27 April 2022

Statement on Max von Abendroth departing Philea

Following the successful process of convergence between the EFC and Dafne to become the Philanthropy Europe Association – Philea, a mutually agreed decision was taken to end the collaboration between Max von Abendroth and Philea.

Max joined Dafne in 2017 as Executive Director. Over the past 1.5 years, jointly with Delphine Moralis, CEO of the EFC and incoming CEO of Philea, and under the supervision of a Transition Board, Max shouldered the convergence of Dafne with EFC. The converged organisation, Philea, now brings together 250 foundation members and 28 national association members, representing 10,000 public benefit foundations across Europe.

In light of his departure Max stated: “I am humble and grateful for the enormous privilege of having been part of coordinating the convergence process of Dafne and EFC that allowed me to co-shape over the past 18 months jointly with outstanding colleagues the European platform for philanthropy, Philea. The very passionate and dedicated Philea team under the leadership of Delphine Moralis is already today making a noticeable difference to Europe’s philanthropy field and its ability to meet the challenges of our time. I thank Delphine as well as the members of the Transition Board for the trust in me and my work and I wish Philea a thriving future as an inclusive, innovative and dynamic hub for European philanthropy and its partners.”

As Executive Director of Dafne, Max set up Dafne as an international non-profit organisation in Brussels and transformed it to a leading representation of national associations of foundations and their members across Europe. Max positioned successfully the philanthropy sector vis-à-vis the EU institutions, initiated the close collaboration between the European Commission and the foundation sector around InvestEU and co-lead the Philanthropy Advocacy Initiative, which calls upon the EU institutions to improve the operating environment for foundations, such as cross-border philanthropy, to unleash the full potential of private resources for public good. With the aim to facilitate collaboration and collective impact around the biggest societal challenges of today, Max jointly with an outstanding team and a highly committed community of peers established PEX, which brings together more than 70 philanthropy infrastructure organisations.  In this context he initiated in 2021 the European Philanthropy Coalition for Climate and spearheaded the global “Philanthropy For Climate” movement which has since been joined by 500 foundations willing to engage around 7 key climate commitments.

Max and Delphine have built a strong and constructive partnership in the course of the convergence process, and both believe Philea is a unique opportunity to respond to the urgent needs of philanthropy today.

Dafne Chair and incoming Vice-President of Philea, Carola Carazzone, commented that “with everything Delphine and Max achieved over the last 18 months when steering the convergence process in close collaboration with the outstanding Philea team and Philea members, I am convinced that Philea is very well set to increase the collective impact of European philanthropy and create new alliances to meet the challenges of our time. On behalf of Philea I am very grateful for the immense contribution made by Max to positioning Dafne, co-creating Philea and representing European philanthropy vis-à-vis the EU.” EFC Chair and incoming President of Philea Angel Font added: “Max has been instrumental in supporting the process of convergence together with Delphine. We are building Philea on a strong and solid legacy.”