17 July 2020

In this episode - the second in our mini-series on “European philanthropy during and after COVID” – we talk to James Magowan from The European Community Foundation Initiative about the unique role of Community Foundations (CF) in the pandemic response and beyond. Including

  • What is ECFI and what does it do?
  • What is the history and current landscape for CFs across Europe?
  • How do the cultures, histories and legal/policy environments for philanthropy vary across Europe? How does this affect the make-up of CFs in different places?
  • Does this present any challenges in terms of positioning CFs as a coherent “movement”?
  • Are there commonalties? I.e. is it meaningful to talk about “European philanthropy”?
  • What kind of philanthropic responses have we seen across Europe to the challenges posed by covid-19? What role have CFs played?
  • Has the focus on CFs during the pandemic been too transactional (i.e. focused on their role as distributors of funding), and does this risk undermining their other roles as community anchors and advocates?
  • What is the role of infrastructure bodies in helping civil society organisations and funders navigate and adapt to a rapidly-changing environment?
  • What elements of infrastructure are required for a healthy culture of philanthropy and a vibrant civil society?
  • Should CFs be considered as “infrastructure”?
  • Has the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to coordinate responses effectively increased awareness of the value of infrastructure?
  • Do we need to make a renewed case for the value of infrastructure and the need to ensure it is properly funded?

Rhodri Davies

Rhodri Davies

Head of Policy

Rhodri leads Giving Thought, our in-house think tank focusing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. Rhodri has spent nearly a decade specialising in public policy around philanthropy and the work of charities, and has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics. He has a first-class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.   Read more about Rhodri



About the Giving Thought podcast

The Giving Thought podcast is an exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society. Launched in 2017 it is recognised as an insightful and influential source of philanthropic debate.  Rhodri Davies director of our Giving Thought Think Tank hosts the podcast, discussing contemporary issues and interviewing sector experts. Episodes are also available free on iTunes and Libsyn.

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