DAFNE_PEX: COVID-19 Revival & Philanthropy – Update #1

We aim to share with you a snapshot of challenges the COVID-19 crisis poses for philanthropy in Europe and what outstanding solutions it generates from civil society and philanthropy organisations such as foundations and philanthropy networks in the transition from survival to revival. This is a very scattered field reflected by a huge variety of activities. At the core of it lies the strong solidarity and collaboration that we sense across borders and sectors in Europe.

Building Back Better – Philanthropy played a significant role during the emergency phase. Now that economies across Europe are starting up again, philanthropy needs to ask itself where to contribute its resources. Suggestions include to invest in local community action, strengthening in particular minority voices; but also resource people to think through what the new normal should look like, introducing policies such as the UBI and Green Deal; or to invest in shaping the public narrative, rooted in social and economic rights that protect human dignity instead of economic growth (Alliance). What is becoming clear, is that philanthropy needs to step out of its reactive cycle and consider entering the system change arena (EDGE).

1st of July – Webinar: Reimagining philanthropy’s role after COVID-19: Towards a more resilient Europe [DAFNE & EFC Philanthropy Advocacy; EPC

Causes rather than symptoms – this new understanding of the role of philanthropy challenges its approach as project funding, impact seeking entities towards collaborative organisations which achieve lasting improvements on pressing societal issues by addressing systemic root causes of the issues (Co-Impact, Ashoka etc). Already now, we are seeing in for instance the Grant Givers’ Movement report that more than half of the surveyed UK foundations are trying to rebalance power in the sector (GGM).

€6.15 bn – Global Goal: Unite for our Future 27 June [European Commission; Global Citizen

You are not alone! – While foundations have clearly demonstrated their ability to adapt operations during times of crisis, the question remains how they can maintain this newfound agility. McKinsey seeks to support foundations in this through their recent report “Reimagining European Philanthropy” (McKinsey). From within the philanthropy networks, more than 20 people joined four consecutive workshops, hosted by DAFNE and ECFI in May and June, to explore philanthropy’s role to build resilience within civil society (DAFNE & ECFI – link tbc in Resource Hub 2.0). In order for philanthropy to take informed decisions going forward, ERNOP is coordinating several research projects on the effects of COVID-19 for philanthropy (ERNOP).

€1.1 billion – the amount of European philanthropic commitments for COVID-19 response [McKinsey]

Brave new world – We are entering unknown territories for which we need new cross-sectoral collaborations on cross-cutting issues such as digitalisation, gender, sustainability, and racial justice. The UNDP identified 7 explicit tipping points on the “Pathway to recovery”:  human rights and multilateralism, peace, digital disruption, inclusion and diversity, climate and nature-based transition, capabilities, and the social contract (UNDP). Finally, the political consequences of the looming economic crisis are yet to be seen, and the European Commission’s report on the rule of law could not be timelier. The OHCHR office in Brussels sets out why and how to adopt a human rights approach to the rule of law in Europe (OHCHR). 

€600 bn – European Commission’s call on private investments [European Commission]