Raymond Georis Debate: Facing our own criticisms: an inward look at the philanthropic sector

The Raymond Georis event is an invitation-only event

The Raymond Georis event this year will take place in the form of an internal reflection of the sector (“entre-nous, chez-nous”).

Philanthropic representatives have begun to take a critical look on the legitimacy of philanthropic organisations working in the sphere of public policy and advocacy. At the same time, politicians and media are questioning the sector’s legitimacy. This debate is an opportunity for a peer reflection and discussion on our work and how it projects to other actors in society.


EuroPhilantopics 2017

EuroPhilantopics is an invitation-only event

The philanthropic sector has been pushed into the public eye of late, mostly due to a poor understanding of the sector. Many are questioning the legitimacy of the sector; whether private money should be used to change the landscape of society or even for political purposes. This has been seen in numerous countries where organisations receiving grants from foreign funders are coming under pressure, with the issue also raised in the European Parliament. This question of legitimacy comes from a number of sources. On the one hand, some believe this money should not benefit from tax breaks and instead governments should decide on where this money should be diverted to. On the other hand, there are some who wish to discourage values that are not aligned with their own and therefore decrease pluralism in society.

It is crucial that the philanthropic sector faces these criticisms to both understand concerns in society and to assist other actors in understanding the importance of the sector. Through Europhilanthopics’ on topic off the record conversations, we will explore in depth these concerns but also promote the added-value of philanthropy to society to those in the room. It will be an opportunity to think about how the sector can promote itself and its importance to the general public.

Raymond Georis Debate: Facing our own criticisms: an inward look at the philanthropic sector

The Raymond Georis event this year will take place in the form of an internal reflection of the sector (“entre-nous, chez-nous”). Philanthropic representatives have begun to take a critical look on the legitimacy of philanthropic organisations working in the sphere of public policy and advocacy. At the same time, politicians and media are questioning the sector’s legitimacy. This debate is an opportunity for a peer reflection and discussion on our work and how it projects to other actors in society.

Europhilantopics 2017

Europhilantopics 2017 will consist of two plenary sessions. One to continue the discussion of the previous evening with external actors, followed by a closed discussion with European commission representatives on impact investing.

Legitimacy of the philanthropic sector: a view from the outside

Recent articles in Politico have cast a critical eye on philanthropic organisations who fund both NGOs and international organisations putting the issues of legitimacy, influence and transparency in the sector under the spotlight.  A recent study from the CSO Fundraising and Programmes Network has also painted a very narrow picture of the philanthropic sector, focussing on increased competition between the two with the prediction that philanthropy will occupy the space of CSOs. MEPs have also been critical towards philanthropic funding of CSOs with MEP Sven Giegold calling for more transparency. Each of these sectors will be represented in an interactive panel discussion, “on topic, off the record”.

European financial instruments and philanthropic impact investments

Over the years the European Commission has developed a series of financial instruments, managed by the European Investment Bank. These are aimed to transform EU resources into financial products such as loans, guarantees, equity and other risk-bearing mechanisms to be used to support economically viable projects which promote EU policy objectives. During this off the record discussion we will have the opportunity to understand the purpose of these tools and explore how philanthropic actors could capitilise on them to advance their social impact.

About EuroPhilantopics

EuroPhilantopics is an annual dialogue which forms an integral part of the EFC’s ongoing work and discussions with policymakers throughout the year.

Building on the relationships and conversations which span several years and making full use of the central location of Philanthropy House in Brussels, the EFC brings together the philanthropic sector and EU policymakers for lively, off the record exchanges and strategic reflections on finding solutions to today’s major challenges.

Recent co-initiatives include the EFC’s European Environmental Funders Group work on economic transition, the Research Forum’s work with the European Political Strategy Centre and Scientific Advice Mechanism High Level Group to the European Commission, and a series of debates and discussions at open events such as the EFC Annual Conference.


Making all voices count

Making All Voices Count is an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia.

This Grand Challenge is committed to promoting transparency, fighting corruption, empowering marginalised citizens, and harnessing the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable.

It nurtures innovative approaches to strengthening citizen engagement and government accountability by:

– making grants and brokering new relationships to support the development of new ideas and the scaling-up of successful initiatives
– investing in capacity-building for funded partners and other stakeholders in the technology, citizen engagement and open governance communities of programme countries
– carrying out and commissioning research to build a base of evidence about what works and why
catalysing global action through engaging with policy makers, opinion formers and influencers in relevant debates.

Making All Voices Count is about seizing this moment to advance our commitments to promote transparency, fight corruption, empower citizens, and harness the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable.

The initiative in supported by Open Society Foundations.

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