4 July 2019

EFC and European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) sign Memorandum of Understanding

The European Foundation Centre (EFC) and European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in a shared effort towards supporting academic research of European philanthropy, and the sector as a whole.

The memorandum, signed during the annual ERNOP International Research Conference in Basel, puts forward that the EFC and ERNOP will work together to support academic research on European philanthropy, which can then be operationalised and used to the benefit of philanthropy and philanthropic organisations in Europe.

The EFC also attended a pre-conference event to discuss the legal barriers to cross-border philanthropy in Europe and potential solutions to them. Read the full report here.

The full text of the memorandum can be read below.


The European Foundation Centre and the European Research Network on Philanthropy hereby mutually express the following.

EFC and ERNOP share the vision that coordinated European academic research on philanthropy is important to produce knowledge on a growing phenomenon in Europe.

Philanthropy in Europe accounts for at least 87.5 billion euros annually. EFC and ERNOP share the vision that European philanthropy has its own distinguishable characteristics and should be treated accordingly.

EFC believes that academic research on European philanthropy can further help profile and professionalise the European philanthropy sector, increase its impact, and enhance its legitimacy. As independent institutions, academic research can provide explanations, descriptions and predictions on philanthropy that are both valued by the philanthropy sector and the public sector.

ERNOP acknowledges the need that academic output should pay attention to its practical implications. Researchers should design research projects that are rigorous and relevant for philanthropy practitioners, without losing academic quality.

EFC acknowledges that academic research on European philanthropy may take a critical stand against philanthropic practices and organisations.

ERNOP and EFC agree that philanthropy needs research to be taken seriously by governments, to build smarter regulations of the sector, and to enhance its impact.

EFC and ERNOP believe that a mature philanthropic sector should take academic research seriously and engage with scholars in a proactive manner.

ERNOP and EFC consider better data on philanthropy in Europe important, and better collection of data and its coordination should be stimulated.


Brussels, 21 June 2019