Philanthropic practice in the resource extraction sector is significantly under researched and forms the basis for this study. An obvious concern for social justice scholars and development scholars alike is that massive profits accumulated from resource extraction initiatives in Africa are seldom re-invested in the communities directly impacted or even more broadly in the development agendas of countries that house these resources. This paper considers the role of philanthropy in the resource governance debate. It begins by outlining the scope of resource governance and considering understandings of philanthropy. Drawing on preliminary evidence from three (random) examples of resource extraction in Africa, it argues that philanthropic practice has some way to go before reaching its optimal potential and that further research is required to gain more insight into this potential. The paper concludes with a discussion on philanthropy's role in resource governance and incorporates a series of recommendations.