Foundations have played an important role in Denmark during the corona crisis, according to a recently published report from the Knowledge Center for Danish Foundations.
It surveyed the Danish public to understand their perception of foundations during the corona crisis, as well as foundations on their expectations for providing grants in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
84 foundations took part, while KANTAR Gallup surveyed 2,066 members of the public. Of these individuals, just over two-thirds said that the role of foundations during the corona crisis was important or very important. When asked why, the top three reasons given were: because foundations support projects that are not otherwise supported, as well as particularly vulnerable groups, and long-term activity.
Six in ten foundations said they had provided grants to corona-related efforts. The grants come mainly from foundations with an annual grant level of more than DKK 10 million (EUR 1.3 million). Very large foundations, those with an annual grant level of more than DKK 100 million (EUR 13.4 million), have been particularly active during the pandemic, and of this group, 19 of 23 foundations have provided corona-related grants.
Just over a quarter (28%) of foundations are also planning to grant additional funding for corona-related efforts. This includes 14 of the 23 foundations with annual grants of more than DKK 100 million (EUR 13.4 million).
Most of the foundations expect to provide the same amount or more than they budgeted in 2020. However, those that do expect to reduce their grants in the period from 2020 to 2022 are found in across all groups, including the large foundations.
The study also questioned foundations about their expectations for their grants in 2020-2022. Most (81%) said they expected to provide the same or more this year, compared to their budgeted grants, falling slightly to 74% during 2021 and 2022. And, while relatively few foundations expect to reduce their grants in the period 2020 to 2022, they are found across all groups, including among large foundations.
In a blog on the analysis written for the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) site, Christian Edelvold Berg, Senior Analyst at the Knowledge Center for Danish Foundations, said the crisis has shed light on the close collaboration among foundations, civil society, and the public sector in Denmark.
“We wondered whether the corona crisis would threaten the 2.2 billion euros in annual grants from Danish foundations affect the ability of foundations to support their activities. For civil society organisations especially, but also for universities and cultural institutions, the corona crisis has sparked uncertainty.
“We were able to conclude from our analysis, covering 1.5-1.6 billion euros in grants annually, that our worst fears were not confirmed – on the contrary, most foundations stated that they expected to grant the same amount as budgeted for 2020 or more.”