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Philanthropic Taxonomies: The Swiss Case : Practical Insights

July 12, 2023

While there are a variety of different taxonomies used for classifying philanthropic activities in Europe carried out by specific organisations or in specific countries, we believe that there are still significant gaps in understanding the broader philanthropic landscape. Through practical insights, this paper explores the diverse uses and benefits of taxonomies, and highlights how taxonomies contribute to better research, informed decision-making, enhanced collaboration and improved coordination, accountability, and transparency within the philanthropic sector. These insights build on the webinar "Common Taxonomies in European Philanthropy", held on 28 March 2023 as part of the Data on Philanthropy – By us, for us webinar series organised by Philea and ERNOP. To help make all of this concrete, this paper features a brief case study on the successful implementation of a philanthropy taxonomy by SwissFoundations. This case study showcases the key factors that led to its success and presents major findings that have emerged from its use and adoption.

How Foundations Listen : A Qualitative Review by Luisa Bonin

March 23, 2023

This report is the result of a partnership between Philea and Luisa Bonin, a visiting fellow from Brazil at the Maecenata Foundation in Berlin. Luisa`s project on strategic philanthropy was selected for the 2021/2022 cohort of the "German Chancellor Fellowship for Prospective Leaders," a programme of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The goal of this report is to take a deep and qualitative look into the listening practices of European foundations. Talking about listening can sound subjective, but this report shows how this process can be viewed objectively and how these learnings can be used to start improving listening practices within foundations. An executive summary, as well as further reading and resources, are included.

Switzerland Programme: 1994-2022

March 1, 2023

From its earliest days, MAVA supported conservation in Switzerland and the Alps. What started as a collection of local projects grew into a larger programme covering priority conservation areas across the entire Alpine Arc. But as it grew, our portfolio developed a strong bias toward Swiss projects which we then consolidated in a Switzerland-only programme.MAVA engaged with and supported partners in Switzerland around four main themes:promoting a shift towards environmentally and biodiversity friendly agricultural policies and practices;advocating river protection and restoration alongside sustainable hydropowerdevelopment;creating and strengthening multistakeholder groups in areas important for biodiversity and ecological connectivity;promoting circular economy (for the last four years of the programme).

Final Evaluation: CH1: Restoring and Protecting Rivers 2018-2022

October 19, 2022

Healthy streams and rivers are a vital source of life and tremendously important for biodiversity. However, in Switzerland, water bodies of all kinds are in a particularly poor state. And even though improved water protection regulations have been in place since 2011, many unspoilt, natural stretches of water remain insufficiently protected. And good legislation alone is not enough to improve the quality of water bodies. Implementation is also key.This partnership enabled us to undertake comprehensive work to protect and improve the ecological quality of water bodies in Switzerland. We achieved our goals through political and campaign work, numerous specific projects, and the development of a strong network. We also had the flexibility to react to changing circumstances and try out new ideas. Despite complex political developments and unexpectedly slow implementation, we succeeded in improving the protection and quality of water bodies in Switzerland, and in maintaining high regulatory standards.

Final Evaluation: CH2 - Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SNL) 2017-2022

October 13, 2022

Public goods such as a stable climate and biodiversity are available to everyone free of charge. This has frequently led to their overuse and degradation, impacting the services they provide. To try to address this market failure, governments take regulatory action but in many cases, existing laws do not adequately protect public goods and ecosystem services from overuse. This is particularly true when it comes to attempts to reduce the impacts of agriculture.In Switzerland, MAVA set up the the Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SNL) to address this situation, bringing four environmental organisations together into a collaborative advisory function to identify and fund targeted projects.

MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy Impact Report

April 1, 2022

In 2016, the MAVA Foundation began to consider how it could ensure its conservation partners would continue to thrive once its funding came to an end in 2022. Among the many challenges facing partners, MAVA identified several specific needs relating to leadership development. With no leadership development programme offering intergenerational learning opportunities, MAVA decided to partner with Common Purpose and Mowgli Mentoring to co-create its own: the MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy. Since 2018, 176 individuals from 26 countries have participated in the programme, delivered in English and French through a blended and online approach.The MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy Impact Report highlights four key outcomes: 1) Personal impact, 2) Stronger relationships and effective teams, 3) Organisational strategy and cultural shifts, and 4) Cross-sector partnerships. Expectations were exceeded, leading to significant change for participants and their organisations, presented in the report as case studies. This report is also a call to action to encourage investment in leadership development in the conservation and sustainable development sectors.

Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent

February 8, 2022

Finding, retaining, and developing talent is a top priority for business leaders today. Refugees represent an incredible pool of talent that can fill worker shortages and enhance diversity. Yet, many employers overlook refugee candidates due to perceptions that workers cannot succeed in a role if they have limited proficiency in the local language. Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent outlines how companies can implement solutions to overcome language barriers to help local language learners – including refugees – get into jobs faster as they work towards proficiency. The guide provides key information for employers, including:A framework for companies on the ways in which they can invest in local language learners beyond expanding access to language trainingSpecific solutions that can be implemented across the talent management cycle to help local language learners succeedThe business benefits of hiring refugees and other local language learnersA list of resources that companies can tap into to support local language learnersThis guide is a collaboration between the Tent Partnership for Refugees and JFF (Jobs for the Future), a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the U.S. workforce and education systems. This guide was developed as part of JFF's Corporate Action Platform, which helps uncover and share talent solutions that enable companies to address both business and social needs.

Taking the Pulse of the European Foundation Sector : Moving from Proving Impact to Improving Impact

January 1, 2022

This report contains key insights, survey data and case studies from the first year of the European and Spanish Communities of Practice on Impact Measurement and Management (IMM), coordinated by the Esade Center for Social Impact with the support of BBK. These groups of foundation professionals from 15 countries have come together to increase the level of transparency, knowledge-sharing and exchange within the European foundation sector on this topic. Building on the transcribed discussions and surveys of approximately 40 European foundations, the authors have developed several learnings they hope will help the whole European foundation sector, as well as any other organizations that want to measure and manage their impact. In this perspective, the report also includes tables outlining what the different 'levels' of practice might be, so that the reader can understand what the impact management learning journey looks like at different stages (beginner, on the journey, and advanced).In addition to the present report, the following page provides links to the recording of the launch of the report as well as presentation slides: 

When Costs Are a Barrier to Getting Health Care: Reports from Older Adults in the United States and Other High-Income Countries: Findings from the 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults

October 1, 2021

Issue: Unlike older adults in other high-income countries, those in the United States face significant financial barriers to getting health care, despite Medicare's universal coverage. These barriers may affect use of health services as well as health outcomes.Goal: To compare the out-of-pocket spending and care-seeking experiences of older Americans with those of older adults in 10 other high-income countries.Methods: Analysis of findings from the Commonwealth Fund's 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults.Key Findings: One-fifth of older Americans spent more than $2,000 out of pocket on health care in the past year. Only a small share of older adults in most of the other surveyed countries had such high out-of-pocket health costs. Similarly, a higher share of older Americans reported forgoing health care because of costs. Rates of skipping dental care because of costs were similar for older adults in nations that do not offer coverage of such services, including the U.S.Conclusions: Older Americans pay more for health care and are more likely to not get care for cost-related reasons than people in other high-income countries. Affordability remains a concern and should continue to be a focus of research and policy.

Mirror, Mirror 2021: Reflecting Poorly - Health Care in the U.S. Compared to Other High-Income Countries

August 4, 2021

Issue: No two countries are alike when it comes to organizing and delivering health care for their people, creating an opportunity to learn about alternative approaches.Goal: To compare the performance of health care systems of 11 high-income countries.Methods: Analysis of 71 performance measures across five domains — access to care, care process, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes — drawn from Commonwealth Fund international surveys conducted in each country and administrative data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization.Key Findings: The top-performing countries overall are Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia. The United States ranks last overall, despite spending far more of its gross domestic product on health care. The U.S. ranks last on access to care, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes, but second on measures of care process.Conclusion: Four features distinguish top performing countries from the United States: 1) they provide for universal coverage and remove cost barriers; 2) they invest in primary care systems to ensure that high-value services are equitably available in all communities to all people; 3) they reduce administrative burdens that divert time, efforts, and spending from health improvement efforts; and 4) they invest in social services, especially for children and working-age adults.

Gun Violence in the United States and Worldwide

July 12, 2021

Gun Violence represents a challenge to everyday life in the United States. Between 2008 and 2017, 342439 people were killed by a gunshot, meaning that 1 person was shot dead every 15 minutes across the U. S. Gun violence represents a multifaceted problem requiring a nuanced approach focusing on prevention. Prevention based on research on the development of risks can largely reduce the probability that firearms will be introduced into community and family conflicts or criminal activity.

Foundations – A Good Deal For Society

July 1, 2019

This study investigates whether setting up a tax-exempt grant-making foundation pays off for society, or whether the process primarily provides tax breaks which ultimately benefit those who set up the foundation, without generating adequate added value for the public at large.