1st October 2021: European Day of Foundations and Donors


On 1st October 2021, we are celebrating the European Day of Foundations and Donors to showcase the role foundations play in European societies to the benefit of all of us.

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On 1st October 2021, we are celebrating the European Day of Foundations and Donors established by Dafne in 2013. 

On this day, public benefit foundations, charities, trusts, communities, donors, philanthropists, and volunteers across Europe come together for a common goal: to showcase the role foundations play in European societies to the benefit of all of us, raise public awareness about philanthropy, and encourage more giving and civic action. 

1st October is a moment to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the wider public and demonstrate philanthropy impact on people’s lives. While we will be taking this opportunity to showcase philanthropy’s vital contribution, the day also encourages us to ask critical questions. Are we doing enough? Is philanthropy trust- and community-based? How can philanthropy remain sustainable and both provide short-term and long-term support?

Dafne is working with the EFC to highlight what is going on across Europe on this day.

This is a page in progress – we invite you to share with us any relevant updates from your countries. 

Events happening around Europe include:

Austria – Austrian Foundations Association

For the 4th time, the Austrian Foundation Association is celebrating 1st October with its Annual Conference which will revolve around the theme “Art for All! Philanthropy as a driver for inclusive arts and culture”. Not only the diverse and successful national philanthropic engagement in the field of art and culture will be brought before the curtain. The event also aims to look over the borders and inspire with international best practices and keynotes. Details on the (inter)national speakers and the programme will follow in due course. Depending on the COVID-related framework conditions, the Austrian Foundation Association is planning the possibility of limited on-site participation or a virtual connection. People can register for the German live stream by sending an email to: office@gemeinnuetzig-stiften.at

Belgium – Philanthropy Advocacy (Dafne and EFC)

Philanthropy Advocacy, a joint initiative by the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (Dafne), will host a launch event of the 2021 edition of “Comparative Highlights of Foundation Laws” publication, taking place online on October 1, 2021, from 10.00 – 11.30 CEST. “Comparative Highlights” is an outcome of a two-year mapping project detailing the regulatory environments in which philanthropy and foundations operate in 40 countries across wider Europe. The launch event will open up a space for discussion on the publication’s key insights into the transparency, regulation and accountability of philanthropy in Europe. You will have a chance to get an overview of the latest findings from renowned academics and EU policymakers around a wide range of issues, such as anti-money laundering legislation, cross-border philanthropy, taxation and innovative approaches to philanthropy. A more detailed programme will be announced soon. You can register here for the event.

Croatia – Croatian Foundations Forum

The Croatian Foundations Forum is organising the 6th Croatian Philanthropy Week from September 27 to October 4, including events on 1st October. During this week, they will be hosting on-site and digital events with children and youth on the topic “Pass it on” (kindness, goodness, goodwill, empathy). They will also promote a film about “Philanthropy as Way of Life”. 

France – Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations

On September 30, the French Centre for Funds and Foundations invites you to an afternoon of conferences and round tables on the theme “Between resilience and transformation, what levers of action for the general interest?”. The guest of honour is Boris Cyrulnik – an eminent psychoanalyst and specialist in resilience. The event will feature the following topics: (1) How do we look at the resilience of individuals and our society?; (2) What means do foundations use or create to pursue, or even strengthen, their role in supporting resilience and transformation, at the level of the citizen and the city?; (3) Discover inspiring projects in Paris and in the regions. The event will have a hybrid format: partly in Paris and in the regions (if health conditions allow it), and partly online. More information here.

Germany – Association of German Foundations

Foundations from across Germany are invited to join the motto “Together we shape the future”. The Association of German Foundation is organising a keynote talk with Prof. Dr Heribert Prantl on the topic “Between tradition and future – what do foundations need in the 21st century”. After this talk, Michael Schwarz, Managing Director of Stiftung Mercator and member of the board of the Association of German Foundations, and Kirsten Hommelhoff, Secretary-General of the Association of German Foundations, will discuss with Dr Heribert Prantl critical aspects of the topic. Also, the Association of German Foundations will publish philanthropy events from all across Germany, offer material for publicity and cover interesting news on its social media and website. More information here

Hungary – Effekteam Association (formerly Hungarian Donors Forum)

Effekteam Association is organising its annual (virtual) conference “Community-Impact-Future” on 1st October. More information (in Hungarian) is forthcoming in September here.

Italy – ACRI

On 1st October, Acri is preparing “Non sono un murales. Segni di comunità”: an event widespread in almost 100 places all over Italy, which will involve the different communities in the realisation of a work of art. The interventions will be carried out in some emblematic spaces for the social activity of the Foundations such as schools, playrooms, community centres, assets confiscated from crime and converted into community activities, facilities for the work placement of people with disabilities, parks, and much more. Young people and volunteers will create an original work starting from the stencil that the young Pistoian urban artist LDB designed specifically for the occasion. It represents an adult tying shoe to a child who, with a backpack on his shoulders, looks towards the viewer and is ready to start his journey. The image represents a simple and recognisable gesture for all: a supportive action by an “adult” and autonomous person (the community) towards a child (a person who is growing up and starting a new path). On 1stOctober, the works created in all the cities will be inaugurated and “unveiled”. Acri is calling other foundations around Europe to join this initiative. If you are interested to join this initiative, please contact matteo.gabbrielli@acri.it“. 

Italy – Assifero

Assifero, along with ACRI, is promoting “Non sono un murales. Segni di comunità” initiative. They will also issue a national press release, that will focus on the launch of the public campaign about the Italian commitment on climate change, in combination and linkage with the International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change, and will integrate news from the European level into it.

Liechtenstein – Association of Liechtenstein Charitable Foundations and Trusts (VLGST)

VLGST is organising the 5th Philanthropy Platform, a public event aiming at presenting philanthropy as a dynamic force for innovation that advances the common good and helps build vibrant communities. The Philanthropy Platform will strengthen the exchange in the philanthropy sector and provide insights into the multifaceted work of public-benefit foundations. Charitable foundations will provide information on current topics and trends and illustrate their commitment to concrete projects. The event will feature a keynote talk, “Current Trends in Philanthropy”, with Prof. Dr Marc Gottschald, Head of the Center for Philanthropy at the University of Liechtenstein. Among the speakers are the Toni Hilti Foundation, Stiftung Lebenswertes Liechtenstein, Ideenkanal Foundation and Medicor Foundation. More information (in German) here.

Russia – Russian Donors Forum

The Russian Donors Forum will celebrate this date by hosting its 19th Annual Conference. The Conference will bring together leaders of corporate and private philanthropy, charities, government, and academia, allowing them to exchange their knowledge and experience. The topic of the conference is “Philanthropy and social investment in the face of uncertainty: lessons, challenges and opportunities”. This is a two-day conference: the first day is held offline, and the second online, however, the offline day is also fully streamed online, so that anyone can access the event. More information on event is forthcoming here

Serbia – Serbian Philanthropy Forum

To join the celebration of the European Day of Foundations and Donors, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum is planning a national campaign “Save Food, Save Humanity” for October 9, the National Day of Giving. The campaign aims to raise citizens’ awareness of the problem of wasting food and insufficient food donations, as well as to support an improvement of regulations that would benefit an increase in food donations. “Save Food, Save Humanity” is carried out as part of the Project for Improvement of Framework for Donation, which is realised by the Charity Coalition. The Charity Coalition is supported by the Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Collective, Serbian Philanthropy Forum, Forum for Responsible Business and Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

If you want to share with us any relevant updates from your countries, please contact Michelle Rossimichelle.rossi@dafne-online.eu