28 September 2020

Humbled to be joining a sector with such history, diversity, and strength – message from new EFC CEO Delphine Moralis

Today is my first day as CEO of the European Foundation Centre and I feel honoured and humbled to be joining a sector with such history, diversity, and strength. With the world facing an unprecedented crisis since six months, I have been impressed with the action and agility from the members of the EFC in mitigating the fallout of Covid-19. This crisis has only increased the urgency of issues which our membership has been tackling for decades, including inequality, climate change and human rights. More than ever, we need a comprehensive and complementary approach, in which philanthropy stands united in diversity, working closely with the public and private sectors, to address the challenges ahead.

While many issues are brought forward by the crisis, several opportunities present themselves as well. Already in the political guidelines of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, close resonance could be found with issues at the heart of our work. More recently, her first State of the Union speech provides several anchor points for philanthropy to connect to and to establish a close partnership with the EU institutions. With 10 years to go until the 2030 target for the Sustainable Development Goals, philanthropy has a key role to play and a unique opportunity to engage.

At the level of individual foundations, change has been accelerated by the crisis as well. While many smaller philanthropic organisations need recovery measures to be able to continue their work, larger philanthropic actors are considering more creative ways of investing the endowment via mission-related investments, in view of challenging financial markets.

At the level of the EFC, conversations with our key partner DAFNE are moving forward. My understanding so far is that we are all keen for the sector to gain efficiency and increase our common influence. This may have become even more relevant in the context of a European agenda increasingly shaped in EU capitals, rather than in Brussels. Here too, connecting the dots can be a crucial for increasing our voice.

Building on the impressive legacy of Gerry, I am keen to work with all of you, making the most of this unique course of events. With so much knowledge, expertise and savoir faire available in the membership, I hope to make my contribution from a background in EU advocacy and strategic leadership in large pan-European, international and umbrella organisations. Experience has taught me that the raison d’être of an international secretariat lies in the value it adds to its members, in all their diversity. While this added value will not be the same for all, by working together, the whole can be much greater than the sum of its parts.

As we start this journey together, I am grateful for the trust vested in me by Angel and the members of the Management Committee, with whom I have already had inspiring conversations. I very much look forward to working closely with all the members of the EFC. I am also excited to join a highly competent and committed team at the Secretariat, whom I warmly thank for having been so welcoming. From initial contacts over summer, I know the team is united in the conviction that our strength comes from invigorating, engaging and enabling you to reach your goals.

Once again, I thank you for this opportunity, and look forward to being in touch.

Please feel free to reach out,