Liberté, égalité, philanthropie – EFC AGA 2019

Alliance magazine

Alliance magazine is proud to have been a media partner at this year’s European Foundation Centre conference in Paris, France. We’d like to thank the following contributors:

Barry Hoolwerf ERNOP, Dea Vidović Kultura Nova Foundation, Deniz Baskan Sabanci Foundation, Hanna Stähle DAFNE, Liisa Suvikumpu Council of Finnish Foundations, Liz Hayes Barrow Cadbury Trust, Masayuki Deguchi Japan Foundation Center, Nicole van Schaik Doc Society, Rachel Heydecker Carnegie UK Trust, Silke Breimaier Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Tatiana Villacieros, UN Refugees Agency

Read their blogs here…


Plenaries – Liberté, égalité, philanthropie

‘We must fund journalism’: ‘Liberté’ Plenary

Axelle Davezac, executive director at Fondation de France, gathered hundreds of EFC delegates together for the first plenary of the 2019 Conference & AGA. ‘What a time to celebrate,’ Davezac began, informing the audience that this year represents not only the 30th anniversary of the European Foundation Centre, but also 50 years of Fondation de France. Developments have most certainly occurred in this sector since the EFC’s auspicious start in 1989, and yet signs of fragility are abound.

Amy McGoldrick reports here…

‘Inequality is plural’: ‘Égalité’ Plenary

‘Today we’re talking about inequalities – plural. We have stories about ourselves in Europe about how we think equality is going… and that story can vary significantly,’ began Zohra Moosa, the executive director at Mama Cash.

Amy McGoldrick reports here…

Avoiding caricatures: ‘Fraternité & philanthropie’ Plenary

The EFC’s 2019 conference has brought about ‘a lot of emotions, a lot of work and a lot of fun’ began Laurence de Nervaux (Fondation de France). Three days later and the assembly hall was filled with attendees, exhausted but bright-eyed.

Amy McGolrick reports here…


Parallel sessions

Reader’s poll winner: Data philanthropy and beyond

How do you create a ‘data strategy’ and leverage it for public good when data trends are constantly shifting? It’s quite the task but a panel of thought-leaders at the European Foundation Centre Annual General Assembly argued that philanthropy may be uniquely positioned to set the agenda.

Zibran Choudhury reports here…

At the digital crossroads

Digital – it seems so middle of the road, so normal, even for those behind the curve, but we are on the cusp of a 4th industrial revolution (4IR) with powerful new technologies that could either produce complex societal challenges or an opportunity to address the world’s environmental crises.

Zibran Choudhury reports here…

The magic at the edges

My first EFC 2019 session was Who decides? How funders can open up the decision-making process to include those they seek to serve. An incredibly popular session, the room swelled with so many bodies that people were leant up against walls and sitting on the floor. However, it was pretty obvious from the outset exactly within which group of people this session was so highly anticipated. ‘This felt like the session that all women would come to, and that’s largely true,’ said panel moderator Jenny Hodgson (Global Fund for Community Foundations).

Amy McGoldrick reports here…

Show the value of philanthropy. For what it’s worth.

People care. By giving their hard earned money away to the causes by which they are moved, people engage in everyday acts of kindness. This is what philanthropy is about. This is a free interpretation of the statement from Michael Mapstone from the Charities Aid Foundation in the session ‘In search of liberté, égalité and fraternité for philanthropy and civil society in Europe’

Barry Hoolwerf reports here…

Arts can’t save the world, but it can make it better

The main results of the research recently conducted by EFC showed us that arts and culture are at the core of philanthropy. Namely, almost half of EFC members, 43 per cent of them, support arts and culture. So, among many relevant discussed issues of contemporary philanthropy and society, the EFC conference introduced and offered a space for discussion and reflection on participatory arts during ‘Facing the global challenges – Arts and culture fostering a free, cohesive and equitable society’ session.

Dea Vidović reports here…

Gender and disability – Is intersectionality possible?

The session ‘Supporting rights and equality – Working together with the women and girls with disabilities’ organized by the Disability Thematic Network of EFC during the 2019 Annual Conference definitely opened up its participants’ horizons in many aspects. The foundation representatives in the room were mostly supporting initiatives either in gender or in disability area and puzzled with the fact that the challenges of the intersection of the two were rarely addressed.

Deniz Baskan reports here…

Nothing about us, without us

Maria Orejas-Chantelot, Director of Policy & Programmes, at the European Foundation Centre opened by explaining that gender is back on the agenda, to some extent, at least. Momentum from the #MeToo movment has energised but Maria stated the need to move opportunistically to keep driving the agenda forward, and go one step further to suggest more concrete and transformative ways to include disability.

Zibran Choudhury reports here…

True solidarity has a way to go

My last sessions at the EFC’s 2019 Conference followed a wonderful site visit to ‘le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde’, a circus school as well as a haven for artists, a social networking laboratory and platform for international exchange. Nestled within the Tertres-Cuverons in Bagneux, this enterprise promotes citizenship and solidarity within an historically deprived suburb of Paris, and was a true delight.

Amy McGoldrick reports here…

European foundations and philanthropists need to act now and help re-frame the narrative

Of all the conversations I attended, the ones around the climate emergency have stuck with me most. The remarkable speakers – including Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and founder of Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Elizabeth McKeon, Portfolio Lead Climate Action at IKEA Foundation, and Tom Brookes, Executive Director at the European Climate Foundation – gave a compelling presentation which framed the crisis as the most pressing issue of our time.

Nicole van Schaik reports here…


News from the conference

Sara Llewellin of Barrow Cadbury Trust wins fifth EFC Compass Prize

Körber-Stiftung gift their share of Philanthropy House to European Foundation Centre

European bodies welcome calls for an enabling environment for philanthropy



How can philanthropists help to tackle inequality?

Asking the richest people in the world to use their philanthropy to tackle rising inequality might sound like a crazy strategy. Crazier still that someone from Oxfam – the organisation that has campaigned on the injustice of the world’s richest 26 people owning the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – would be proposing such a strategy. And yet, this is exactly what I think should happen.

Keynote speaker, Danny Sriskandarajah of Oxfam GB (Second from right) shares three reasons why he believes that philanthropy can play a critical role in achieving system change. Read more…

Conference corner: Lucia Martina, Fondazione Lang Italia

Amy McGolrick spoke to Lucia Martina from Fondazione Lang Italia, who shares what the currently landscape of philanthropy in Italy is, how philanthropy can encourage new  new forms of solidarity and inclusion, and how the EFC has impacted the organisation’s practice.

Read more…

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