Philanthropy Scrum

DAFNE, EFC and EVPA to explore solutions with policymakers to grow the space for philanthropy across Europe

"There is a single market for goods and services in the EU, yet donations and civic engagement far too often stop at national borders as they continuously face major cross-border restrictions."
Felix Oldenburg, DAFNE Chair

Brussels, 24 May 2018. The philanthropy sector and policymakers will gather on 28 May in Brussels for the first-ever “Philanthropy Scrum”, a high-level exchange focusing on identifying the challenges for philanthropy across Europe and co-creating solutions for a single market for philanthropy. The event is organised by Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE), The European Foundation Centre (EFC) and the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA).

The European philanthropy sector contributes €60 billion annually within civil society. While commercial entities can operate across all EU Member States in a single market, philanthropy organisations face significant barriers if they go beyond their state’s borders (DAFNE Survey 2016). The lack of cohesion resulting from the fact that there is no real single market for philanthropy in Europe is a major stumbling block, which leads to an estimated annual loss for civil society of €100 million (2018 DAFNE/EFC study “Enlarging the Space for European Philanthropy”). The Philanthropy Scrum aims to explore possible solutions to these challenges (

The event will also be hosting many distinguished speakers including Filipe Almeida, President of the Board Portugal Inovação Social; Luc Tayart de Borms, Managing Director King Baudouin Foundation; Madeleine Clarke, Founding Director of Genio and EVPA Chair; Massimo Lapucci, EFC Chair and Secretary General of Fondazione CRT; Malcolm Hayday, CEO Charity Bank Limited; Jane Newman, International Director of Social Finance UK and EVPA Board Member; Felix Oldenburg, General Secretary of Associaton of German Foundations and DAFNE Chair; Eva Sobotka, Head of Sector Cooperation and Consultation Fundamental Rights Promotion Department, The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights; Paul Nemitz, Principle Adviser at DG Justice, European Commission; Carlos Trias, Vice-President Group III, European Economic and Social Committee; and Rien van Gendt, Van Gendt Philanthropy Services.

Felix Oldenburg, DAFNE Chair: “There is a single market for goods and services in the EU, yet donations and civic engagement far too often stop at national borders as they continuously face major cross-border restrictions. This prevents the multibillion euro European foundation sector from unfolding its full potential to contribute to the public good.“

Massimo Lapucci, EFC Chair: “It is time for a single market ‘without borders’ for philanthropy, to help the sector to do what it does best: improve the quality of people’s daily lives, generate positive impact and momentum, and promote more active citizenship with common good at its core. This is the way to bring citizens closer to the institutions and enable philanthropy to be the strongest possible social ‘glue’ supporting the principles of democracy, equality, freedom and pluralism”.

Madeleine Clarke, EVPA Chair: “Sustainable change is not an isolated action. It requires an understanding of the complexities and challenges involved in creating impact. “Philanthropy Scrum” is the first step by DAFNE, EFC, and EVPA to bring together a variety of actors that can achieve what no organisation can secure alone and build solutions across Europe to better finance impact.” 

The event will feature 12 world café sessions, each covering the most prominent topics of philanthropy such as: cross-border philanthropic activity; EU spectrum for action to support philanthropic and wider civil society space; VAT reform and impact on the sector; matching philanthropic investments with EU financial tools; role of foundations in impact investing, and EU funding instruments to develop the social investment ecosystem.