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The total amount of philanthropic contributions in Europe is estimated at EUR 87.5 billion annually. This is a lower bound estimate from 20 European countries that contributed to Giving in Europe, the first study measuring philanthropy in Europe. The study was officially presented in Brussels at the King Baudouin Foundation organized event “Spring of European Philanthropy” on May 12th. Mr. Herman van Rompuy, former President of the European Council received the first copy. According Mr. van Rompuy ‘there would be no Europe without philanthropy’.  

Giving in Europe sheds light on authentic European philanthropic performance and serves as a tool to measure the prosocial surplus in European societies. It is an initial attempt to map philanthropy in Europe and presents a first overall estimation of the total philanthropic giving by households, bequests, foundations, corporations and charity lotteries.

The study shows that households (including bequests) are the main source of philanthropic contributions (53%, EUR 46 billion), followed by corporations (25%, EUR 21.7 billion), foundations (19%, EUR 16 billion) and lotteries (3%, EUR 3 billion).

ERNOP President Prof. Theo Schuyt states that ‘Philanthopy is not an American , but a European invention’. Giving in Europe contributes to reframing philanthropy in the mindset of many policymakers and politicians in Europe. Despite the promising signs of an emerging philanthropy sector in Europe, it is still a phenomenon and a sector that is not very well understood. Besides the anecdotal glimpses from national researchers and the great work that has been carried out on the subdomains of philanthropy, we know little about its actual scope, size and forms in Europe. For a better discussion and assessment of the (potential) role that philanthropy can play in solving societal problems, a clear picture of the size and scope of philanthropy is needed.

Giving in Europe further aims to stimulate researchers, policy makers and philanthropy professionals in fostering research on philanthropy and to inspire to exchange knowledge and information.

This pioneering study has been carried out by the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP), an association that was founded in January 2008 by collaborating philanthropy researchers in Europe. ERNOP’s mission is to advance, coordinate and promote excellence in philanthropic research in Europe.

two-pager with the most important numbers and an Executive Summary are available as download. All country reports are available on the country pages of the ERNOP website.

The full publication is available at A digital copy is available upon request for ERNOP members.

Giving in Europe. The State of Research on Giving in 20 European Countries. Barry Hoolwerf & Theo Schuyt (eds.). Lenthe Publishers. Amsterdam, 2017. ISBN 9789075458862

For more information on the study contact Barry Hoolwerf: / / +31613427715