Giving in Europe launched at Spring of Philanthropy

The total amount of philanthropic contributions in Europe is estimated at EUR 87.5 billion annually. This is a lower bound estimate from 20 European countries that contributed to Giving in Europe, the first study measuring philanthropy in Europe. The study was officially presented in Brussels at the King Baudouin Foundation organized event “Spring of European Philanthropy” on May 12th. Mr. Herman van Rompuy, former President of the European Council received the first copy. According Mr. van Rompuy ‘there would be no Europe without philanthropy’.   Giving in Europe sheds light on authentic European philanthropic performance and serves as a tool to measure the prosocial surplus in European societies. It is an initial attempt to map philanthropy in Europe and presents a first overall estimation of the total philanthropic giving by households, bequests, foundations, corporations and charity lotteries. The study shows that households (including bequests) are the main source of philanthropic contributions (53%, EUR 46 billion), followed by corporations (25%, EUR 21.7 billion), foundations (19%, EUR 16 billion) and lotteries (3%, EUR 3 billion). ERNOP President Prof. Theo Schuyt states that ‘Philanthopy is not an American , but a European invention’. Giving in Europe contributes to reframing philanthropy in the mindset of many policymakers and politicians in Europe. Despite the promising signs of an emerging philanthropy sector in Europe, it is still a phenomenon and a sector that is not very well understood. Besides the anecdotal glimpses from national researchers and the great work that has been carried out on the subdomains of philanthropy, we know little about its actual scope, size and forms in Europe. For a better discussion and assessment of the (potential) role that philanthropy can play in solving societal problems, a clear picture of the size and scope of philanthropy is needed. Giving in Europe further aims to stimulate researchers, policy makers and philanthropy professionals in fostering research on philanthropy and to inspire to exchange knowledge and information. This pioneering study has been carried out by the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP), an association that was founded in January 2008 by collaborating philanthropy researchers in Europe. ERNOP’s mission is to advance, coordinate and promote excellence in philanthropic research in Europe. A two-pager with the most important numbers and an Executive Summary are available as download. Giving in Europe. The State of Research on Giving in 20 European Countries. Barry Hoolwerf & Theo Schuyt (eds.). Lenthe Publishers. Amsterdam, 2017. ISBN 9789075458862 For more information on the study contact Barry Hoolwerf: info@ernop.euSuccessfully Encoded / l.k.hoolwerf@vu.nlSuccessfully Encoded /...

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Conference on “Philanthropy and Social Investments Fostering Research and Innovation” (PhiSI): Bridging the gap between the EC and foundations

New forms of financing and partnerships fostering research and innovation in Europe. How innovative forms of philanthropy can create a bridge between foundations, governments and the corporate sector.   How to finance investments is research and innovation in the future? Which forms of financing might stimulate investments and leverage the wealth that has been accumulated in Europe? Which new collaboration structures will lead to breakthroughs in fundamental research? These questions were addressed during the conference “Philanthropy and Social Investments Fostering Research and Innovation. New forms of financing and partnerships”, which was hosted by the Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU Amsterdam (the Netherlands) on April 21-22. The conference is associated with the Netherlands EU Presidency 2016. The conference proved to be a fruitful starting point for exploring new collaboration structures between the European Commission, (larger) European foundations and social finance intermediaries. Key-no te speaker Director-General Research and Innovation Mr. Robert-Jan Smits from the European Commission stressed the independence of foundations, but also referred to their collaborative mission to foster research and innovation in Europe. The European Commission would very much like to facilitate in provide a collaboration platform, if there would be any need from the foundations.   The mission of foundations to invest in research and innovation became clear from the European Foundations supporting Research and Innovation (EUFORI) Study (www.euforistudy.eu), which was briefly presented by Professor Philanthropic Studies Theo Schuyt. This first time attempt to map foundations’ support for research and innovation in the EU estimates a lower bound annual budget of 5 bil lion Euros for research and innovation, but also refers to the 127 billlion in assets that might be invested in research and innovation if provided the right conditions and opportunities for collaboration. Professor Theo Schuyt from the Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU Amsterdam made a comparison with the three-partite of the French revolution – liberté, egalité and fraternité – to note that markets (liberté), governments (egalité) and philanthropy (fraternité) form the very basis of our modern welfare states and that all actors in the triangle need each other. According to Schuyt “we will have to look for new ways of investing in research and innovation. Next to traditional grant-making, venture philanthropy, impact investing, and guarantees for research investments might be added to the mainstream investment toolbox of foundations”. That some foundations already make use of these forms of financial support, but probably much less than they could do, was made clear by Mr. Luc Tayart de Borms, Managing Director of the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium). “Theoretically, foundations are considered to be independent risk-takers, providing investments and support in fields that are neglected by government or corporates. However, most foundations are reluctant to take this...

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European foundations give 5 bn to research and innovation

European foundations give 5 bn to research and innovation

Private foundations across Europe account for at least 5 billion Euros of spending to research and innovation. That is the result of the EUFORI Study, a large research project commissioned by the European Commission. Experts from 29 countries contributed to the project, which was coordinated by researchers from VU Amsterdam. 1,591 foundations in the field of Research & Development participated in the study, which was conducted in 27 EU countries, Switzerland and Norway. The synthesis report and 29 national reports are available at EUFORI’s...

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Only moderate health benefits of being a volunteer

Only moderate health benefits of being a volunteer

Volunteering has only small beneficial effects on the health, subjective well-being and social networks of volunteers. Whereas previous studies found volunteers to be healthier and happier as well as to have a stronger social network, the issue of causality is often not addressed adequately. It could very well be that healthier and happier people with stronger networks are selected into volunteering. In order to disentangle selection effects from causal effects, researchers of the Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU Amsterdam examined six panel survey datasets from countries across Europe. Starting or stopping with voluntary work is associated with changes in subjective health, subjective well-being and the strength of one’s social network, but the effects are small. A large part of the variance between volunteers and non-volunteers can be attributed to selection effects. The publication “Welfare impacts of participation”, which is part of the EU-funded research project Impact of the Third Sector as Social Innovation (ITSSOIN), is available...

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