Philanthropy Ireland travelled to PEXForum 2020 in Madrid this month.

Hosted by DAFNE and AFC the PEXforum is the Philanthropy European Networks Forum and this year, the inaugural forum, brought together 120 leaders and experts from 41 national, regional, European and thematic philanthropy support organisations in 25 countries.

With discussions focused around the future of European philanthropy, sessions gave participants, including PI, the opportunity to learn, share and inform.

Lisa Jordan from Draper Richards Kaplin Foundation, who was a panelist at the PI Annual Donor Symposium 2019 gave an overview of philanthropy in Europe with her session Setting the scene for a European philanthropy identity. Other sessions included explorations of the power of advocacy at a European level, communicating impact, and philanthropy responding to climate action.

Some of our own takeaways from the sessions included:

1. Collaboration is key for Philanthropy in Europe to speak with one voice and this can be achieved through organisations like DAFNE, EFC, and interactions like PEXForum.

2. Philanthropy is and will continue to develop and evolve. Young people and next-gen philanthropists will be the drivers of this change, and we need to begin to educate and listen to them so that we can facilitate knowledge exchange and a vibrate philanthropic environment across Europe.

3. We as networks need to continue to communicate the impact of philanthropy if we are to secure its place in future of social change.

4. As we advocate for more enabling policies for philanthropy in our home countries, we must also support the work being done by DAFNE and EFC through Philanthropy Advocacy to enable a single market for philanthropy.

The most energising thing about PEXForum was attendees’ desire to continue the conversation and to create and implement actions based on the discussions we had. There was real understanding that any significant change and developments can only happen through collaboration and a joined up approach. The atmosphere at the end of the final session proved that we will already have made much progress before we meet again in Istanbul for PEXForum 2021