DAFNE is a network gathering donors and foundations associations in Europe with the aim of providing a platform to share knowledge and learn from best practices. With 27 member associations with a collective membership of more than 10,000 foundations and grant-makers, DAFNE underpins individual activities of its members by encouraging dialogue and collaboration between the national associations. Each DAFNE member individually serves public benefit foundations and other donors at national level: their roles and services vary from country to country.

The diversity among the various DAFNE members brings the opportunity to gain different perspectives, enrich each association by learning from peers’ experiences and get to know the wider European context. DAFNE creates an effective mechanism for Europe-wide collaboration; exchange of know how; and the creation of a pool of knowledge at the level of the DAFNE network among philanthropy support organisations.


DAFNE provides a collective voice for Foundations thus supporting the representative role that Associations play at national level. DAFNE works with two main strategic partners EFC and WINGS to strengthen the voice and representation of the philanthropic sector at European and global levels.


DAFNE provides for:

  • exchanging national experience
  • networking opportunities and encouraging joint projects and initiatives
  • promoting donors best practices at EU level
  • supporting advocacy effort at national, EU, and global levels
  • defining common positions on legal and fiscal issues
  • data collection, consolidation and analysis

DAFNE members are national associations that share DAFNE objectives and agree on working together within the DAFNE framework. DAFNE has a membership fee system based on solidarity, flexibility and trust. Members can set their own fee and offer an additional contribution on a voluntary basis.  DAFNE operations are funded by a combination of member voluntary subscription and donations form a number of foundations.

DAFNE Board is currently chaired by Felix Oldenburg, from the Association of German Foundations.

Felix Oldenburg studied philosophy, politics and music at the universities of Bonn, Tübingen and Oxford and holds a postgraduate degree in Policy and Non-Profit Management from Georgetown University. In 1998 he co-founded an online start-up based on the non-profit introduction of one of Germany’s first social networks. From 2000 to 2002 he worked at McKinsey & Company in London as strategy consultant. Felix Oldenburg was Managing Director of Ashoka Europe for seven years before joining the Association of German Foundations as Director General in April 2016. Felix Oldenburg is a fervent supporter of a strong civil society and believes in the power of innovations and ideas.

He is supported by a Board comprising Magdalena Pękacka– Polish Donors Forum, Beate Eckhardt – Swiss Foundations and Carola Carazzone – Assifero, Italy. The DAFNE Board is responsible for:

  • making policy and activity proposals to the membership
  • setting the agenda for the ongoing year and overseeing the implementation of a work programme
  • overseeing and monitoring the DAFNE budget
  • supervising the Executive Director

The Executive Director is Max von Abendroth








Max von Abendroth joined DAFNE as Executive Director in October 2017. Before he has set up and ran the European Magazine Media Association, EMMA, representing 15.000 press publishers vis-à-vis the EU institutions. He is also the founder of the Future Media Lab. and sits on the Board of Fondation Euractiv #Media4EU.

Follow him: @bxlmax


He is assisted by Dr James Magowan, Co-ordinating Director.  James has been working par-time with DAFNE since 2015.  He has over 20 years experience in the field of philanthropy, working with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and the Association of Charitable Foundations in the UK.


Eugenia Arcos Messana is a Spanish Lawyer, who joined DAFNE in September 2018, as a Legal Affairs trainee. Before she joined the team, she had been a Trainee Lawyer in several Law firms.  Eugenia recently completed a Schuman Traineeship at the Legal Service of the European Parliament, where she had the opportunity to follow current issues relating to Education, Culture, Regional Development, Agriculture, Transport and Fisheries.


Dr. des. Hanna Stähle is Project and Communications Manager at DAFNE. Previously she worked with the Robert Bosch Stiftung where she was responsible for media and journalism programmes. She received her PhD in Slavic Cultural Studies (summa cum laude) from the University of Passau in 2018. During her PhD studies she was a research fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and gathered professional experience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Carnegie Centre Moscow.