The changing socio-political and environmental context over the past few years highlighted the need for a thorough examination of the role, place and responsibility of philanthropy in responding to both local and global challenges.
In line with its purpose, the Observatory of Philanthropy of Fondation de France inaugurates today a new series entitled ‘Philanthropy and Society’ to start and contribute to this discussion and hone our understanding of the societal and environmental issues at hand. More than ever, we believe in the importance of understanding foundations and endowment funds’ practices in light of the environment in which they operate.
In order to have a nuanced and thorough understanding of the matters at stake, the contribution of academic research is crucial. Accordingly, the Observatory of Philanthropy has chosen to collaborate with academics specializing in the fields relevant to each issue of this series.
The ‘Philanthropy and Society’ series opens with a groundbreaking study on gender parity in the philanthropic sector in France. Gender parity is closely related to cognate notions such as equality, diversity and inclusion, which are ultimately at the very heart of philanthropy. This study focuses on the governance of foundations, viewed as strategic decision-making bodies, and further analyzes how foundations address gender issues both in their actions and internal functioning and organization.
We hope that this first issue and, more broadly, this series will feed into the already ongoing discussions in the philanthropic sector and will afford us the much-needed perspective to continue to strive together for a fairer and more inclusive society, and a more sustainable planet.
Maja Spanu, Head of Philanthropy and International Affairs – Fondation de France