Angel Font, Corporate Director of Research and Strategy at “la Caixa” Foundation in Spain, was elected the new Chair of the European Foundation Centre during its 2020 Annual General Assembly, which took place online yesterday. Font has been working in the philanthropic sector for almost 30 years with different organisations, including Intermón Oxfam, Un sol món, and “la Caixa” Foundation since 2010.
Font succeeds Massimo Lapucci, Secretary General of Fondazione CRT, following his three-year term. Font will be supported by newly elected Vice Chair, Axelle Davezac (Fondation de France), and returning Treasurer, Christina Lambropoulou (Stavros Niarchos Foundation).
He thanked Lapucci and outgoing Chief Executive Gerry Salole, who is stepping down this summer after 15 years of leading the EFC. Outlining his vision for the organisation’s future, Font said among its primary objectives will be to ensure a strong, unified voice advocating on behalf of the sector and boosting collaboration between philanthropy and policymakers in the European institutions.
Addressing the intersection of the current global crisis with other issues the world is facing, Font said: ‘We are currently trying to mitigate the terrible effects, both immediate and longer term, of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we also face the significant threats of rising inequality, global health and the climate emergency. These threats affect us all and therefore it is to all of us that we must look for solutions. It is critical that philanthropy is fit for purpose to enable us to play our role in solving these challenges.’
The EFC’s priority for the coming years will be to strive for a thriving philanthropic sector, with better recognition of philanthropy’s unique and important contribution to society, the removal of the current barriers which are hampering its impact, and an acknowledgement that philanthropic organisations are entitled to European funding. Font also stressed the importance of better cohesion both within and outside of the philanthropy sector; adding the ‘P’ of Philanthropy to the three Ps of Public-Private Partnerships and enlarging the EFC membership as key goals for the EFC.
Font will take the position at a crucial time when the sector is beginning the process of moving from collaboration to cohesion, faced with a multitude of complex challenges, said the EFC in a statement.