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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Future-proofing foundations for a post-Covid-19 world

April 1, 2022

This paper sheds a light on developments and changing practices in institutional philanthropy in Europe since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and offers insights for making responsible philanthropy the new normal. Leveraging data from a document review as well as various surveys and interviews conducted with the membership of the former European Foundation Centre (now Philea, a convergence of Dafne - Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe - and the EFC), the present analysis delves into what foundations have learned from this period. Organisations may survive in their current state, but they will lose legitimacy and perceived value if they do not adapt. The paper first looks at the challenges perceived by philanthropy professionals and how they respond to these threats, including criticism of philanthropy, and then takes stock of actions that have helped foundations to bounce back from massive disruption. Finally, the paper offers a set of recommendations to reveal opportunities for change and prepare for what's next. 

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Grantmaking and Programme Management; International Affairs, Global Challenges

Weaving a collective tapestry: A Funders' Toolkit for Child and Youth Participation

June 1, 2022

This Funders' Toolkit for Child and Youth Participation is the result of a research study commissioned by the Elevate Children Funders' Group to better understand child and youth participatory models used by funders. The toolkit was co-created by a group of young leaders, and with the guidance of an advisory committee and the ECFG Child and Youth Participation working group. It is the first of its kind to offer support and guidance on the substantive "how-to" of child and youth participation - tailored specifically to funders. Further resources related to this report can be found here: toolkit was produced in parallel to the report Child and Youth Participation in Philanthropy: Stories of Transformation (, published by Philea. 

Children and Youth; Ethical issues and Good Practices; Governance, Boards and Strategy; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Foundation Horizon Scan: Taking the long view

November 1, 2019

This report explores the challenges foundations and grant-giving organisations will face over the next decade in order to maintain their legitimacy and impact. Nesta worked with the Centre for Public Impact on a literature review, carrying out interviews with 25 leaders in the field from the UK and internationally. Drawing on these insights, the authors isolated signals of change in the sector and focused on several 'clusters' of foundation practices. Finally, they highlighted some of the strategic choices that foundations will need to manage in the coming years. Along with the report, Nesta created a worksheet to help organisations understand where they sit on the spectrum of strategic choices described in the report, as well as a collection of seven 'provocations' on the future role of foundations over this pivotal decade.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Governance, Boards and Strategy

More than the Sum of its Parts: Insights on the Future of European Philanthropy and Social Investment Infrastructure

March 1, 2019

This study is based on an extensive literature review and more than 50 interviews with a broad specturm of foundation leaders, academic experts, EU officials, and staff of ESPII organizations. The results are like a health check up of our sector. They show that not everything is perfect in this system, a system that many of us have helped to shape over the last 25 years. We should make sure that the health indicators of the European Philanthropy and Social Investment Infrastructure are in good shape for the next 25 years. We need this infrastructure to represent our sector, to drive innovations and to increase in the impact of our work. The latter is very much connected to tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Achieving Greater Impact by Starting with Learning

September 12, 2018

When grantmakers ask the organizations they fund about their evaluation plans, they are typically motivated by a desire to achieve the greatest impact possible through their investment. They often hope to help the organizations they fund to do the same. However, these conversations sometimes veer off track, especially when nonprofits feel pressure to produce evaluation results that align with funders' preconceived ideas. Evaluation can turn into a tool for accountability and risk management rather than a tool for learning. One way to prevent this dynamic from developing is to make sure that grantmakers and grant recipients talk with one another about why they are interested in evaluating a particular project before they get into discussions of what should be measured and how data collection tools should be used.This guide explores strategies that grantmakers can use to lay the groundwork for meaningful evaluation by focusing on learning rather than measurement early in the grant application process. We begin by defining what a learning culture or learning organization means and why it is important. Then, we discuss some of the key elements of learning organizations. Lastly, we outline some principles for grantmakers to help guide the development of a learning relationship with future grant recipients.

Evaluation and Learning

Hearts and Minds: The Arts and Civic Engagement

March 28, 2017

This study of existing research gathers compelling evidence that people who participate in the arts are more likely to be active in their communities and to be making a difference in the lives of others. Further, it shows how arts nonprofits may have natural advantages in helping people achieve new levels of understanding, empathy, and adaptation — critical capacities for civic engagement as well as acceptance and connection across class, race, heritage, or immigration status.

Arts and Culture; Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy; Minorities, Social Inclusion, Multiculturalism

Alignment Between Private Social Investment and Business

January 1, 2017

This publication is the first of a new GIFE series, which will explore "Social Investment Themes". This project, which took shape in the second half of 2015, aims to explore in depth topics central to social investment, bringing together information, reflections, data and case studies, in a concise, educational format that balances a conceptual approach with real-life experiences.The aim of this edition is to stimulate more open discussion of the theme of alignment between social investment and business, sharing what has been learned by institutes and foundations, as well as their concerns about this topic.

Finance and Investment

From Refugees to Workers: Mapping Labour-Market Integration Support Measures for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in EU Member States - Volume II: Literature Review and Country Case Studies

October 1, 2016

This study intends to provide a better understanding of the challenges with regard to the integration of refugees into the labour-markets. What are the strategies and practices implemented in different EU Member States to facilitate access to employment? What do we know about their effectiveness? What are good practices and lessons learned in different countries? The study includes detailed case studies for the following nine EU Member States: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The research points to the need for increased coordination at all levels, the conditions for successful public-private partnerships, and the adequate sequence of work integration and language learning, for example. Not least, it makes clear that finding effective ways to bring refugees to work will prove key for Europe's future.It has been produced by the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) at the European University Institute in Florence.Search also for: Volume I of the report "Comparative Analysis and Policy Findings".

Employment and Labour; Minorities, Social Inclusion, Multiculturalism

The Civic Role of Arts Organisations: A Literature Review for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

January 1, 2016

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has initiated an inquiry into the civic role of arts organisations. The inquiry seeks to increase awareness of the civic role that arts organisations play nationally and in their communities. Through research and consultation they intend to develop understanding of what constitutes 'next practice' and create a movement of organisations committed to demonstrating it. This literature review provides a starting point for the research that supports the inquiry.

Arts and Culture; Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society

Framing Paper: The State of Network Evaluation

July 30, 2014

This document is Part 1 of a Guide to Network Evaluation and offers the field's current thinking on frameworks, approaches and tools to address practical questions about designing and funding network evaluations. It was developed along with a casebook Evaluating Networks for Social Change: A Casebook that provides profiles of nine evaluations that detail key questions, methodologies, implementation and results while expanding what is known about assessment approaches that fit how networks develop and function. What will you learn in the guide? · How an evaluation can help a network function more effectively and promote network health · Elements of a network that can be evaluated · Approaches, methods and tools for evaluating networks · How to design a network evaluation that fits the? network type and investment (e.g., size, stage of development; issue focus) · Key questions to ask in a network evaluation · Examples of network evaluations and what has been learned from them

Collaborative Philanthropy and Partnerships; Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Social Investment Explained

July 1, 2014

The aim of this guide is to give an overview of the UK social investment market and help to work out whether and how it's relevant to an organisation - it's for anyone involved with a voluntary and community organisation or social enterprise (VCSE) as a trustee, chief executive or member of staff. An infographic that introduces social investment in a minute is included, along with a suite of insightful case study videos featuring Birdcage, My Time CIC and Fordhall Organic Farm. It has been produced by programme partners, Social Enterprise UK for Big Lottery Fund.

Finance and Investment; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Forced Labour in the United Kingdom

June 1, 2014

Forced labour is a serious crime that currently affects thousands of people across the UK -- and the number of cases is growing. JRF has supported research into the nature, scale and scope of forced labour in the UK since 2010. As the UK Government, Northern Ireland Assembly and Scottish Parliament consider new legislation to tackle the issue, this round-up draws together JRF's programme of research, highlighting the most significant findings and key recommendations.Key points:The growth of forced labour has coincided with changes in the nature of the UK's labour market. Increasing casualisation of jobs and longer supply chains within big companies have led to greater potential for workers to be exploited. The government's light-touch approach to workforce regulation, weak enforcement of labour standards and immigration policies that exclude people from formal employment also make workers more vulnerable.Forced labour can take many forms, and is not limited to immigrant workers or those who are working in the UK illegally. Interviews with those affected reveal different types of exploitation and the research explains why workers in some industries are particularly prone to it.Improved regulation, enforcement and protection for those affected is needed, and this document recommends ways it can be provided. It stresses that forced labour will only be eradicated through greater joined-up working by the government, which must address the causes, not just the symptoms.

Employment and Labour; Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy

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