Disability Thematic Network

This network brings together European philanthropic organisations of various sizes, with a range of expertise and regional representation, to exchange, learn and connect about any issue related to disability with an eye for intersectionality and mainstreaming disability within foundations’ work and programmes. It is a unique space for networking and knowledge sharing through the development of collaborative publications, the organisation of joint events and the promotion of a world with zero barriers.

How Do They Do It? EFC Members Share Good Practice on Organising Accessible Events


We envision a philanthropy sector that embraces, understands and includes people with disabilities in their daily work, programmes and operations, thus contributing to a world with zero barriers.


  • Mainstreaming disability within the philanthropic sector at large, especially among those funders whose main objective is not disability.
  • Quality of service and support for people with disability in different aspects of life (e.g., health, work, justice)
  • The great potential offered by people with disabilities to create more just and equal societies for all.


  • Carrying out peer-learning activities within the philanthropic sector that inspire foundations to collaborate on disability.
  • Exchanging best practices, knowledge, and experiences with the private and public sector about the disability field.

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. Two Steering Committee members co-chair on a rotating basis of two years, acting as a reference point for the Philea Secretariat.

Criteria to join:

  • Foundations with full Philea membership
  • An interest or expertise in disability
  • Commitment to contribute human and financial resources

Join the Community

All Philea members – Full and Associate – can join the disability funders’ community and participate in the activities organised by the Steering Committee.

Philea non-members can join the community on a case-by-case basis, and participate in some targeted events as speakers, and in some information exchange activities.

Participate in network activities

All Philea members, including Associate Members, can:

  • Participate in the network’s events and meetings when these are not for foundations only
  • Interact and engage with other network members

Participation by non-Philea members is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Steering Committee (Co-Chair, Fundación ONCE and Co-Chair, Essl Foundation)

Essl Foundation MGE gemeinnützige Privatstiftung
Europe Foundation
Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca
Fundación ONCE
Light for the World International
Sabanci Foundation
Related Events


Letizia Manzoni
Programme Manager – Equality Collaborations
Become a member