Lunch & Learn n°15
Thursday, March 20th 2014
Family philanthropy today: A UK-France comparison
At first glance, British and French philanthropies do not belong to the same category. In the UK, there are roughly 10,000 private grantmaking foundations and the 100 largest family foundations spend about €1.5 billion annually, with more than €35 billion in collective assets. In France, numbers are more modest: there are about 3,500 foundations and probably no more than 300 active family foundations. However, family philanthropy is clearly on the rise in France after decades of discretion and suspicion. More and more families set up their own foundation and are ready to talk about their giving. Fiscal incentives and legal structures are now on par with “best in class” countries. Though at different scales, similar challenges await family philanthropy on both sides of the Channel: stronger involvement with grantees, more collaboration and learning amongst foundations, struggles to evaluate impact, and increased pressure from governments and fundraisers alike. What can we learn from each country’s situation? What are the key idiosyncrasies and differences remaining?
Charles Keidan, Visiting Scholar, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford University), Philanthropy Practice Fellow, Centre for Giving and Philanthropy (City University London).