[Abstract from the EFC website]
Developing a generic definition of "foundation" throughout Europe as a whole may present a challenge. This is due to the many languages and cultures in Europe and the different legal/fiscal environments from one country to the next. Thus, the British refer primarily to a trust, the Dutch to a stichting, the Finnish saatio, the French to fondation, the German stiftung, the Italians fondazione, the Spanish fundación, Swedish stifstelse etc. Nevertheless, there exists across Europe a generally understood and accepted concept of what public-benefit foundations are, as follows:
"Public-benefit foundations are asset-based and purpose-driven. They have no members or shareholders and are separately constituted non-profit bodies. Foundations focus on areas ranging from the environment, social services, health and education, to science, research, arts and culture. They each have an established and reliable income source, which allows them to plan and carry out work over a longer term than many other institutions such as governments and companies."
The European Foundation Centre is an association of public benefit foundations and corporate funders active in Europe and beyond.
EFC is a member of SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE (click here to read more details in "our members" section).