Philanthropy in Luxembourg has come a long way since the Banque de Luxembourg (BdL) organized the ‘Seizing the Opportunity of Philanthropy in Luxembourg’ symposium in autumn 2008. Another event in October this year was designed to take it further. La philanthropie ça marche! (Philanthropy works!) day was also organized by BdL in partnership with two other key players on the Luxembourg philanthropy scene, Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte and Fondation de Luxembourg.
The aim of the event, chaired by Jacques Santer, Honorary Minister of State and former head of the European Commission, was to raise greater awareness among individuals and businesses of the role they can play in helping charitable causes. A national philanthropy awareness campaign and an internet platform designed to help individuals and corporate donors to identify charitable projects and organizations were also launched.
Among the objectives of the 2008 symposium and its subsequent activity was to promote philanthropy, says Philippe Depoorter, Head of Philanthropy Advisory Services at BdL. However, he adds, ‘the subject was only being addressed in banking circles to such an extent that citizens may have got the impression that the topic had nothing to do with them. And so this time we wanted to organize a grand celebration of philanthropy.’ The 500-strong turnout included secondary school students, business owners, heads of charities and government representatives. They heard presentations from Runa Khan, founder of Friendship Bangladesh, and Jéronimo Calderon, founder of Euforiaction, while Minister of Justice François Biltgen discussed the draft foundations law that is currently under review.
In order to keep the momentum of the ‘Philanthropy works!’ day going, a national philanthropy awareness campaign was launched which features people who have given time, money or expertise to philanthropic projects. In addition, a new internet platform, http://www.philanthropie.lu, run by Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, will provide information on Luxembourg-based associations and foundations.
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