2 October 2020

Europe’s momentum to unleash private resources for public good – European policy makers and foundations aligned to make the necessary steps to foster cross-border philanthropy


Brussels, 2 October 2020 – On 1 October, the European Day of Foundations and Donors, over 100 key European policy makers and representatives of public benefit foundations and civil society organisations from across Europe gathered in a virtual meeting to discuss the Single Market for Public Good – How Can We Unleash Private Resources for European Solidarity? European policy makers and philanthropy are aligned to use the momentum to foster collaboration and introduce necessary steps to unleash cross-border philanthropy.

The outbreak of coronavirus has demonstrated how fragile our societies are and how much we are in need of solidarity. This year’s unprecedented giving of private resources for public good in Europe of 1.1 bn EUR already by May 2020, has been largely defined by the community’s response to the pandemic and its wider implications, such as emergency healthcare, widening inequalities, the digital divide, the economic fallout and shrinking civil society.

Throughout this crisis, philanthropy has been at the forefront, together with civil society organisations and local communities, fighting the pandemic and its negative impact. At the core of the wide array of philanthropic activities has been the strong sense of European solidarity and collaboration across borders.

“Philanthropy has made solidarity tangible and visible. The philanthropic response to the crisis was tremendous and timely”, stressed Kerstin Jorna, Director General at the DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Philanthropy can bring an important complementary and innovative added value to a more socially, environmentally and economically equal and resilient Europe.

“For the philanthropic sector the COVID-19 crisis carries not only considerable risks but also presents opportunities to protect the social fabric in Europe, enhance solidarity, cross-border cooperation and support public-private initiatives”, said Prof. Joachim Rogall, President and CEO of the Robert Bosch Foundation, one of Europe’s largest public benefit foundations. “I have a dream that there will be one day the European statute for foundations, accepted even in my city of Stuttgart, and that philanthropy will be recognised as an important pillar of democracy”.

Vice President of the European Parliament Nicola Beer built on this and emphasised that philanthropic organisations do not stop at borders, despite the existence of legal barriers to cross-border philanthropy. “We need a Single Market so we can harness the huge power of civil society organisations and philanthropy. Europe is a continent of citizens, and foundations are made by citizens for citizens”, said Beer. “We are currently working within the European Parliament to make better use of the existing freedoms for cross-border philanthropy”. Cross-border solidarity has never been as urgent in Europe as it is today, as the challenges facing our societies remain huge.

For further enquiries see contact details below.

About Philanthropy Advocacy:

The DAFNE and EFC joint advocacy project Philanthropy Advocacy acts as a monitoring, legal analysis and policy engagement hub for European philanthropy. Its main objective is to shape the national, European and international legislative environment by implementing the European advocacy roadmap for a Single Market for Philanthropy. More information here: www.philanthropyadvocacy.eu


About Dafne:

We bring together 30 national associations in 28 countries across Europe, representing over 10.000 public-benefit foundations, big and small, who want to make a difference to society. We have created an alliance for collaboration across philanthropy networks in Europe to address big philanthropy questions of our time in a coordinated and effective manner. We lead, strengthen and build the field for the common good in Europe. We are involved in four key areas: advocacy, peer exchange, communications and research that are needs-based and future-oriented. We value ideas over hierarchy and believe in a truly collaborative approach. Find more information about Dafne here: www.dafne-online.eu.


About the EFC:

As a leading platform for philanthropy in Europe, the EFC works to strengthen the sector and make the case for institutional philanthropy as a formidable means of effecting change. We believe institutional philanthropy has a unique, crucial and timely role to play in meeting the critical challenges societies face. Working closely with our members, a dynamic network of strategically-minded philanthropic organisations from more than 30 countries, we:

  • Foster peer-learning by surfacing the expertise and experience within the sector
  • Enhance collaboration by connecting people for exchange and joint action
  • Advocate for favourable policy and regulatory environments for philanthropy
  • Build a solid evidence base through knowledge and intelligence
  • Raise the visibility of philanthropy’s value and impact
  • The EFC and DAFNE jointly lead the Philanthropy Advocacy project.

Please find more information on www.efc.be.

Contact details:

Catherine Lennon, Communications Director, EFC, clennon@efc.be, +32.2.512.8938

Dr. Hanna Stähle, Senior Manager, Dafne, hanna.staehle@dafne-online.eu, +32.497.57.58.59