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ERNOP Online Series 2022-2023

European Philanthropy Research for Philanthropy Professionals

Are you also tired of crises? The pandemic is still slumbering, we are confronted with climate change, migration, polarization, and increasing societal divides. On top of this, the outbreak of war in Ukraine has suddenly made us shiver and realize that once again, many of the things we took for granted, such as freedom, democracy and some form of predictable economic prosperity, can be demolished overnight. High inflation and an economic downturn add dark clouds to our skies.    

Philanthropy can be a catalytic force that addresses all crises with joy. 

Indeed, this is the time to unleash philanthropy’s catalytic potential for our society. Bring out the best of people and celebrate philos anthropos – the love for mankind. Research on philanthropy can enable private action for the public good to become more resilient, effective, empowered, sustainable, embedded, democratic and inclusive. It can provide a mirror to show philanthropy and philanthropists what they are compared to others or how it is (dis)functioning. 

With the ERNOP Science and Society Seminar webinars, ERNOP aims to continue building bridges between professionals working in, with and for philanthropy in Europe and the European academics studying philanthropy.

To develop a relevant program, ERNOP has invited its societal partners from the philanthropy sector to share their most pressing research questions. With a focus on opportunities for philanthropy and its implications, the series aims to shed light on promising developments in giving, volunteering, leadership, impact management, and more. 

Join the European Research Network On Philanthropy members as they share the best of their research on philanthropy from the continent.  Continue the conversation at the coffee table and in the board rooms, and implement the knowledge in developing the policy of your philanthropic organization to overcome the crises of today and tomorrow.


Program 2022-2023


The role of impact measurement in generating collective action


Speaker: Lisa Hehenberger (Department of Strategy and General Management at Esade)

Discussant: Priscilla Boiardi (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)

About this seminar: Impact, so what? What gets measured does get managed, or? What is the role of impact measurement in generating collective action? Grand challenges such as climate change, poverty, and inequality are complex. They require participation and innovation from multiple stakeholders with diverse objectives and value systems. For this, concrete and sustained collective action is needed but difficult to manage. Lisa Hehenberger will discuss how inscription and calculative processes influence action on complex societal issues by focussing on impact measurement and impact investing. What are the mechanisms implicated in the impact measurement process? By proposing a model for “measured action”, she will discuss how demarcating, formatting and performing are linked with the extent to which collective action is achieved.

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.


Strengthening community philanthropy


Speaker: Prof. Tobias Jung (Centre for the Study of Philanthropy & Public Good, University of St Andrews)

Discussant: James Magowan (European Community Foundation Initiative)

About this seminar: Spread across multiple settings, fields and disciplines, the notion of community philanthropy is appealing and multi-faceted; it presents an ever-changing arrangement of principles, practices, patterns and perceptions that cover a diversity of interrelated ideas and ideals. However, knowledge and understanding of community philanthropy remain emergent; more diversity in views and voices and a better critically reflective synthesis of empirical and theoretical insights are needed. Tobias Jung will discuss how a more decentred approach to understanding community philanthropy can help us address these challenges. In order to strengthen community philanthropy in Europe, this session explores the community philanthropy ‘kaleidoscope’ as a way to explore, integrate and reflect on community philanthropy’s diverse facets.

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.

The value of sustainable investments and how to measure it


Speaker: Prof. Paul Smeets (Professor of Sustainable Finance, University of Amsterdam)

Discussant: Lev Fejes (EVPA)

About this seminar: Sustainable investments have been increasing in popularity and are expected to increase further. For instance, as of September this year, the European Union will require all financial institutions to measure their clients’ preferences for Sustainable Investments. Paul Smeets will discuss how institutions should measure such preferences. Moreover, are their clients willing to pay for sustainable investments? He will discuss his insights of research on social and corporate governance based on research among five European countries, highlighting the importance of the countries’ context and the type of investment: e.g. private investments or pension funds.

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.

The new kid in town: Influence of new initiatives on the structure of the philanthropic organisations

Speaker: Dr Elodie Dessy (HEC Liège)

Discussant: Ellen Janssen (Dutch Heart Foundation)

About this seminar: Facilitated by the digital revolution, the past twenty years saw several new ways of giving. Among the newcomers are social-mission platforms, like crowdfunding (collecting donations online) and crowdsourcing (sharing knowledge online). These new ways of giving harness the power of new technologies to support the common good. They also open up the field in that asking for donations is no longer solely the task of formal organizations. Elodie Dessy will discuss the impact of newcomers, like social mission platforms, on the structure of the philanthropic field. Will the newcomers follow the traditional charitable format, with CEOs, a general mission and limited transparency? Or do they shake up organisational structures of classic organisations?

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.

Nurturing the next generation of philanthropists 

Speaker: Dr Alison Body (Senior Lecturer in Philanthropic Studies and Social Policy Director of Philanthropic Studies, University of Kent)

Discussant: Lucia Patuzzi (Senior Knowledge Development Manager, Philea)

About this seminar: Engaging a new generation of donors is essential for the philanthropic sector. At what age and how can people be stimulated to give? Dr Alison Body (University of Kent) concludes that children are often overlooked in discussions about giving. This although even at a young age, people are generous, but via other means than giving money. Therefore, their generosity should not be overlooked. Engaging people from a young age increases the chance of a child understanding the importance of giving. In short, she will discuss how charities can engage new generations to develop their philanthropic citizenship.

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.

Virtual reality for philanthropy

Speaker: Giuseppe Ugazio (Geneva Finance Research Institute, Université De Genève)

Discussant: Simona Biancu (European Fundraising Association)

About this seminar: Gaining repeat donors from younger generations is crucial to the sustainability of non-profit organizations. Recent studies on millennials have shown that they desire purposeful work, value emotional engagement and impact, and prefer to support causes rather than institutions. Additionally, they appreciate experiential learning and like to connect using technology, highlighting the need for modern fundraising strategies to motivate volunteers and gain support. In light of these facts, Giuseppe Ugazio discusses if and how Virtual Reality can be harnessed to innovate fundraising and, at the same time, involve younger generations in philanthropy.

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.

Expectations of future leaders on leadership development in NPOs


Speaker: Nils Geib (Department of Scioeconomics, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Hamburg)

Discussant: Delphine Moralis (Philea)

About this seminar: Through internal talent pools, the leadership potential of foundations, fundraising organisations and nonprofit organizations is nurtured and sustained. Nils Geib will discuss how sector specific HRM strategies that promote these pools safeguard organizations against situations of uncertainty and crises, which may trigger shortages of top staff. How can foundations and NPOs provide their organizations with good talent pools? In this session, he will provide insights into what makes today’s talent decide for or against jobs in the nonprofit and philanthropy sector—focussing on recruitment efforts and motivators that are job deciders for today’s talent. Beyond intrinsic motivation, money, and job security, he will present leadership development as an additional attractor.

For more information and to watch the recording, click here.