Democracy Network

This growing community of foundations working in the field of democracy, or who are interested in doing so, come together for inspiration, discussion and knowledge exchange. The network offers light touch forms of engagement and facilitates collaborative actions around the topic of defending versus developing democracy.


A strong and thriving democracy in Europe, where philanthropy helps safeguard core democratic values of freedom and cooperation and enhances citizens’ abilities to shape and innovate their governance.


  • Defending versus developing democracy
  • Enhancing trust in democratic institutions and bolstering the belief in the value of democracy itself
  • Core pro-European and democratic values


  • Creating a safe space for foundations already working on democracy to exchange with peers around their vision on the future of democracy and the role of philanthropy.
  • Acting as a reference point for European philanthropic organisations who are already working in the field or who are interested in doing so but to not know where to start, to share learnings around pathways for funding.
  • Fostering collaborative action in the form of joint projects that complement existing initiatives (e.g. in-depth mappings and analysis of the field; co-funding opportunities, etc.)
  • Collaborating with other thematic networks to highlight democracy-related topics through the organisation of joint sessions, events and publications in relevant contexts.

How to engage

Join the Steering Committee

This core group of members collaboratively shapes and implements the work plan, making sure that ambitions and resources align.

Criteria to join:

  • Philea membership
  • An interest or expertise in democracy
  • Commitment to contribute human and financial resources

Join the Community

Philea members, including national associations, that are known to fund democracy or have indicated an interest in doing so may join this broader community. In practice, these organisations will be part of a mailing list and receive updates on activities of the network directly from the Programme Lead.

Some activities are also open to non-member foundations, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders supporting or interested in democracy issues. This layer will be reached via the general Philea newsletters, the event calendar on the Philea website and via targeted invitations from the Steering Committee and Programme Lead to participate in events as speakers, attendees or to be consulted to provide input or content for online and in-person events.

Steering Committee (Chair – Adessium Foundation)

Adessium Foundation
Calala Women’s Fund
Doc Society
Evens Foundation
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
King Baudouin Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH