The Philea Virtual Library

The Philea Virtual Library includes over 1,000 free-to-download publications from a range of organisations and publishers on the topics of philanthropy, the management of foundations and the areas they are involved in and support. As a Philea member you can send us your publications for inclusion in the library which will also be added to the global IssueLab network where they will be made available to an extended audience, including users of Worldcat, the global catalogue used by tens of thousands of libraries. For questions or assistance, please contact the Philea Virtual Library.
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Featured

Futures Philanthropy: Anticipation for the Common Good

May 2, 2024

"Futures Philanthropy: Anticipation for the Common Good" brings together two critical disciplines in one publication: futures and foresight, championed by the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies; and philanthropy, represented by Philea and its extensive philanthropic community. It looks at how European philanthropy can apply foresight and futures thinking to live up to its potential of being forward-looking, risk-taking, and innovative, all the while encouraging anticipatory capacities within civil society and communities.  The publication is a practical guide for foundation leaders, board members, philanthropy infrastructure practitioners, donors, advisors, philanthropy researchers and civil society professionals on how to navigate the contours of an ever-changing landscape and evaluate current and future risks and opportunities. 

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society
Featured

Feeling the Heat : How Foundations Can Use their Investments to Curb Climate Change

March 1, 2024

Climate change is already impacting the people, places and causes that foundations care about. Still, for a variety of reasons, philanthropy practitioners often struggle to translate their awareness and concern into action at the scale and pace that are required. For many foundations, responsible and sustainable stewardship of a foundation's assets that takes climate change into consideration and seeks alignment with a rapid and just transition to a net-zero economy, is an important part of addressing climate change.By surfacing the examples of three European foundations – which differ in shape, size and geographic location and do not have climate at the core of their mission – we hope to illustrate what this process can look like and some of the challenges and opportunities this creates. We hope this provides a valuable resource for foundations on their way to climate-aligning their investments.

Environment and Sustainable Development; Ethical issues and Good Practices; Finance and Investment; Governance, Boards and Strategy
Featured

Data Science, AI and Data Philanthropy in Foundations : On the Path to Maturity

February 14, 2024

This research explores the data-related initiatives currently undertaken by a pool of foundations from across Europe. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that has investigated the level of data work within philanthropic foundations, even though the rise of data and its importance has increasingly been recognised in the non-profit sector. Given that this is an inaugural piece of research, the study takes an exploratory approach, prioritising a comprehensive survey of data practices foundations are currently implementing or exploring. The goal was to obtain a snapshot of the current level of maturity and commitment of foundations regarding data-related matters.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society; Science and Technology
Featured

Arts and Culture at the Core of Philanthropy : Highlights from the 2nd edition (2023) : English infographic

January 1, 2024

As multiple crises have unfolded in recent years, the arts and culture sector has been among the most damaged financially, and its structural fragilities have significantly deteriorated. At the same time, its value to society throughout these crises has been undoubtedly clear.The second volume of Philea's "Arts and Culture at the Core of Philanthropy" surveyed 64 foundations from 17 different countries to research European philanthropic funding in the field of arts and culture.This infographic shares highlights from the report.For more insights, view the full report: https://philea.issuelab.org/resource/arts-and-culture-at-the-core-of-philanthropy-volume-2.html

Arts and Culture; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis
Featured

Dare to Anticipate : How Mercator Foundation Switzerland Made Strategic Foresight Part of Its Organisational Culture : Case Study

January 1, 2024

The Mercator Foundation Switzerland (Stiftung Mercator Schweiz) has abandoned five-year strategy cycles and embraced an agile, iterative strategy model that builds upon testing and learning.This case study is part of Philea's Futures Philanthropy series - a selection of hands-on, practical insights into emerging forward-thinking, long-term, innovative practices in the European philanthropy sector. This material provides a foundation for contributing to building futures thinking in the philanthropic field.

Environment and Sustainable Development; Ethical issues and Good Practices; Governance, Boards and Strategy; International Affairs, Global Challenges
Featured

Public-Benefit Foundations in Europe : Comparative Analysis and Aggregate Figures Across 26 Countries

December 1, 2023

This briefing presents an up-to-date picture of the institutional philanthropy landscape in Europe by offering an analysis of the philanthropic sectors in 26 European countries in a study conducted by Philea. It includes data by country as well as total figures for Europe on the number of public-benefit foundations in addition to their assets and annual expenditure. The briefing builds on and updates the information provided by the 2016 Public-Benefit Foundations in Europe Report, published by Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (Dafne) (now part of Philea) and analysed by Candid (previously known as the Foundation Center).

Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society
Featured

European Philanthropy Manifesto

November 28, 2023

Today's societal challenges require concerted efforts by many actors, be they public, private or philanthropic. More and more people in Europe are keen to engage in philanthropy, but challenges and barriers – especially when acting across borders – persist.This European Philanthropy Manifesto is a call to policymakers in Europe to work towards a Single Market for Philanthropy by taking these 4 steps: EMPOWER philanthropyFACILITATE cross-border philanthropyENGAGE with philanthropyPARTNER with philanthropy for public good

Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Legislation and Taxation
Featured

Philanthropy Back to the Drawing Board : Shaping a Future Agenda

October 9, 2023

In this book, Rien van Gendt urges philanthropy to critically and reflectively assess how it can best live up to the promise it makes – and the responsibility it has – of investing private resources for the public good.With a focus on private foundations and public charities, the book covers areas such as the legitimacy of philanthropy; the advantages and pitfalls of collaboration; aligning investments with mission; making the most effective use of philanthropic spending; operating systems and styles; and relationships with grantees and local communities, among several other topics. These are set out in the context of today's multiple challenges, including the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, growing inequality and the rise in anti-democratic sentiment. Considering the rapidly evolving nature of these crises, and the uncertainty they bring, lessons of the past no longer provide answers – hence the need for philanthropy to go back to the drawing board.

Grantmaking and Programme Management; International Affairs, Global Challenges; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History
Featured

Assessing Research for Philanthropic Funding : Innovative Approaches

September 1, 2023

This publication on responsible research assessment aims to explore diverse approaches taken by foundations to enhance the fairness, transparency and effectiveness of evaluating research proposals for funding. The publication delves into three distinct methodologies that challenge traditional assessment methods and offer innovative alternatives: 1. Using artificial intelligence (AI); 2. Adopting narrative curriculum vitae (CVs); and 3. Implementing randomised selection. It provides an overview of general principles of responsible research assessment, key framing documents and recommendations for implementing these principles; and offers examples of the real-world application of these methods by various foundations and organisations.While these approaches demonstrate the innovative potential within research assessment, they are by no means an exhaustive representation of all available tools and methods. Nevertheless, they serve as compelling illustrations of the ongoing efforts to revolutionise evaluation practices and foster a more inclusive and equitable research ecosystem.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations
Featured

Philanthropic Taxonomies: The Swiss Case : Practical Insights

July 12, 2023

While there are a variety of different taxonomies used for classifying philanthropic activities in Europe carried out by specific organisations or in specific countries, we believe that there are still significant gaps in understanding the broader philanthropic landscape. Through practical insights, this paper explores the diverse uses and benefits of taxonomies, and highlights how taxonomies contribute to better research, informed decision-making, enhanced collaboration and improved coordination, accountability, and transparency within the philanthropic sector. These insights build on the webinar "Common Taxonomies in European Philanthropy", held on 28 March 2023 as part of the Data on Philanthropy – By us, for us webinar series organised by Philea and ERNOP. To help make all of this concrete, this paper features a brief case study on the successful implementation of a philanthropy taxonomy by SwissFoundations. This case study showcases the key factors that led to its success and presents major findings that have emerged from its use and adoption.

Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Knowledge and Data Management
Featured

Organisational Development Support : A Rough Guide - Top Eight Learnings

June 30, 2023

Many funders are starting to recognise the value of Organisational Development (OD) support and are looking to peer organisations on how to create OD programmes. In doing this, many grantmaking foundations want to reflect on the experience of other organisations on how they began OD programmes, before starting their own. Simultaneously, funders that already provide OD support are looking at how they can enhance their programmes by wanting to learn from the experiences of others. The Organisational Development (OD) Community of Practice organised its second-ever satellite event before the start of the Philea Forum 2023 in Šibenik, Croatia. This document serves as a knowledge product generated during the session, presenting the top eight learnings shared by participants at the satellite event. Its primary objective is to assist funders in gaining an understanding of key steps involved in developing OD support programmes. 

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Grantmaking and Programme Management
Featured

Arts and Culture at the Core of Philanthropy : Volume 2

May 23, 2023

As multiple crises have unfolded in recent years, the arts and culture sector has been among the most damaged financially, and its structural fragilities have significantly deteriorated. At the same time, its value to society throughout these crises has been undoubtedly clear.This second volume of Philea's research into European philanthropic funding in the field of arts and culture reveals a philanthropic sector that is strongly committed to resourcing artistic and cultural organisations to strengthen their resilience; has a cross-cutting and intersectional tendency in its work; and is clearly open to collaborative and participatory approaches.This edition of the mapping surveyed 64 foundations from 17 different countries, and includes contributions from several experts in the field. 

Arts and Culture; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

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