NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPORT ON “FOUNDATIONS, VENTURE PHILANTHROPY AND SOCIAL INVESTMENTS”

by Stefan Einarsson
Board Member of the Swedish DAFNE Member Föreningen Stiftelser i Samverkan & Member of the European Commission’s Expert Group “Foundations, Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments”

The Expert Group report on “Foundations, Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments” is focusing on how to better enable philanthropic foundations and philanthropists to take part in promoting research and innovation in the EU. The Expert group consisted of representatives of foundations, the business community and academia and has concentrated on three key areas of improvement: framework conditions, innovative financial tools and policy actions, and inspiring forms of collaboration between different actors.

Within the area of legal frameworks the main recommendations is focusing on how to improve existing rules in order to facilitate cooperation between the European Commission and foundations as well as between foundations and to uphold and enhance the current EU regulations regarding cross-border giving and philanthropic investment by philanthropic foundations.

The report also discusses several innovative financial tools which can help R&I foundations to better pursue their missions. This development could be further enhanced, according to the report, through an integrated set of policies and actions with four key aims: 1) to strengthen expertise in, and access to, innovative funding tools amongst foundations and philanthropic funders (supply side); 2) to build the business capacity of innovative ventures seeking funding (demand side); 3) to extend the range of innovative financial tools available; 4) and to build the supply of funding for research and innovation.

Lastly the report also discusses how collaboration could be strengthened between R&I foundations and other stakeholders in the research and innovation arena. In order to reach this the report proposes three main actions: 1) improve infrastructure and information sharing; 2) exploit effective multi-stakeholder partnerships; 3) stimulate collaboration to generate impact on society and also continues to elaborate these actions.

The Expert Group report on “Foundations, Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments” contains several important suggestions, examples and best practices that have the possibility to enhance the environment of European foundations and philanthropist. And even more importantly it represents an important step in increasing the collaboration between foundations, philanthropist and the European Commission.

You can find the report here:
Final Report Expert Group Foundations Venture Philanthropy Social Invest.._