Grantmakers East Forum

GEF helps sustain steady development of philanthropy and civil society in communities and states in wider Europe, and facilitates collaborative efforts of the philanthropic sector to fully integrate into European and global philanthropic initiatives and institutions.

The 2020 edition of the Grantmakers East Forum will take place digitally in October.

Focus areas

  • Providing networking opportunities and platforms for critical discussion about grantmaking


The Forum is an annual 2-day conference which convenes on average 100 participants, representing grantmaking foundations, bilateral donors, international organisations and corporate funders. This annual meeting takes place during the autumn, in a different country every year.

Network background

The Forum grew out of the EFC’s Grantmakers East Group (GEG), which was created in 1992 by several EFC members active in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union states. The group first met as a side event organised at the EFC’s annual conference. However, as interest in the group grew in parallel with developments in the field of grantmaking in the region, the GEG grew into an independent project with an Annual Meeting taking place in a different country each year. The first GEG Annual Meeting took place in Paris in 1996.​

Relationship with the SDGs

Understanding European philanthropy, and how its work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, is essential when it comes to finding ways of leveraging existing and potential areas of synergy.

The work of the EFC’s Thematic Networks cover the entire range of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (even if they don’t always refer to them explicitly), which are a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The work of the Grantmakers East Forum touches upon the following SDGs:

The Grantmakers East Forum (GEF) is part of the EFC’s ongoing commitment to collaboration and peer-learning, as outlined in the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022.

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