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"Expert Group on fund-raising of universities from philanthropic sources"
Philanthropy can be a substantial source of funding for universities as proved by United Kingdom and Sweden, where it funds more than 16% of university R&D expenditure. Nevertheless, its potential has not been fully released in this regard, the European average being just 4.2%.
Most of the European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) try to leverage funds from philanthropic sources (foundations, trusts, charities, non-profit organisations, corporate and individual donors, alumni) but with mixed results. Disappointing results are often due to a lack of strategic approach and professional fund-raising structure. Moreover, peer learning is difficult given the lack of reliable data on the situation of fund-raising in Europe, as well as the huge diversity of legal, institutional, historical, cultural, economic and governance contexts in European countries.
Objectives of the Expert Group
The need to improve knowledge on fund-raising of universities from philanthropic sources was notably discussed by the stakeholders at the conference on "Giving more for research in Europe", organised by the European Commission in co-operation with the European Foundation Centre in March 2006.
As a result, the Directorate General for Research has launched, on 12 January, an independent expert group, composed of high level representatives from European universities and leading research foundations [ - 79 kb]. They identified and reviewed good practices and barriers to fund-raising of universities from philanthropic sources in a national and international context.
Based on this review, the group developed models of internal and external organisations and management for the interactions of universities with private donors for research. In doing so the following dimensions were examined:
Finally, the expert group identified the roles and responsibilities of all actors involved in funding research in universities and outlined the Expert Group’s recommendations for releasing the untapped potential of philanthropy for funding university research. The recommendations are addressed to a number of different audiences such as universities, philanthropic bodies, national governments, European institutions and general public.
See the full expert group report [ - 7.18 Mb].
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