Philanthropy Chair - ESSEC Business School

Research facility and center of excellence in European philanthropy

Boost the study and positive impact of European philanthropy by focusing on the facts and modernizing our practices. Conduct philanthropy in a way that is both efficient and challenging. Unite stakeholders around donating and reflecting on the great societal issues we face today. These are the aims of the Philanthropy Chair at ESSEC, of which the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations are strategic partners.

The challenge

130 000

active foundations in Europe

billion in cumulative assets irrevocably allocated to philanthropic projects

Originating in the United States, academic research and teaching associated with philanthropy is now gaining ground in Europe (Paris, London, Heidelberg, Basel…). The development of this sector and its involvement in the great contemporary issues is making continuous progress, and its reach is experiencing a remarkable diversification. Since 2011, the Philanthropy Chair at ESSEC brings together foundations, research professors, donors and experts in an effort to transform philanthropy practices across Europe.

Our ambition

Throughout the course of our ambitious projects, which span research, publication, teaching and the creation of accredited training programs as well as organizing workshops, ESSEC is spreading the word and modernizing the way in which we carry out philanthropic work. Innovation, experimentation and entrepreneurial initiative are at the heart of this unique project in Europe.

Produce information on European philanthropy

through cutting-edge academic research and the development of teaching tools for higher education (academic and vocational)

Inspire managers to rethink our models for action

by assessing their strategy, governance, asset management and financial diversification

Support the culture of evaluation of philanthropy stakeholders

so as to improve their impact and efficacy and, thus, support the general aims of their projects


Our solutions

Fundamental and applied research

The dissemination of articles, multidisciplinary papers and studies focused on the features and issues of European philanthropy


Talks, podcast seminars and a “Philanthropy: Strategies and Impact” module also targeting ESSEC students


High-level accreditation for fundraising professionals, created by ESSEC together with the French Association of Fundraisers (AFF)

“Foundations, individual donors, fundraisers and also researchers and students have come together in this unprecedented program designed to broaden knowledge of philanthropic practices in France, across Europe and, soon, in Asia, thanks to the expansion of ESSEC in Singapore.”

Anne-Claire Pache
Deputy General Director, Tenured professor of the Philanthropy Chair
ESSEC - Business School

“It is very important for us that philanthropy be studied in an academic context as well as be part of vocational training as it supports the work we do for donors.”

Dominique Lemaistre
Director of philanthropy
Fondation de France

The way forward

  • Enhance, apply and share the values of European philanthropy with current and potential stakeholders.
  • Amplify the positive impact of philanthropy on society by promoting and reinvigorating the essential requirement of seed money.
  • Become a leader in European scientific awareness by strengthening the involvement of the Chair in the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP).
  • Extend our scope to Asia and countries of the South by conducting comparative studies and starting a dialogue, particularly thanks to the institutional presence of ESSEC in Singapore.

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