12 June 2020

Reimagining European Philanthropy

In its response to the coronavirus crisis, the European philanthropic community has demonstrated an unprecedented ability to respond with flexibility, provide support to those in need and quickly adapt its operations to changing circumstances. By May 2020, over €1.1 billion is estimated to have been committed by European philanthropy, most geared toward emergency healthcare relief and support of struggling nonprofit partners.

How to keep up the pace of innovation, flexibility and fast deployment of philanthropic resources? How can our philanthropic organisations be resilient and stable, while also being dynamic and adaptive? A recent McKinsey study found that decisive and bold initiatives for systematic change by the philanthropic sector in Europe will be needed in the future and could turn this crisis into an opportunity:

It’s time for European foundations to reevaluate their portfolios of
initiatives and reimagine the way they work. Now more than
ever, society needs their innovation, willingness to take risks, flexible
funding, and fast deployment of private philanthropic resources.
Fast, decisive, and bold initiatives for systematic change could turn
this crisis into an opportunity.

The study focuses on EU countries plus Norway, Switzerland and the UK. It combines publicly available data as well as interviews with 24 foundation representatives from seven countries across Europe, in which DAFNE’s Hanna Stähle and Max von Abendroth assisted.