International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

2010 Edition
| Editors: Helmut K. Anheier, Stefan Toepler

Philanthropy in Europe

  • Volker Then
  • Konstantin Kehl
Reference work entry


Philanthropy in Europe is on the increase. This impression can at least be developed when looking at organized philanthropy (foundations) in many EU countries. Recent data estimate the number of foundations in Europe at about 110,000, total foundation assets in the European Union at above €350 billion and more likely close to 1,000 billion, and annual spending at approximately €83 billion. These figures are roughly estimated based on survey materials (for lack of any more reliable direct documentation), (Survey data of the research network of the European Foundation Centre as well as a CSI survey conducted for the Feasibility Study on a European Foundation Statute; see European Commission (2009)). However, they are clearly higher than their US counterparts. In addition, they do not fully reflect recent dynamics in the sector and substantial growth rates in countries like Germany, where more than half of all existing foundations were created in the last 10 years.


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References/Further Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Volker Then
    • 1
  • Konstantin Kehl
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany