Comparative Project on Philanthropy in Europe

In collaboration with the University of Basel and ESSEC business school in Paris, the Center will carry out a major new research project on emerging practices in European philanthropy and social investing. The project will lead to the production of papers and potentially a collaborative volume.

Avoiding the broad, descriptive work undertaken in previous studies of the nonprofit landscapes of European countries, this project will be conceptual and qualitative in approach. It will capture the character and substantive differences across Europe when it comes to the practice of philanthropy. The researchers are interested in the interaction of culture and politics with philanthropy and in explaining the important variations in style and substance across philanthropic regimes. The data collected will shed light on what missions donors and their philanthropic foundations are pursuing, which grantmaking strategies they are adopting, and how the national policy environment around giving in each country shapes their practices and decisions.

To get a deeper understanding of the sometimes very personal drivers of giving, we will focus on major individual donors, who are either giving directly or through a foundation under their control. The range of countries covered is broad because we are interested in highlighting differences among European traditions and cultures of philanthropy.

Countries included in the study will include:

  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy.


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