Professionals, in Fundraising

The team at the University of Barcelona Postgraduate Certificate in Fundraising – on which I teach – have produced a new video promoting the profession of fundraiser and, yes, our course.

If you have friends or colleagues in Spain or Catalonia, pass them the link!

Thanks, Alastair

I have just had this lovely email from Alastair James, Senior Consultant at Global Philanthropic. He read my book, ‘How Philanthropy is Changing in Europe’ and wrote:

Dear Chris

I just wanted to say what a wonderful book you have written.

It is a fascinating volume, full of interesting and well-researched material, and I have learned a lot by reading it. You have approached the subject with the rigour of a true academic, but you have written it in a very engaging and accessible style.

I have come away with an overwhelmingly positive impression of philanthropy in Europe from reading your book, although you have also been very clear about the lack of information available in the sector. The fact that foundations are starting to be more open is a very good sign.

I also think that, in the current difficult climate, the book provides a lot of encouraging messages for fundraisers – not least the fact that fundraising has been going on for a long time in Europe, and will, for sure, continue to do so.

My warmest congratulations to you on this superb book.

Best wishes.


Alastair James
Senior Consultant
Global Philanthropic


Chris Carnie is the author of “How Philanthropy is Changing in Europe”, published by Policy Press. He writes in a personal capacity.

Have I Mentioned…?

Have I mentioned my new book? (It’s the vain author’s constant refrain.)

Yes, I know I have. But that was pre-publication. Now I have an actual copy in my hands, so that means that the orders have started shipping from Policy Press.

This is a book for practical people. It’s about how high-value philanthropy is evolving across Europe, so practical people in fundraising, in prospect research, in social investment, in policy making and in education will all find – I hope – useful information here.

If you are a major donor fundraiser interested in why your donors keep asking about impact, you’ll find an answer here.

If you are a private banker or wealth adviser who wants to understand why your clients keep on asking about foundations in France, you’ll find out why, here.

If you are a policy maker wondering whether to recommend further tax relief for donations, then you’ll find the arguments here.

If you are a prospect researcher, wondering where to look for potential supporters in Switzerland, you’ll find some answers here.

And if you are the director of an NGO, wondering what your strategic priorities should be, you’ll find some suggestions here.

The book includes case studies, detailed research, some how-to, and a bibliography of more than 300 sources and references in (count ’em, ladies and gentlemen) seven languages. Its focus is Europe, meaning that this is not about the UK + the Continent + Ireland – it’s about the Continent + Ireland, plus the UK.

I hope you find it useful.


Order “How Philanthropy is Changing in Europe” directly from Policy Press, here.

International Research – some Resources for RiF

At the Researchers in Fundraising Conference, 25th November 2016, I promised a list of the sources I mentioned. Here it is.

Bilanz 300 Die Riechsten
Type Magazine Article
Publication Bilanz
Date Annual
Language German
Abstract Annual rich list published by Swiss business and economics magazine.

CNMV – Informe anual de Remuneraciones de los Consejeros de las sociedades cotizadas
Type Report
Institution Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores
Language Spanish
Abstract Annual survey of salaries of company directors in quoted companies in Spain. Shows breakdown of average salaries, and is useful for estimating income.

FIN Association of Foundations in the Netherlands/ Vereniging van fondsen
Type Web Page
Abstract FIN, the Vereniging van Fondsen in Nederland, is the association of leading Dutch foundations

Fondsenboek 2015 and Fondsendisk
Type Book
Author Sophie Duijts
Place Zutphen
Publisher Walburg Pers
ISBN 978-90-5730-987-8
Date 2015
Language Dutch
Abstract Directory of foundations in the Netherlands, including information on 737 foundations. €49.50 price.
# of Pages 448

Helen Brown Group
Type Web Page

Kamer van Koophandel
Type Web Page
Abstract Legal register for all companies in the Netherlands. Includes company ownership information and accounts

Type Magazine
Language Dutch
Abstract Lifestyle magazine aimed at HNWIs in the Netherlands. Includes some profile interviews, and occasional features on philanthropy.

Moving Mainstream. The European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report
Type Report
Author Robert Wardrop
Author Bryan Zhang
Author Raghavendra Rau
Author Mia Gray
Place Cambridge, UK
Pages 44
Date 02/2015
Institution University of Cambridge, Judge Business School
Language English
Abstract Includes details on crowdfunding, with data on growth, with peer-to-peer fundraising

Type Web Page
Abstract Business website and magazine for Luxembourg. Publish an annual “Paperjam Guide” including a business directory and biographies of company leaders.

Portal de la Transparencia
Type Web Page
Language Spanish
Abstract Spanish Government website showing structure, funcion, curricula and salaries of top civil servants.

Type Web Page
Accessed 05/09/2013, 16:03:03
Language French
Abstract Company information from the French Registre du Commerce

Transparente ANBI
Type Web Page
Abstract Listing of ANBI including foundations in the Netherlands, following the transparency law. Searchable by foundation name.

How Philanthropy is Changing in Europe.
Type Book
Author Christopher Carnie
Place Bristol
Publisher Policy Press
ISBN 978-1-4473-3110-0
Date 01/18/2017
Language English
Abstract There is a new age of philanthropy in Europe – a €50 billion plus financial market. Changing attitudes to wealth, growing social need and innovations in finance are creating a revolution in how we give, aided and sometimes abetted by governments. Mapping the changes, Christopher Carnie focuses on high-value philanthropists – people and foundations as ‘major donors’ – investing or donating €25,000 upwards.

Factary and Europe

Dear customers, friends, colleagues

A brief note to reassure you that Factary will continue to provide services – consulting, prospect research and training – across Europe despite this morning’s referendum vote.

We will be following the negotiations closely and will continue to act, as always, in the best interests of our customers, our colleagues in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors, and of the beneficiaries that you serve.

We will monitor any implications that this vote may have for cross-border philanthropy and fundraising, and we are ready to discuss any concerns that you may have in this area.

Do feel free to contact us to discuss any questions that you may have, at any time.

All the best

Chris Carnie
Martine Godefroid
Marc Low
Nicola Williams

The Edge of Privacy

We live in interesting times, privately.

Confusing, contradictory times, when lawmakers require us to lock-down data whilst revealing their intimate thoughts on Twitter. Times when it is OK for a dominant search engine to track our billions of tiny searches, for our wrist watch to measure and transmit our sleeping and walking in the name of fitness. Times when we choose to tell our life stories in Facebook.

And times when our private underbelly is revealed to the world. Two stories have exposed privacy in all its moral complexity; the Panama Papers, and the Ashley Madison data breach. Both have been stories about activities that are legal (being a director of an offshore company and having an affair, or both simultaneously, are not illegal activities.) Both are about normal immorality.

Both stories are to some degree about power. The Panama Papers show us that the powerful are willing to mix their businesses with drug dealers, dictators and money launderers in order to avoid taxes. If you need to be reminded about just how powerful these people are, bear in mind that just one person was prosecuted out of the 1,000 UK names released in the last big tax-related data breach; the Falciani/HSBC affair [Source: ‘Tax Havens don’t need reform, but abolition’, Richard Brooks, Guardian Weekly, 8/4/16]

Both the Panama Papers and Ashley Madison are about relationships, a subject at the heart of prospect research. John knows Jane because both of them invest in the same company in the British Virgin Islands. And John knows Mary because he signed up for Ashley Madison and she’s his new friend.

John is a donor to your charity. He’s in your database, and he has turned up in a screening (carried out, naturally, by Factary). We’ve spotted him in Companies House, a public domain data set, as a director of an investment firm in Holborn, so we have flagged him as interesting.

When you transferred the data to Factary you took the utmost care over the process, using our sFTP (secure FTP) site and thus ensuring that John’s details were encrypted and safe. You checked that the computer link was over a HTTPS network. You made sure that the data would be stored in servers in the UK, in a physically safe and secured building. You did that because you are a conscientious prospect researcher, using the best practice required by the law.

John did not take the same care. When he invested in the British Virgin Islands via Mossack Fonseca he did so through the open web, by email. He joined Ashley Madison the same way, signing up on their website; no encryption, no security. Worse, he was voluntarily exporting his data outside of the protection offered by the European Union through its Data Directive.

And now John has a photograph of him and Mary together at a work conference and he’s posted it on his Facebook page.

Where is the edge of privacy?

Is it the frontier between long standing public domain records and the new stuff, between Companies House and Facebook, for example?

Is it between voluntarily released information and stuff that is Wikileaked?

Is it between Victorian morality and modern – between a marriage notice in the Telegraph, and Ashley Madison?

Above all, is it where people of power dictate it should be? So that we are allowed to see the company directorships of the little people, but cannot see into the murky world of British Virgin Islands connections? Or into the equally dark corners of political connection and patronage?

This is where we are, like it or not, in prospect research. Prospect researchers live on the edge of privacy, using personal information that is in the public domain, for public good. We research John Doe in order to help our fundraising colleagues reach out to him for a donation that will benefit a poor person, or a scholarship kid, or an eye-opening cultural event.

But the power of research comes with a responsibility; it is our profession that must lead the debates on power and privacy, on public domain and private.

Thank goodness it is us, because prospect researchers have a special moral compass. We have chosen to work for causes we believe in, to make sacrifices (anyone want to talk about pay rates for researchers?) for something we believe to be right and good. We have chosen not to sit in the glory seat in fundraising; we are clearly not in this for vanity or fame. We know the value of information, and we have seen the intimacies and the inanities that people are willing to share on the web. We chose every day between information that is right and relevant, and rubbish.

Prospect researchers are the best placed people in the non-profit sector to describe where a private life becomes public.

But we had better get out there and get talking; our donors, our colleagues and our organisations need our guidance as we walk, together, along the edge of privacy.

Safe Harbour in a Storm

On Wednesday it was headline news in Luxembourg where I was working with clients: the European Court of Justice had struck down the Safe Harbor agreement. Max Schrems had won a battle with Facebook and the Irish data protection authorities.

The court ruling that European Commission Decision 2000/520 is invalid means that we can no longer share data easily with US colleagues: Texting your New York colleague with your UK donor’s data of birth just became illegal.

There have always been two routes to data transfer from the EU to the USA: Safe Harbor, and the use of a model contract. The latter route is still open, according to the lawyers; there are useful posts on the ruling and its implications from Norton Rose here and from Clifford Chance here.

So how will this affect prospect research, fundraising and philanthropy?

First, it underlines the relevance of employing prospect researchers. Increasingly, prospect researchers are the custodians of personal data relating to potential and actual supporters. We act as the interface between fundraisers who want to know everything about everybody and the law which restricts what we can record and what we can share. Especially, what we can share with colleagues outside the EU.

Second, it reminds us that personal data is personal. There is an increasingly uncertain frontier between what is public and what is private as social media carries more and more of our donor’s lives. At Factary we have long had concerns about the material that people post in their Facebook pages, and have excluded it from profiles as a general policy. All of us in prospect research should continue to review and re-review our protocols to ensure that we are up-to-the-minute in data protection.

Third, it will mean some hard work over the coming weeks for organisations (universities, arts and culture, NGOs…) with sisters outside the EU (for example, your “Friends of” organisation in Washington DC) to revise or renew agreements that allow data transfer.

Fourth, it means UK suppliers such as Factary should review their data processes to ensure that all of their data is held inside the EU. At Factary we did this some time ago, and yes, all our data and servers are inside the EU.

Finally, this will be especially difficult time for fundraising and philanthropy. Increasingly philanthropists are international – a home here, a business there, and a foundation somewhere else. To work with a donor who lives in Paris but works out of New York we need to be able to share data quickly and effectively with our team. Our philanthropists (major donors, strategic donors) want us to react quickly and to provide coordinated, joined-up service. That is going to be a delicate, difficult job following this ruling.

The closure of Safe Harbor means choppy seas for all of us.

Factary Director Martine Godefroid workshop at 9th AFF Conference

Martine Godefroid, Managing Director of Factary Europe, will be giving a workshop with Mélina Mercier, Director-General of the Fondation de l’UPMC, at the 9th Fundraising Conference of the L’Association Française des Fundraisers.


Événement phare du secteur de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, cette conférence vous permet, une fois par an, d’être au cœur des enjeux du fundraising, de rencontrer un grand nombre de professionnels du secteur et de monter en expertise sur tous les sujets qui font votre quotidien. Quel que soit votre niveau, quelle que soit la taille de votre structure, vous pouvez être de la partie!

L’innovation, la créativité et le renouveau sont au cœur de vos métiers; ils seront également au centre de la 9ème édition de la conférence et des sessions qui y seront dispensées. Inspirez-vous des intervenants internationaux qui seront à l’honneur cette année et puisez des idées applicables dans votre structure! C’est un moment unique pour prendre la température du secteur, motiver vos équipes… et vous-même! Vous pourrez partager vos bonnes pratiques, vos succès mais aussi vos craintes et échanger avec vos pairs tout au long de la formation.

Fifty percent of the population -five percent of the money

The US Foundation Center and Mama Cash, the Netherlands-based women’s fund have published a report on European foundation giving for women and girls (Untapped Potential: European Foundation Funding for Women and Girls, EFC and Mama Cash, Brussels 2011, available at


145 foundations from 19 countries took part in the survey (136 responded to the questionnaire), controlling an estimated €9.2 billion in assets. The research team describe the study as ‘exploratory’, citing the lack of overall market data on which to base sector-wide conclusions. The team used a mixture of questionnaire, grants sampling and analysis and interviews to gather their data.

Women and Girls

The report starts with the assertion that investing in women and girls is now the mainstream mode for NGOs and other development funders. It cites The Economist, 26 April 2006: Forget China, India and the Internet: economic growth is driven by women. And then it poses the question:

are European foundations providing funding for women and girls?

The answer is a depressing ‘no’. The median percentage of total foundation grant monies allocated for women and girls is only 4.8%. Fifty percent of the population get 5% of the money.

By contrast 90% of the foundations surveyed said that they were interested in at least one aspect of grant-making for women and girls. But that is a big gap between aspiration and reality, with most foundations allocating less than 10% of their grants to women and girls. The survey reports similar findings in analyses of foundation grant-making in the USA – a surprising result given the substantial number of women-led foundations in the US.


Violence against women, poverty among women and girls, and women’s and girls’ access to education emerged as the top three issues of interest to European foundations. While other issues were of less interest (lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, and women’s and girls’ access to media, for example) the differences between the most popular and least popular topics was relatively small. In other words, foundations that support women and girls cover a wide range of interests. The authors then go on to measure the degree to which these interests are intentional, forming part of the DNA of the foundation. They found that 19% of foundations mentioned women and girls in their mission statement, and that these foundations had a tendency to support human rights and social justice initiatives.

The foundations that have been successful in supporting women and girls have taken a proactive stance on the subject, recruiting leadership who understand the importance of giving to women and girls, organising training programmes for staff, offering a flexible approach to grant-making and a focus on data and impacts.

The Wider Picture

The survey, one of very few broad surveys of European foundations, is useful also for the wider picture it paints of the sector. This type of overview data is vital in helping philanthropists and foundations to build strategies for partnership. The survey points out, for example, that the giving of 34% of foundations is internationally focused, and describes the link between geographic location and the grant-making patterns of foundations, with Northern European foundations less likely to support work with women and girls than those in Southern Europe. This seems counter-intuitive, but the authors reason that it may be the result of the stronger social policies favouring women and girls in Nordic countries, leaving foundations with less to do.

Grant-Making Patterns

The research team have done a good job of analysing grant-making patterns by geography, by target group and by foundation size. They show, for example, that the most favoured target group for foundations in Europe is children and youth, followed by the poor, people with disabilities and the elderly. Women and girls come 5th in the list of priorities.

In their analysis of the grants, the researchers have had to rely on relatively few grants � 396 grants for women and girls are analysed, with 306 of these made by foundations in Western Europe, principally, we suspect, grant-making trusts in the UK. So the findings have to be viewed with care. 45% of these grants go to human service projects, and 21% to human rights. 8% of grants went to health, and to arts and culture. Education got just 4% of the grants to women and girls (despite education being a priority for 73% of the foundations in the study.) An analysis of grants by value is not given.


Five foundations are studied in detail including the Sigrid Rausing Trust in the UK, the Oak Foundation in Switzerland and the King Baudouin Foundation in Belgium, along with one network of foundations, the Learning Bridges Initiative. The review looks at the decision making processes of the foundation in detail, and we can see the results of the interviews in these detailed descriptions.


The authors conclude on a positive note, looking at opportunities to expand and deepen foundation support for women. Frankly, with the median percentage of foundation funding for women and girls at 4.8%, it is hard to argue for anything but growth.

We are concerned with a couple of omissions. First, the research is focused on grants – which leaves us wondering about other forms of finance for women and girls. Microfinance is not analysed, and yet we know that many microcredit programmes are aimed at women. This is a gap that could be covered by future research.

Second, the geographic distribution of the foundations selected for the study means that foundations from all across Europe were surveyed. But there is a caveat – 36 of the 136 respondents were from the UK whereas only two each were from France or Spain, so the overall views expressed will be a bit more Anglo-Saxon than might be desired.

But these are minor criticisms of a well-constructed study relevant to the whole foundation sector in Europe. Weisblatt & associates have done a good job of the research, and we should be thankful to Mama Cash and the Foundation Center for taking the initiative.

What are the practical applications of this study? For philanthropists, it’s a call to action – to link their interest in funding programmes for women and girls to their grant programmes, and to put more money into these programmes. For foundations, it’s a thoughtful picture of where we are, a report that should encourage some reflection. For fundraising organisations it’s a useful guide to the current foundation market, its interests, its current practices and its potential.