Imagine Philanthropy for Europe

In these challenging times for European solidarity, the Allianz Kulturstiftung and the European Cultural Foundation decided to hit the road to imagine together philanthropy for Europe. With the support of Wider Sense, we discussed with thinkers, cultural practitioners and philanthropists. This discussion paper is the first result of this insightful exchange.

Indeed, private money for the public good plays a significant role in strengthening social cohesion, as foundation budgets in Europe amount to €60 billion annually. The current challenges and the sense of urgency force foundations to reinvent themselves, ready to take greater responsibility, and to enable greater European solidarity.

However, philanthropy with a European purpose remains unchartered territory. The process of European integration seems to have stopped at the doorstep of the European philanthropic sector. Genuine European philanthropy is hardly existing, a niche. Something needs to be done, knowing well that we cannot do that alone. The Corona shock could become Europe's moment and the moment for philanthropy to commit to our common ground, Europe.

  • Alisa Prudnikova, Founder and Commissioner of the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Head of Strategic Projects of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Russia
  • Andrea Silvestri, Managing Director, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, Italy
  • Dea Vidović, Director, Kultura Nova Foundation, Croatia
  • Franziska Brantner, Member of the German Bundestag, Spokeswoman for European policy and Whip for the parliamentary group of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Germany
  • Gerry Salole, Former Chief Executive, European Foundation Centre (EFC), Belgium
  • Helmut Anheier, Past President and Professor of Sociology, Hertie School, Professor emeritus at Heidelberg University’s Max-Weber-Institute, Germany, and faculty member of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, USA
  • Ieva Morica, Executive Director, DOTS Foundation for an Open Society, Latvia
  • Jordi Vaquer, Director of Global Foresight and Analysis, Open Society Foundations, Spain
  • Josef Janning, Political Scientist, Germany
  • Matthieu Calame, Managing Director, Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind, Switzerland/France
  • Max von Abendroth, Executive Director, Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE), Belgium
  • Milo Rau, Artistic Director, NTGent, Belgium
  • Raymond Georis, Founding Chair of European Foundation Centre and Network of European Foundations, former Secretary General of the European Cultural Foundation (retired), Belgium
  • Rien van Gendt, Founder, Gendt Philanthropies, The Netherlands
  • Rupert Graf Strachwitz, Director, Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Germany
  • Stefan Schäfers, Director, King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium
  • Ugo Bacchella, President, Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, Italy
  • Ulrike Guérot, Professor and Director at the Department for European Politics and Democracy Research at the Danube University Krems, Founder European Democracy Lab, Austria/Germany
  • Xavier Troussard, Head of Unit Foresight, Modelling, Behavioural Insights & Design for Policy, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Belgium

This publication is based on a research conducted between April and June 2020 by Wider Sense. We thank analysts Eva Schneider and Daria Kasnitz as well as Managing Partner Michael Alberg-Seberich for their work. We also thank the interview partners for their meaningful insights.

The study was commissioned by European Cultural Foundation and Allianz Kulturstiftung under the lead of Isabelle Schwarz, Head of Public Policy (European Cultural Foundation) and Alban Genty (Allianz Kulturstiftung).