Carola Carazzone, DAFNE’s Board Member and Assifero’s Secretary General, writes for WINGS’ #LiftUpPhilanthropy Series on how the European philanthropic sector can build itself for the future and cultivate the special role of philanthropy support organisations as enablers, accelerators, and multipliers of social change.
Society is transforming at a rapid rate, and there is a need to pause, take stock and reflect on what these transformations mean for the philanthropy sector.
We are opening a European chapter of Next Philanthropy. This project aims to provide an inclusive space for a meaningful conversation on the current stay of play and what’s next in philanthropy in Europe.
What society do we want to see in the future, and what role can philanthropy play? How can we connect with other sectors and learn from each other? What is disruption and who are the disruptors? How can we leverage evidence-based dialogue? How can we translate discourse into action? How can we build and shape the narrative on European philanthropy? Instead of providing answers, we want to keep asking questions, explore and invite others to think along.
While we are thinking big, we will start with small steps.
About Next Philanthropy
This is a European chapter of the global Next Philanthropy initiative that is an open collaboration of philanthropy infrastructure and support organisations. Initiated by the Association of German Foundations in 2018, this project was launched as an information resource sharing data, trends, analysis and reflections about where the increasingly changing landscape is heading, and how the sector can best keep up with and respond to these changes.
In seeking to explore these questions and more, the Next Philanthropy initiative has stimulated and facilitated discussions by organising events, conducting country-specific profiles and interviews, collating publications, holding webinars and generating articles. We have collaborated on an open-source knowledge hub which includes a variety of relevant articles, studies and websites.
Alliance, the Italian national association of grant-making foundations and private institutional philanthropy Assifero, Austrian Foundations Association, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and TUSEV – Third Sector Foundation of Turkey.
The project has been implemented jointly with Alliance, Dafne, AVPA (African Venture Philanthropy Alliance), AVPN (Asian Venture Philanthropy Network), EVPA (European Venture Philanthropy Association) and WINGS (Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support).
Will philanthropy be more:
- global – there is a global ideas space for all but a few social challenges, all share the same development goals, and philanthropy will seek solutions across borders.
- transparent – winning the trust of co-creators and beneficiaries will be ever more important for scaling change.
- participatory – creating bottom-up rather than top-down mechanisms for decision making and resource allocation with issues of diversity and the inclusion of, and accountability to, the communities funders want to serve more at the forefront.
- collaborative – as philanthropists start their giving at an ever earlier age, they want to be involved and learn rather than leave a legacy in their name and seek collaboration with other philanthropists, business, governments and local communities.
- digital – with transaction costs near zero, philanthropy will use the full range of digital tools in order to focus resources on human connections.
- entrepreneurial – tapping into market forces, and using a broad range of legal forms, philanthropy will seek to play incubator roles for social enterprises and businesses.
- investing – from grants to equity, debt, and hybrid finance,
philanthropy will find smarter ways to leverage finance to create
sustainable, and growing solutions.
- self-questioning – more open discussions around topics such as wealth inequality, the decolonisation of wealth, and questions of historic debts to communities when it comes to wealth accumulation.
- sustainability-centred – new drivers for giving centred around the sustainability and future of the planet and a view that business as usual in terms of resource use cannot continue.
- community-driven – philanthropy will be more responsive to local needs and demands, putting community at the center of giving.
Join the global conversation about the future of philanthropy by sharing news and thoughts under #nextphilanthropy.