About Us

Philea nurtures a diverse and inclusive ecosystem of foundations, philanthropic organisations and networks working for the common good.

Who we are

With individual philanthropies and national-level infrastructure organisations in over 30 countries as members, we unite over 7500 public-benefit foundations that seek to improve life for people and communities in Europe and around the world.   

Our vision is for philanthropy to use its full potential to co-shape and support a pluralistic, just and resilient society that centres people and planet.  

Our mission is to enable, encourage and empower the philanthropic community to build a better today and tomorrow.   

We galvanise collective action and amplify the voice of European philanthropy. Together we:   

  • Co-create knowledge and learn from effective practices   
  • Collaborate around current and emerging issues   
  • Promote enabling environments for doing good   

Our values

We are committed to enhancing trust, collaboration, transparency, innovation, inclusion and diversity. 

  • Trust – We see trust as the foundation of everything we do. We aim at creating and sustaining trust within our own organisation and the European philanthropy sector by being accountable to our members, our partners and European societies at large.
  • Collaboration – We are more than the sum of our parts. We believe in the power of collaboration and collective impact. We engage with a wide range of actors, allowing us to listen, learn and act together.
  • Transparency – We are open about what we do and how we work. We are eager to learn from both successes and failures, and welcome constructive criticism as an opportunity to continually improve and lead by example.
  • Innovation – We see innovation as a key driver of positive social change. That is why we invest resources in foresight and horizon scanning to allow us to drive innovation.
  • Inclusion and diversity – We believe that everyone should have a voice and equal opportunities. Inclusion and diversity are preconditions for our own organisation, and we will promote these values within the wider European philanthropy sector.

Our history

Philea came into existence in December 2021, when Dafne and EFC – Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe and the European Foundation Centre – converged to form a strong, united voice for European philanthropy. 

The European Foundation Centre was established on 9 November 1989, when seven founding members came together with a shared vision of a stronger, more collaborative and better informed network of philanthropic actors from Europe and beyond. On that day, as the Berlin Wall came down and a new Europe emerged, these seven pioneers were laying the foundations for a European philanthropy sector. Over the next 30 years, the EFC grew from a handful of members and a secretariat housed in rented office space to a to a membership of more than 200 organisations from around the world and a permanent home at Philanthropy House on rue Royale in Brussels, where Philea is based.

Dafne’s story began in 1997, from a series of informal meetings initiated by the EFC, which focused on the role and work of national associations and donors’ forums. In 2015 Dafne established itself as the platform for national associations of donors and foundations in Europe to share knowledge and encourage collaboration. In 2018 Dafne was set up as a legal entity in Belgium, based in Philanthropy House in Brussels. With 30 member associations with a collective membership of more than 10,000 foundations and grantmakers, Dafne has incubated several collaborative formats including the joint Dafne and EFC Philanthropy Advocacy initiative, PEX and the Philanthropy Coalition for Climate.

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