23 May 2022

Philea publishes “Future-proofing foundations for a post-Covid-19 world” covering changing practices in institutional philanthropy in Europe since the Covid-19 pandemic

Exploring the changing practices in institutional philanthropy in Europe since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new mapping from Philea, “Future-proofing foundations for a post-Covid-19 world“, offers insights on how foundations learned and adapted to the new circumstances thrust upon them by the pandemic and ideas on how the sector can make responsible philanthropy the new normal.

Leveraging data from a document review as well as various surveys and interviews conducted with the membership of the former EFC, the analysis delves into what foundations have learned from this period. Organisations may survive in their current state, but they will lose legitimacy and perceived value if they do not adapt. The publication first looks at the challenges perceived by philanthropy professionals and how they respond to these threats, including criticism of philanthropy, and then takes stock of actions that have helped foundations to bounce back from massive disruption. Finally, the paper offers a set of recommendations to reveal opportunities for change and prepare for what’s next. 

There has been a growing interest in trust-based philanthropy over the last few years.” stated Sevda Kilicalp, Philea. “Our analysis suggests, that in addition to flexible and power-shifting relationships with grantees, institutional philanthropy should assess its performance against four other dimensions; including the alignment of internal practices with overall strategy; resonance with society; innovative and risk-tolerant approach to problem solving; and being guided by the principle of accountability, transparency, accessibility and humbleness in order to ensure that responsible philanthropy becomes the new normal beyond the emergencies.

Download “Future-proofing foundations for a post-Covid-19 world”

Photo by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash


Sevda Kilicalp
Head of Research and Knowledge Development