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Welcome to the Giving Thought Podcast, a bi-weekly exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society from the Charities Aid Foundation’s in-house think-tank, Giving Thought.

In each episode your host Rhodri Davies (formerly with co-host Adam Pickering) explores a big issue, theme or trend and analyses what it means for philanthropy and civil society around the world.

Be sure to check the show notes for each podcast and find blogs, reports and videos from Giving Thought and do get in touch if you have questions or suggestions at

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Jul 14, 2020

This episode kicks off a mini-series on European philanthropy during and after COVID-19 pandemic, exploring how philanthropic funders have responded to the crisis and how it might affect philanthropy longer term. Our first conversation is with Max von Abendroth, Director of DAFNE, and Rosa Gallego, Director of International Relations at the Spanish Association of Foundations. In a wide-ranging chat we covered many fascinating topics including:


  • The rich and varied history of philanthropy across Europe and how this has shaped the cultures of philanthropy and the legal and regulatory environments we see today.
  • Are there more similarities or differences between philanthropy in different parts of Europe? To what extent does it make sense to talk about “European philanthropy”?
  • How much philanthropy takes place at a local, national or international level in Europe?
  • What has the philanthropic response across Europe to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic been like?
  • What particular role have community foundations played?
  • What are funders doing to address the stark inequalities that have been laid bare by the pandemic?
  • Are funders and CSOs collaborating more as a result of the crisis? How can we build on this longer term?
  • Will the short-term shift towards funding core costs result in longer-term changes?
  • How can philanthropic funders make better use of data?
  • Are new laws and restrictions imposed by governments to address the public health challenges of the pandemic resulting in a furthering shrinking of civic space in some countries? How concerned should we be?
  • Has the crisis highlighted the importance of philanthropic infrastructure?
  • What are the elements of a healthy ecosystem of philanthropy infrastructure?
  • Should philanthropy support organisations merely reflect the views and interests of their members, or can they play a leadership role and provide constructive challenge?
  • How do we ensure that infrastructure is sustainable over the longer term?


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