EFC – Change in the air for European foundations

A new strategic direction, new structures, new Principles of Good Practice – the European Foundation Centre is changing.

European philanthropy has changed almost beyond recognition in the last 15 years. The number of foundations across Europe has grown exponentially; new donors and new ways of giving have emerged; venture philanthropy has grown; cross-border and global philanthropy are on the rise; foundations and private and public actors are cooperating – or looking for ways to do so – much more than before. The concepts of social responsibility and good governance are now of paramount importance in the corporate as well as the non-profit sectors.

Moving with these changes, EFC members have laid out a new strategic direction for the Centre, which will bring with it significant structural and governance changes. Central to the plan is a redoubled focus on getting the legislation right for foundations. This couldn’t come at a more critical time for European foundations. In November European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy announced that he was ‘not yet convinced about the ability of a European Foundation Statute to respond to the specific needs of foundations’, but the European Commission would ‘nonetheless pursue its reflection on the matter’. This seeming about-face by the Commission took European foundations by surprise. The Statute is critical to addressing many of the new trends and challenges facing European foundations, and the EFC will continue to fight for its realization.

The Centre’s new Principles of Good Practice support efforts on the Statute, and come at a time when prevention of abuse of non-profit organizations for the financing of criminal activities including terrorism has emerged as a key concern for public authorities.

The Centre’s membership will finalize the new strategic plan at its Annual General Assembly in June 2007. Watch this space for more exciting developments!

For more information
The EFC Principles of Good Practice, Illustrative Practice Options for Foundations and online resources are available at http://www.efc.be/codex/default.htm

European Foundation Centre
Chief Executive: Gerry Salole
T +32 2 512 8938

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