Steering the Future of European Philanthropy Towards Greater Impact

Developing a community of practice for philanthropy in Europe.


by Mira Bangel


Philea – Philanthropy Europe Association – is an association regrouping some 10,000 foundations, charitable organizations and various inclusive networks that work for the common good in 30 countries. There are many networks and associations for the philanthropy sector in Europe, that often compete with each other or offer similar initiatives without actively collaborating with each other. Dafne (now part of Philea) identified an opportunity to optimize efforts, networks and resources in the philanthropy sector by offering a forum for exchange for infrastructure organizations in the philanthropy field.


A first 2.5 day forum was held in January 2020, where over 120 representatives of philanthropy infrastructure organizations participated, which included national membership associations, but also topic based networks and associations. A community of practice called ‘PEX community’ was initiated with concrete projects and working groups and shared activities that were proposed and co-created by participants.

The community started to regularly meet online throughout the pandemic and launch several ad-hoc initiatives, a second forum was launched online in 2021 and in 2022 a follow-up forum was held in Istanbul. Today the PEX community is a vibrant group of individuals, with different thematic working groups, who regularly meet, organize events and explore and shape the future of philanthropy in Europe.

As a member of the SenseTribe team, we offered participatory leadership practice as the underlying approach for PEX Forums that allowed co-creation and co-ownership of the initiative by participants.

We supported the PEX team in the process of shaping the community and its initiatives by giving advice and also offering training and capacity building to the team for the further development of the community.

And we supported the initiatives with numerous meetings and initiatives as external and neutral party to support shared ownership and a high level of quality of the conversation formats.

PEX is here to enable us to collectively lead the philanthropy sector into the future. It is not only possible, but essential to activate all the different talents, experiences, networks, levers within the PEX community to identify the best way to go about complexity and lift up philanthropy for the sake of a just, resilient and sustainable society.

Max von Abendroth, Executive Director of Dafne

"True generosity towards the future consists in giving everything to the present." Albert Camus

Mira Bangel


Mira believes that collaboration and effective participatory processes can help solve the world's most pressing challenges. She supports organizations and groups that feel 'stuck' and face challenges.


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