Despite changes and challenges to their internal operations during the Covid-19 outbreak, the large majority of foundations responding to a European Foundation Centre (EFC) survey said they had introduced (or planned to introduce) new initiatives to support the non-profit sector.
The survey findings, featuring responses from over 100 EFC members, affiliates and partners in 23 countries (carried out from March to June 2020) are set out in a new report available from EFC. The report explores how the philanthropic sector reacted to the crisis, internal changes made and challenges faced by the organisation, and the actions taken to mitigate the impact of the crisis.
Over two thirds of those surveyed (68%) said that programmes/initiatives they run are harder to implement in light of the pandemic, with concerns raised over the impact on their grantees and foundation programmes, and the challenges of social distancing measures in minimising activities that require physical participation and human interaction.
Foundation representatives faced challenges in evaluating which, if any, activities to suspend, and in finding ways to modify or restructure programmes to accommodate the new situation.
Almost 80% of respondents indicated that they had invested in new initiatives such as emergency funding and research projects. The most common partners and beneficiaries for new work programmes were research institutes, hospitals, health services, and humanitarian organisations/ international agencies.
Gerry Salole, chief executive of the European Foundation Centre, says: “Philanthropy has a unique role to play in inspiring, creating and supporting ways to push back against COVID-19 and other global challenges.”
Read more in our special focus feature: The new agile world of foundations
Image credit: This image is featured on the front cover of EFC’s survey report. The full image was created by Catherine Cordasco and submitted to the United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives to help stop the spread of COVID-19.