Speaking Up! Foundations and Advocacy in Europe

European countries have very diverse traditions in philanthropy, and many foundations not only fund advocacy but directly influence policy agendas through their operational programmes. This guide explores how foundations do so through interactions with local and national governments as well as the European institutions. 

Highlights

  • Regulatory constraints to advocacy in a sample of European countries
  • Brussels essentials
  • Cartoons of six different pathways of policy change
  • Seven concrete case studies

What's in the Guide?

  • "A" for Advocacy 
  • Tailored strategies
  • Brussels essentials
  • Learning by doing
  • Special features
  • Takeaways
    Monitoring and Evaluation

    “Evaluating the effectiveness of advocacy grantmaking depends, first of all, on articulating what you intend to accomplish, how each activity relates to a desired outcome, and how long each of those outcomes is expected to take – a few months, a few years, or longer.”

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  • Takeaways
    A Sustained Commitment

    To draw on the knowledge of NGOs and other partners, foundations must be prepared to invest over a longer period of time in the infrastructure and, consequently, the sustainability of these actors: “You really have to decide how far you are ready to go, and then make the resources available and be realistic."

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  • Takeaways
    Informed by Evidence

    Several foundations emphasize the importance of grounding advocacy strategies in solid research in order to cogently convey an idea or a position. 

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  • Takeaways
    Six Pathways of Policy Change

    Sarah Stachowiak, a U.S. researcher, describes six pathways that each represent different theories about how policy change happens:

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  • Takeaways
    Tools in the Box

    The chosen tool with which to achieve influence varies from foundation to foundation.

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  • Takeaways
    What Foundations Bring to Advocacy

    Foundations that engage directly or indirectly in advocacy potentially bring a lot of added value to the process:

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  • Takeaways
    Value Add for Foundations

    In 1904, philanthropist Joseph Rowntree stressed, when writing to the trustees of his foundation the “need to seek to search out the underlying causes of weakness or evil rather than remedying their more superficial manifestations.” He added, “It was necessary to ascertain once and for all the actual facts as to intemperance, its causes – legislative and social – and when these were understood, the remedies that must be applied.”

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European countries have very diverse traditions in philanthropy, and many foundations not only fund advocacy but directly influence policy agendas through their operational programmes. This guide explores how foundations do so through interactions with local and national governments as well as the European institutions. 

Highlights

  • Regulatory constraints to advocacy in a sample of European countries
  • Brussels essentials
  • Cartoons of six different pathways of policy change
  • Seven concrete case studies

What's in the Guide?

  • "A" for Advocacy 
  • Tailored strategies
  • Brussels essentials
  • Learning by doing
  • Special features