The European Foundation Centre (EFC) is moving ahead with its four-pronged agenda: telling the philanthropy story, capacity building, networking and helping improve the legal and fiscal environment. Following last year’s launch of the European Forum on Philanthropy and Research Funding, an April brainstorming session analysed the impact of foundation-backed research. The conclusions will be presented at a Forum event in the autumn, to give stakeholders in European research and foundations a chance to exchange views.
On the environmental front, EFC is supporting members in creating a European Environmental Funders Interest Group, and has commissioned analysis of environmental grants from key European foundations to get an insight into the field and establish a framework for long-term research. The report will be available in autumn 2008.
How adventurous are foundations in deploying their assets to obtain the greatest possible impact? EFC is developing an initiative to highlight current innovative practices, and to encourage foundation leaders to discuss issues such as mission-connected investing, and the role of knowledge and convening.
EFC will also be considering how to do more to incorporate diversity consciousness into foundation work. This will be among the questions to be considered at the Diversity Migration and Integration Interest Group’s autumn meeting in Birmingham, while in Brussels the EU Consortium on Human Rights and Disability’s second meeting will be held in September. The Consortium’s work plan will be presented publicly at the European Parliament, possibly in January 2009.
An ongoing focus of EFC members’ attention is the European Commission’s feasibility study into a European foundation statute, which concludes at the end of this year. EFC is urging the sector to keep pressing at all levels for the statute. Finally, the Grantmakers East Forum, which promotes civil society development in Central and Eastern Europe, will hold its annual conference in Dubrovnik from 8 to 10 October.