Principles of Good Practice

EFC Principles of Good Practice: A Self-Regulatory Tool for Foundations

All EFC members sign up to the EFC Principles of Good Practice, which promote the core values that every foundation should aspire to embrace.

The Principles cover four key areas:

Independent Governance

The foundation has an identifiable and independent decision-making body which acts with high ethical standards and whose members are nominated in accordance with established principles and procedures.

Sound Management

The foundation promotes effective and prudent management as well as sustainable investment strategies, while ensuring the best use of resources for the public benefit.


The foundation communicates the remit, goals and results of its work in a comprehensive and digestible manner, holding transparency at the core of all activities.


The foundation acts in a responsible and collaborative manner by accounting for its actions to stakeholders, and by being active in sharing its knowledge and experiences. Read the full Principles of Good Practice which were revised over a two-year period and approved by EFC members at the Annual General Assembly in Sarajevo on 15th May 2014 EFC Principles of Good Practice.

Download the full EFC Principles of Good Practice: A Self-Regulatory Tool for Foundations

How members can use this tool

The Principles have been devised to ensure that all EFC members can adopt them as a self-regulatory tool irrespective of the diversity within the EFC’s membership and the different national contexts throughout Europe and the world.

They raise the bar in terms of standards, no longer just highlighting basic issues such as compliance, which is now a given. The Principles use a tiered approach, enabling ambitious organisations to raise the bar even further by going beyond the fundamentals of the Principles, which should already be at the core of foundations’ activities, to adopting the document’s more aspirational recommendations. The document contains a section entitled “Using the Principles to Move Beyond Compliance”, which provides suggestions for how the document can be used in foundations’ day-to-day work.

How can my organisation communicate about our adherence to the Principles?

As an EFC member we encourage you to communicate that your organisation goes above and beyond legal standards. You may wish to include:


First introduced in 1995 following the EFC’s “Prague Declaration” the previous year, the first Code of Practice aimed to encourage a more dynamic and accountable independent funding sector. Since their introduction, the Principles have undergone regular revisions, and the current version was achieved after two years of work by a specially appointed task force, chaired by Boudewijn de Blij of Stichting Fonds 1818. The purpose of the revision was to “review, strengthen, and bring to life the EFC Principles of Good Practice with the goal of raising the profile of the Principles and encouraging wider acceptance and implementation from the membership.”

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