The EFC has released a publication summarising and analysing the results of a survey it conducted on how EFC members and other institutional philanthropy actors are engaging with the field of disability. “Institutional philanthropy – A focus on disability” provides an up-to-date picture of 34 philanthropic organisations active in the field of disability, whether it is part of their core mission or just one of their fields of action, and insights to better understand their practices.

The survey, which was carried out in the context of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), focused on institutional philanthropy actors who are funding, supporting, advocating, and partnering to advance the situation of people with disabilities in Europe and beyond, including those with disabilities related to ageing.

Key findings include:

  • The 30 respondents that could provide full data have a combined annual expenditure of €650 million out of which €155 million is in the field of disability
  • The top three areas of focus for disability expenditure are accessibility, education and employment
  • The organisations surveyed employ a total of 1672 full-time equivalent staff (including consultants)
  • The survey shows that funding for disability is not always a core mission but often a part of other strategic aims and programmatic areas, underpinning the notion that disability is increasingly a cross-cutting issue in philanthropic work
  • Almost half of the organisations who took part in the survey have a transnational activity or global focus
  • All organisations surveyed engage in some form of collaboration with other organisations and/or governments
  • The philanthropic organisations surveyed often combine and use a range of philanthropic tools at their disposal to improve the situation of people with disabilities, including training, grants, public awareness work and research, as well as the creation of new networks, entities, fora and companies such as social enterprises.

The report comprises two parts:

  • Part 1: A profile of this sample of disability funders, addressing in particular who they are, their main area(s) of focus, who they support, how they work, and if they cooperate and why
  • Part 2: A snapshot of 24 initiatives and projects supported by these organisations to illustrate some of their disability-related work, outlining their approach and achievements, as well as some challenges and learnings

The publication is a product of the EFC Disability Thematic Network (DTN), which is an open forum for philanthropic organisations to exchange, learn and connect about any issue related to disability with an eye to mainstreaming disability within their work and programmes. The survey findings and publication will feature at a meeting of the DTN to be held in October 2017 in Brussels – Stay tuned for details!

For more information, please contact Giulia Lombardi at

Download the publication