The Spanish foundation sector: value and challenges

Rosa Gallego

Globally, the foundation sector has become a key agent of economic and social development, channelling private resources in the general interest. Its significance can be seen in its size, in the direct employment it provides, in the volunteers and trustees it mobilizes and in the annual investment it makes. Its role is also to draw attention to, and agitate for the solution of, issues of injustice – social exclusion, poverty, inequality, lack of opportunities and threats to human dignity.

In Spain, the sector is made up of a variety of organizations: some have an endowment, others fundraise from the public, while others carry out economic activities, all of them pursuing public benefit. Despite this heterogeneity, the overall figures show that Spanish foundations have made considerable efforts to alleviate the most pressing and urgent problems of their country’s citizens in the years of economic crisis, which has affected the Spanish economy for a longer period than in most other European countries.

Giving Tuesday 2016.

Some foundations have even decapitalized their endowment in order to meet new social needs, showing their commitment to society, their willingness to offer novel solutions and to contribute to the country’s social and economic development. Without this commitment, the impact of the crisis on Spanish society would have been worse.

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