EFC revises principles for foundations’ good practice

The European Foundation Centre (EFC) has issued an updated set of Principles for Good Practice for foundations to address the changes which have taken place in philanthropy (see EFC column, p17) since the initial Principles were issued ten years ago.

The revised Principles constitute both a shared vision of good practice and a general recommendation to reinforce such practice, as well as openness and transparency in the European foundation and independent funding community. They are based on a set of core values which, says the EFC, every foundation should aspire to. They address seven areas: compliance; governance; informed policies, operations and support programmes; stewardship; disclosure and communication; monitoring and evaluation; and cooperation.

The Principles are the result of a two-year review process led by Rien van Gendt of the Van Leer Group Foundation, and are designed to apply across a variety of cultures and jurisdictions, both within and outside the European Union. They are supplemented by a series of Illustrative Practice Options for Foundations which recognize the diversity of legal requirements and operating practices across Europe.

The EFC is encouraging members to publish their adherence to the Principles on their website. It is also considering translation of both the Principles and the Illustrative Practice Options into a number of European languages. Both documents will be subject to periodic reviews.

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