Toward strategic philanthropy - Philanthropy Adviser Event - 27.06.2024

Reporting from the Philanthropy Adviser Event held on June 27th, 2024.




If a business strategy is foundational to the success of a business, then successful philanthropy should also consider adopting a strategic approach. But what factors should donors consider when developing their philanthropic strategy?


This was the topic of discussion at the latest Philanthropy Adviser Event, where guest speaker Arthur Gautier, Associate Professor at ESSEC Business School and ESSEC Philanthropy Chairholder, demonstrated to wealth managers a clear framework to use when advising their clients in philanthropy. Based on extensive research into the history of philanthropy in the US and in Europe, Prof. Gautier and his colleagues sought to establish a set of key tools for philanthropists launching their foundations. The result produced five dimensions of strategic philanthropy (illustrated below) that serve to guide potential donors in their thought process, allowing them to examine and identify their preferred philanthropic model before getting started.

No one philanthropic strategy is necessarily superior or replicable. The process through which philanthropists think of and develop their strategy to address each dimension is just as important as the strategy they ultimately adopt. Since philanthropic projects are often long-term or involving other members of the family, a successful project must be properly thought out ahead of time. For donors, evaluating their planned philanthropic project through the lens of these five dimensions can help form a more solid base for a project that will stand the test of time. It may also ensure that the project, while based on private values, better meets public needs.


Prof. Gautier provided specific examples from the history of philanthropy, like the early concept of an endowment at work for the greater good at the Hospices de Beaune, contrasting with contemporary figures in philanthropy, like the entrepreneur Chuck Feeney who championed “giving while living” and spending out the entirety of his fortune during his lifetime.


While no two philanthropic endeavors may resemble the other, the key to a successful philanthropic approach is to develop a clear strategy that draws on private values while serving the public interest.


In addition to the presentation by Prof. Gautier, Tonika Hirdman also shared a few updates regarding the Fondation pour le Climat, which was launched under the aegis of Fondation de Luxembourg in April 2024 to connect corporate donors with local projects benefitting the climate and biodiversity.


  • Start date : 27.06.2024 18:00
  • End date : 27.06.2024 21:00

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