NEF – New book on philanthropy in Europe

Numerous books have been published on American philanthropy, but its European counterpart has been largely neglected. A new book, Philanthropy in Europe – a rich past, a promising future, edited by Norine MacDonald and Luc Tayart de Borms, will start to fill this gap.

As the title of this book suggests, philanthropy in Europe is rooted in a rich past and is looking to a promising future. The book, comprising profiles and essays, showcases the diversity of philanthropic impulses, a leitmotif that has fuelled the dynamism of the sector throughout history. This dynamism continues today as it follows – and shapes – the contours of Europe’s evolving social, political and economic fabric.

Throughout history, foundations have played a pivotal role in developing and strengthening European societies. This book explores how philanthropy has found its place in modern societies in different ways. In doing so, it takes us on a journey across a philanthropic landscape that is colourful, complex and compelling, peopled by some quixotic characters and pragmatic visionaries.

It also introduces the reader to several thinkers in the field who offer valuable insights into the past, present and future of the sector. The authors take stock of the accomplishments of foundations, and also outline some of the challenges facing the sector. For example, the book makes a strong case for facilitating the sector’s ability to participate effectively within the Single Market by implementing a European foundation statute. The authors also argue for foundations to become more European and more global, while working in closer partnership.

Philanthropy in Europe was launched at the Council on Foundations meeting in Washington DC on 5 May. The European launch will take place at the European Foundation Centre conference in Istanbul on 29-31 May. The book was funded by the Mercator Fund and the King Baudouin Foundation.

To order the book
Copies of the book are available from the EFC and in the UK from Alliance Publishing Trust,

Network of European Foundations
Director: Peggy Saïller
T +32 2 235 24 17

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