‘Time and again Europeans have to explain that philanthropy is not an American invention. Although media icons such as the Pledge, the Gates Foundation and the Zuckerberg Initiative seem to overwhelm us, they learned it from us, from Europe’, states professor Theo Schuyt, resident of the European Research Network on Philanthropy and founder of the Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Giving in Europe can be seen as correcting this misleading image, says Schuyt.
Giving in Europe sheds light on the authentic European philanthropic performance. It is an initial attempt to map philanthropy in Europe and presents a first overall estimation of the total philanthropic giving by households, bequests, foundations, corporations and charity lotteries. It also contributes to reframing philanthropy in the mindset of many policymakers and politicians in Europe. Schuyt: ‘Particularly those who equate ‘serving the public good’ with the welfare state and state intervention. They all too easily denigrate philanthropy as a ‘pre-welfare state’ phenomenon; well known from the past, but no longer of relevance in the Europe of today and tomorrow.’
This unique scientific study is done by The European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP), an association that was founded in January 2008 by collaborating philanthropy researchers in Europe. ERNOP’s mission is to advance, coordinate and promote excellence in philanthropic research in Europe. To date, around 200 members from more than 25 (mostly) European countries have joined. ERNOP and its members work closely with other academic research networks that address related fields such as ISTR, ARNOVA and EMES. Also, ERNOP has developed a good relationship with European networks of philanthropy professionals such as DAFNE, EFC, EVPA and EFA.
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