News

“We stand together in the spirit of European solidarity”

30 March 2020

DAFNE and EFC invite foundations to come together to sign the European Philanthropy Statement on COVID-19, recognising that the COVID-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an unprecedented impact on civil society organisations and NGOs across Europe and throughout the world. We stand together during this testing time, bringing our spirit of European solidarity to this worldwide crisis.

Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures. The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has created an unprecedented crisis which requires genuine European solidarity and cooperation on both individual and organisational levels.

Civil society organisations do vital work in supporting our communities and meeting the needs of those most vulnerable in society. As well as exacerbating many existing societal problems, the pandemic is giving rise to new needs which civil society groups are having to respond to while seeing much of their income and volunteer support diminish.

Such challenges demand greater flexibility and understanding from the European philanthropy ecosystem in order to support the work of civil society organisations and the survival of the sector through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. With this in mind, DAFNE and the EFC are jointly coordinating a statement of solidarity and support open for signatures from all funders active in Europe.

 

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European Philanthropy Statement on COVID-19

 

We stand together in the spirit of European solidarity.

 

We, the signatories, recognise that the COVID-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an unprecedented impact on civil society organisations and NGOs across Europe and throughout the world. We want to offer our reassurance that we stand together during this testing time, bringing our spirit of European solidarity to this worldwide crisis.

We are committed to being good partners and a source of meaningful support during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may need services to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met.

If your community, services or organisation are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and you receive grant* funding from us, we are committed to:

Adapting activities – we recognise that you may experience difficulties achieving some of the outputs or outcomes we agreed for your grant during the outbreak, and would like to be able to maintain our grant payments to you at originally-agreed levels during this period, so please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way.

Discussing dates – we don’t want to add pressure, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible.

Financial flexibility – we know you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to move money between budget headings** to ensure your work can continue.

Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the situation you’re facing, but we’ll wait for you to call us so that these conversations are at the right time for you.

 

Please find herewith the link to the website hosting the European Philanthropy Statement on COVID-19.

 

*This does not apply to commissioned services or contracts where there will be separate discussions between commissioners and provider organisations.

** If applicable.

 

Acknowledgement:
DAFNE and EFC thank everyone in the philanthropy sector who inspired us and contributed to this “European Philanthropy Statement on COVID-19”, in particular members and partners of the EFC and DAFNE and the London Funders, who kindly allowed us to use the wording of their funders’ statement as inspiration for our own.