Declaration of Responsibility
The European Cultural Foundation has three main sources of income:
- Income from the lotteries
Through a long-standing agreement with the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (PCBF), renewed most recently on 2 February 2012, the Foundation receives 25% of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds’ non-earmarked lottery income.
- Fundraised income
The European Cultural Foundation receives funding from commercial, non-profit and government institutions. We actively pursue these opportunities and have managed to diversify our income sources. Not all income received from the above-mentioned parties is considered fundraised income, according to the definition of the Centraal Bureau Fondsenwerving (CBF, Central Bureau for Fundraising organisations) that issued its ‘Erkenning’ (Recognition hallmark) to ECF in 2014.
- Income from ECF’s securities portfolio
The European Cultural Foundation has a reserve in the form of a securities portfolio, which is managed externally by an asset manager. Our ambition is to cover our overhead expenses with the income generated through this securities portfolio. Furthermore, this securities portfolio acts as a buffer, allowing the organisation to continue to operate for a limited period in case there is a drop in income.
Income in 2022*
Income in 2022 consisted of lottery funding** through the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (PBCF), fundraising (contributions from profit/non-profit and government sources) and of income on ECF’s securities portfolio. ECF’s total income in 2022 was €3,762,391 compared to €8,545,352 in 2021. The total income in 2022 was €3,258,126 below the total budgeted income (€7,020,517), which is mainly due to a particularly low return of -/- €2,447,924 on ECF’s securities portfolio.
The total third-party income for 2022 was €5,319,240 compared to €5,023,477 in 2021. This amount includes income from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and other non-profit organisations. It excludes income from governments and interest and income from investments.
Income from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds for 2022 was €4,766,569 compared to the budgeted amount of €4,674,204.
For 2022, income from the remaining third parties was €552,671 compared to €349,274 in 2021. Income from remaining third parties was €597,329 lower than budgeted, due to the fact that underlying programme activities did not materialise. The remaining third-party contributions were received from various foundations. All contributions were related to specific project activities. The major donors were trustees of the Sigrid Rausing Trust (€117,756), Allianz Foundation (€100,000) and GLS Treuhand (€70,000) for the Culture of Solidarity Fund and Fondazione Cariplo (€70,000) for the Europe Challenge.
Income from government subsidies
Income from various governments in 2022 was €844,715 compared to €1,516,933 in 2021. The budgeted amount was €671,313. This increase to budget (€173,402) is mainly due to a contribution issued by European Commission of €500,000 for Directorate-General Connect – Re:framing Migrants in the European Media, exceeding budget by €166,667.
* Income here includes interest and income from investments.
** In line with RJ650 regulations regarding the recognition of lottery income (received by ECF through the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds), the recording of income has to be in line with the period in which the actual lottery proceeds were generated.
Codes, Rules and Guidelines of the Organisation
Since July 2014, the European Cultural Foundation has held the CBF’s (Central Bureau for Fundraising organisations) Recognition hallmark for fundraising organisations. Since then, as a member of Goede Doelen Nederland, the European Cultural Foundation complies with all the necessary codes and guidelines, including the annually reviewed code for good governance (issued by the FIN, the Dutch Alliance of Philanthropic organisations).
In line with this, we adhere to the following principles:
Management, supervision and execution
The European Cultural Foundation makes a clear distinction between management, supervision and execution. The Supervisory Board appoints and supervises the Director. While the Director has managerial responsibilities, the Supervisory Board oversees the proper execution of these responsibilities. The Foundation’s employees carry out the day-to-day tasks.
Management (ECF’s Director)
Supervision (ECF’s Supervisory Board)
Execution (ECF’s employees)
The European Cultural Foundation’s management consists of one Director. The Director is responsible for representing the Foundation, and carries the responsibility for overall management, strategic development, execution of the Foundation’s strategy, management of the Foundation’s resources (human and monetary) and fund development.
At least twice a year, the Director formally reports to the Supervisory Board in a meeting in which the Director, the Supervisory Board and the Head of Finance are present. More regular and informal contact is maintained outside these meetings with individual members of the Supervisory Board.
Every week, the Director meets with the Management Team (MT) to discuss strategic matters as well as to monitor activities and operational matters. The MT consists of the Head of Finance, Heads of Programmes, Head of Public Policy, Head of Communications and Head of Operations.
Supervisory Board’s responsibilities
The Supervisory Board is the European Cultural Foundation’s supervisory body. The Foundation’s Articles of Association and By-Laws state the roles and responsibilities of the Supervisory Board members.
The main responsibilities can be summarised as follows:
- deciding upon and evaluating the Foundation’s strategy, and prioritising the Foundation’s activities
- evaluating the efficient use of the Foundation’s resources (approval of budget and annual reporting of the Director and the Chair of the Supervisory Board in the ECF Annual Report)
- appointing the Foundation’s Director, members of the Supervisory Board and the President.
Appointments for the European Cultural Foundation’s Supervisory Board are based on a number of core criteria, including expertise, international perspective, cultural, regional and demographic diversity, and access to a European network. Additional functions should be of value and should not lead to conflicting interests. In case of upcoming vacancies, candidates are put forward by the Supervisory Board, the Director and the staff of the Foundation from their extended network.
In 2014, the Supervisory Board started self-evaluating, in line with #8 of Article 11 of the Foundation’s Articles of Association. The annual evaluation is performed based on a list of questions that were developed by the Supervisory Board members.
The Supervisory Board members do not receive remuneration for their work for the European Cultural Foundation. However, expenses incurred for travel etc. are reimbursed on request.
The Executive Committee and the Audit Committee
The Executive Committee consists of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Director. The Executive Committee meets at least twice a year. Their mandate is to help prepare Supervisory Board meetings, lay the groundwork for making decisions and offer guidance to the Director.
The Audit Committee consists of the Director, the Vice-Chair, the Treasurer and one more Supervisory Board member.
The President holds an extraordinary, non-voting membership of the Supervisory Board and plays an active and visible role as specified in the Articles of Association.
Since 12 May 2007, the President of the European Cultural Foundation is HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.
The term for Supervisory Board members is four years, renewable once (maximum 8 years), and for Executive Committee members renewable twice (maximum 12 years).
Conflicts of interest
Supervisory Board members are required to inform the Chair immediately of any activities, contracts/grants, etc. that could lead to a potential conflict of interest. Potential conflicts of interest are declared at each Supervisory Board meeting. The Chair will decide whether the Supervisory Board member will need to leave the room during particular discussions, or while a decision is being taken on a specific matter.
In addition, all Supervisory Board members are required to sign a statement to declare their endorsement of the principles stated at the beginning of this document and confirming that there is no conflict of interest between the responsibilities they fulfil for the European Cultural Foundation and other relationships/positions they hold. This declaration is a requirement of the CBF Recognition hallmark.
The Management Team, together with their respective teams, is responsible for the implementation of the Foundation’s strategy. Employees develop and execute the Foundation’s activities, procedures and policies as outlined in the annual work plan and five-year strategy. The employees’ tasks and responsibilities are defined according to structured job profiles that are assessed during regular annual performance reviews.
Impact and Evaluation
Growing a European sentiment, a European sense of belonging, remains our mission and relates to all our activities. We know that this is ambitious and ultimately never completely achievable. It is a promise.
While it is hardly possible to attribute the impact of ECF’s work to the development of the European sentiment, we need to understand how the European sentiment is developing, what are the key drivers and what this means for ECF’s current and future initiatives. For this reason, we have started the European Sentiment Compass – a multi-annual research project with the European Council on Foreign Relations, which published its first edition in 2022. The second edition is planned for May 2023. Insights from the research were used to update our strategy and work plan 2023.
Defining our expected impact is an important and ongoing process. It is not about perfection or being right. It is about making assumptions and imagining a process where impact is achieved. It will always be imperfect and a work in progress. We are committed to evaluation, to improving our initiatives, gaining in tangibility and increasing our impact. We are keen to learn from our programmes and partnerships and to share the results with our community and the broader European context.
An example of an evaluation mechanism is the narrative and financial reporting provided by the grantee at the end of a project. We apply a variety of internal and external evaluation methods and tools to our programmes to take stock of our achievements, to learn from our experience, to share knowledge within and beyond the European Cultural Foundation, and to inform our decisions and strategies going forward.
Evaluation results demonstrate to our donors and partners how we achieve our goals. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation help us to adjust our multiannual programmes and tools towards stronger outcomes and impact.
Theory of Change
As part of our mid-strategy review, we have revised, updated and sharpened our Theory of Change (TOC) and sketched a graphic presentation of it (rather than putting it into a box). This helps to clarify the relationship between our Public Policy, Communication and Programme initiatives. Together with our Success Criteria, the updated TOC is part of our annual work plan cycle and, in 2024, the basis for evaluation of our five-year strategy ‘Challenge 2025’.
We have developed a set of five Success Criteria: Relevance, Ambition, Creativity, Accessibility, and Sustainability. These criteria create transparency about what we regard as successful initiatives, become a point of reference for management decisions, create a certain level of standardisation in how we look at our initiatives, design new initiatives, and improve the steering of running projects.