Celebrating NEF at 40

Peggy Sailler and Philippa Nuttall Jones

However they react to it, either by celebrating or trying to ignore it, few forget their 40th birthday. The Network of European Foundations (or NEF as it’s commonly known), is the exception. The organization only woke up to its slide into middle age when a member of staff was doing a bit of administrative work that led her to delve into the archives.

This is doubtless a good sign about the health of NEF. Had the association felt its knees twitching and noticed the bags under its eyes deepening, it would have likely booked itself in for a check-up and been reminded of its advancing years. Instead, the organization has discovered – intentionally or not - Aldous Huxley’s ‘secret of genius,’ carrying ‘the spirit of the child into old age’ and, to paraphrase slightly, never losing its enthusiasm. NEF therefore remains in the peak of health with a youthful spring in its step and, until recently, oblivious to its upcoming birthday. True to the nature of the organization, NEF decided to welcome 40 with open arms, take stock and get ready for the next part of the adventure.

Small, compact and flexible

Political change may be afoot around the world, but NEF, described by founder Raymond Georis as a ‘small, compact and flexible structure,’ is no stranger to adapting to shifting political and cultural environments, while sticking to its task of promoting philanthropic collaboration in the EU.

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