This year’s EFA Skillshare in Bratislava on 24-25 November 2016, a whirlwind European tour led by representatives from nine national fundraising associations, addressed many of the most topical and current issues impacting fundraising.


With presentations ranging from the growth of online giving in Slovakia to the development of a collective emergency response to national disasters in Italy (the UNPLI), delegates also heard about how UK fundraising regulation has developed in response to last year's national fundraising scandals and how the growth of the foundation sector was impacting charities and giving trends in Germany.


Within the conference sessions, Dr Peter Vandor of the Social Entrepreneurship Center at Vienna University of Economics and Business spoke of an ongoing project to map civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, identifying common challenges and opportunities across the region.


During a discussion on twenty years of ‘percentage tax designation’ in Central and Eastern Europe led by Boris Strečansky of the Centre for Philanthropy in Slovakia, attendees discussed the importance of tax-effective giving mechanisms in increasing income. While all agreed that tax breaks contributed greatly to income levels, there was little evidence that tax incentives inspired a culture of philanthropy beyond the field of legacy giving.


Delegates also heard from Dr Eszter Hartay of the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law about the common regulatory and self-regulatory structures for fundraising, stimulating conversation about the best legal conditions to support philanthropy.


Research about the breadth of the foundation sector was presented by Dr James Magowan of the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe, revealing that there are more than 147,000 public benefit foundations across Europe.


Skillshare is EFA’s flagship annual event, intended to help the fundraising profession learn from its peers. This year’s event was attended by delegates from fifteen fundraising association in Europe.


Details for the date and location of next year’s Skillshare will be published in early 2017.