Foundations in Europe Working Together How is it Different?
In Europe, values around philanthropy, about individual and collective responsibilities are different compared to the US, and philanthropy also varies enormously from country to country. Aside from multiple governments, laws, languages, history and contexts, there is a wealth of nuances and less obvious caveats that make the process of European foundations working together different:
- Europe is a continent of over 30 countries with different historical contexts and cultural sensitivities. These distinctions inevitably influence the nature and development of any decision making or negotiation.
- Even with shared interests and similar goals, European foundations have diverse operating rationales, which make working together an intricate process.
- Organizational and political hierarchies are important in Europe. They vary considerably and drive the work of European foundations in different ways but they are not always easily talked about.
- Relations between governments and foundations both within and across countries are varied. Such stakeholder relations set a precedent for the way in which foundations advocate and work together on public policy.
- Collaboration involves people and personal networks; many networks are within countries or language groups; cross-European networks have developed at a different pace.
- Related to networks, a general lack of public information about who does what in philanthropy in Europe makes collaboration more difficult.
- The European Union and the notion of what is and is not common EU policy is evolving rapidly: collaboration mirrors the leveraging strength of Europe’s stakeholders around (un)common issues.
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This takeaway was derived from Foundations in Europe Working Together.