Two forms of philantropic enterprise?

With EU funds looking like they may dry up and Westminster apparently eager to cut deeply into Northern Ireland’s subvention (estimates vary between £5 and £8 billion per annum), private money may become the most effective way to drive social projects. Traditionally strong in the US, this FT article looks at the problems of transfering it to Europe, where different approaches may be needed in the Protestant north and the Catholic south:

…simply transferring the US model of philanthropy to Europe is not an option, since the social, economic and political conditions in Europe are markedly different to those in the US, where social spending by the state is far lower and religion accounts for a huge share of donations.

At the same time, a single approach cannot be applied across Europe, says Luc Tayart de Borms, managing director of the King Baudouin Foundation. He adds that strong cultural divisions exist between, for example, countries with Catholic traditions and those with cultures rooted in Protestantism.

“In Catholic countries, the approach to individual responsibility is different and this has consequences on philanthropic methodologies: in a Catholic, Latin world, it’s much more about projects, much less about individuals; in the Anglo-Saxon model, individualism is positive, so you have donations and volunteering.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty