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A revealing tour of philanthropic institutions in Sweden, Germany and Poland.

Over the past 18 years working as a grant maker and philanthropy adviser I have never felt comfortable with Australia’s all-embracing emulation of US philanthropy. As independent strategic consultants specialising in philanthropy, my business partner, Robyn Charlwood, and I decided it would be useful and intriguing to take a closer look at philanthropy in parts of the world other than the US, to see if there were insights and potential inspiration that we could bring home. I am pleased to report that, yes, we found plenty!

We explored Stockholm, Sweden, where philanthropy is emerging and shaping its role within the national culture. We visited Berlin, Germany, an international city and the epicentre of philanthropy in Europe. We also were drawn to a place where philanthropy emerged in medieval times, and has since begun a colossal reinvention – Warsaw, Poland.

To our delight, we were warmly welcomed by a range of organisations in these three cities, including Europe’s

largest philanthropy consultancy business, a number of significant…
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