and an intriguing description of the role of philanthropy. It is a must read for anyone interested in multifaceted international programs."—Raymond J. Miller, University of Maryland


In telling the story of an innovative program based at Iowa State University (ISU), Lorna Michael Butler, Della McMillan, and their colleagues offer practical, step-by-step advice critical for any organization seeking to fund and manage multifaceted, public-private partnerships for development.

The story begins when the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at ISU received large gifts from alumni and friends with a strong interest in Africa. Using that transformative funding, the university established the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and entered into collaborative, long-term  relationships with a university and an NGO in Uganda. Tapping Philanthropy for Development draws on the partners' experiences to provide a unique roadmap for effectively navigating the challenges involved in obtaining nontraditional funding—and in using it well.


Lorna Michael Butler is professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology and also agricultural and life sciences global fellow at Iowa State University. Della E. McMillan, associate research scientist (adjunct) in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida, consults extensively on issues of development in Africa.


  • Foreword—Gerald A. and Karen A. Kolschowsky.
  • Introduction: Tapping Philanthropy for Development—the Editors.
  • Identifying Opportunities—O.R. Bundy III.
  • Courting Prospective Partners—L.M. Butler and R. Mazur.
  • Getting Started—D. Masinde, L.M. Butler, and R. Mazur.
  • Building Trust Through Accounting and Accountability—M.E. Westgate.
  • Starting Where the People Are—D. Masinde and D.E. McMillan.
  • Leaving the Door Open to Emerging Needs and Opportunities—D. Masinde, D.E. McMillan, M. Rothschild, and G. Nonnecke.
  • Leaving the Door Open to New Beneficiaries—G. Nonnecke, D.E. McMillan, D. Kugonza, and D. Masinde.
  • Tracking Progress and Planning for the Future—H. Sseguya and D.E. McMillan.
  • Capitalizing on Impacts and CSRL’s Multiplier Effects—D.G. Acker, H. Kizito Musoke, and H. Sseguya.
  • Epilogue: The Partnership Today and Looking Toward the Future—L.M. Butler and D.G. Acker.