In 2020, the momentum in creating new funds was kept up, despite the pandemic. A total of 42 funds, created by companies, individuals and families, joined France’s leading philanthropy network.
Of the 42 funds created in 2020, two thirds chose to work on several themes of public interest. According to Sabine de Soyres, Head of Fund Development and Legacies, “two major themes: education and the environment” emerged in the 15 foundations that chose to focus on a specific issue. Some combine both: Fondation Montagne en scène, set up by two young mountain enthusiasts, works with disadvantaged youth on wildlife restoration and awareness-raising projects relating to environmental issues in mountain areas. “Next comes the fight against all forms of insecurity and poverty, which was a particular concern this year,” adds Sabine de Soyre. “Culture is also represented and we’re delighted to welcome major institutions in this sector, such as the Fondation pour le rayonnement des musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie.” The class of 2020 also shows that founders are capable of tackling current issues. They include humanism and intercultural dialog, which is the focus of Fondation Elamen. For its part, Fondation Chance, recently created by a couple, both entrepreneurs, chose to address the emancipation of women via economic and social inclusion.
A trend for alignment in companies
In 2020, there was a definite trend for increasingly younger people to engage in philanthropy. All the funds that joined Fondation de France in the last trimester were created by people under the age of 50! “We note that companies are keener than ever to align their corporate strategy, governance and philanthropic activity”, says Sabine de Soyres. Fondations GRDF and Chopard Groupe Automobile illustrate the point. So does Fondation des Notaires du Grand Paris, created last spring by the five “Chambre des Notaires du Grand Paris”, and responds to the desire of Ile-de-France notaries to engage in a philanthropic approach with a social, societal and environmental aim.
Many philanthropists are keen to act for their region. This is what prompted the creation of Fondation d’Ici-Tikiko in the Basque country and Fondation Reflet d’Opale based in the Pas-de-Calais region. “The latter’s story is interesting,” explains Sabine de Soyres, “It all started with the Dynamique territoriale/Mine d’idées program, led by Fondation de France’s North Region in 2014. This consisted in an experiment where citizens and collectives were encouraged to transform a cause into an action project. The program was then taken up by nine companies that grouped together to form Fondation territoriale des Lumières. The latest news is that one of these companies intends to branch out in an adjoining area, the Opal Coast region.”