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Article Wings : the example of France Générosités

Publié le 01.09.2020

Why unions can make effective philanthropic support organisations: the example of France Générosités.

Wings, réseau mondial d’acteurs de la philanthropie, a voulu mettre en avant la spécificité du modèle de France générosités et son utilité dans la défense des organisations d’intérêt général, sur son site internet “Philanthropy in Focus” :
  • Philanthropy in the French context
  • Representing philanthropy globally
  • The trust of public officials and media
  • Strong member affiliation
  • Financial independence
  • Our greatest challenge: the place of charitable giving in our democracy


Début de l’article Wings :

France générosités was established in 1998 at the initiative of non-profit organizations and foundations, such as Fondation de France, the Red Cross, Greenpeace, Caritas, and Pasteur Institute to promote and develop charitable giving in France. Today this union comprises of over 100 of the main French non-profits and foundations. In 2019, the combined annual income of our members was €7.7 billion, of which €2.1 billion came from private donations. Half of them rely on it for over 80% of their income.

Advocacy and independence were at the heart of France générosités’ creation and the choice of the union model was a strong statement in this respect by the founding members

We are tasked with typical union missions such as advocacy, monitoring relevant legislation, legal and fiscal guidance, and data collection. We run a bi-annual survey and a yearly thematic analysis to gain a closer insight into charitable donations in France and analyze the potential of new ways of giving. We lead programmes to promote philanthropy to the general public, like our yearly campaign to foster youth giving  “Vos dons agissent”.

Philanthropy in the French context

In 2015, the latest year for which global figures are available, total giving in France was €7.5 billion: €4.5 from individual donors (€1 billion in bequest) and €3 billion from corporate donors [1]. Tax incentives to encourage giving in France are allegedly among the most generous in Europe for both individual and corporate giving. However, our regulatory framework is also one of the most challenging and recent reforms by the current French administration have shown their will to reduce tax incentives on both individual and corporate donations drastically. Consequently, the Union had to build a stronger defensive advocacy position and reflect on the model of philanthropy we wanted to champion.

Representing philanthropy globally

France générosités represents every organization which applies for public generosity and raises at least €250,000 annually, regardless of their cause (education, health, environment), status (NGO, charity, foundation) or model (fundraising/operating bodies). This is quite unique in France where support organizations tend to represent a specific category (corporate foundations, private foundations, charities) and it allows us to take a broad view of philanthropy and to defend it beyond specific interests. This has been a strong asset in recent negotiations in which officials have tended to a divide and rule approach to different networks to undermine the position of philanthropy overall (2019 reform on corporate donation for example).

The trust of  public officials and media 

As a union, France Générosités is well-positioned as a key and credible mouthpiece for philanthropy with official representatives and the media. All of France Générosités’ legislative proposals are acknowledged and given due credit by supportive parliamentarians and while supporting non-profits is easy to publicly assume, yet it is also a sign of strong confidence in the representativeness of the union.

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