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Conducted by the Philanthropy Observatory, it reveals that the sector grew by 5% in 2020 with the number of foundations and endowment funds in operation increasing by 239. In total, this means there are around 4,700 organisations currently operating in France: some 2,700 foundations and nearly 1,950 endowment funds.
Based on the most recent annual accounts available, the sector distributed €11.6 billion in 2019, compared to €11 billion in 2018. This marks an increase of 7%.
Faced with the Covid crisis in 2020, the report shows that 85% of foundations and endowment funds managed to maintain their planned grant giving while a quarter developed their activity, particularly in support of hospitals and retirement homes. However, around two in five had to reduce it, and 28% had to halt it entirely.
Expenses rose for 34% of the organisations that participated in the survey with only 23% seeing their resources increase. This trend is expected to continue with nearly a third of foundations and endowment funds having planned to increase their spending beyond 2020 to respond to the impact of the crisis. In addition, almost all of those that branched out with new activities or partnerships plan to continue them beyond the crisis.
Social action remains the priority area for the sector, with foundations also innovating with new actions, aimed in particular at children and young people.
Axelle Davezac, Managing Director of the Fondation de France, commented:
“Despite the crisis, the growth in the number and activity of foundations and endowments testifies to the exceptional and unwavering mobilization of the philanthropy sector to respond to the health and social emergencies with which we are confronted. Philanthropic commitment has demonstrated its relevance, but also its capacity for innovation and adaptation to priority needs. After responding to the emergency, funds and foundations are already working to reorient their strategy to adapt to the challenges of the post-Covid world.”