In the run up to WINGSForum 2017, we will be publishing interviews with some of our esteemed speakers. For this interview we spoke to Dominique Lemaistre, Director of programs and donors-advised funds for Fondation de France.
WINGS: Tell us a little about yourself, your work in philanthropy infrastructure and your interest in attending WINGSForum 2017?
D.L.: I started my career in 1984 as administrator of a photographs public order. 4 years later, I joined Fondation de France where, to begin with, I was in charge of communication. I then dedicated myself to philanthropy, first with the handling of charitable funds hosted by Fondation de France and later on, Fondation de France’s own programs.
As Head of grant making activities, I now supervise the activity of the 25 Fondation de France programs and the 808 charitable funds administered by Fondation de France.
Serving philanthropy for 25 years has enabled myself to consider all the foundations and philanthropy stakes in France and Europe, through the very instructive and evolving context of the 1990’s up to today: relationship with private and corporate funders, governance, social expertise in the most various fields, legal and tax evolving rules.
Fondation de France was established in 1969 on the initiative of General De Gaulle and André Malraux to help individuals and companies to carry out philanthropic, cultural, environmental or scientific projects and social activities. In 2015, the foundation dedicated 157 million euros to social activities. It is a private non-profit organization recognized by the government as a charity working in the public interest. The foundation contributes to the development of philanthropy by enabling individuals or companies to create their own foundation under its aegis (808 foundations in 2015) and to benefit from its advice on management.
Because Fondation de France has been created on the pattern of the American Community foundations with no equivalent in France at the end of the sixties, the organization got used to staying up the international sector. WINGSForum is one of the excellent occasions to hear about world wide philanthropy.
WINGS: What might ‘Critical Philanthropy: Addressing Complexity, Challenging Ourselves’ mean to you and to Fondation de France?
D.L.: The role of philanthropy in France and Europe has changed a lot over the ten last years because of its development, its maturity and also because of the revolution of its context; the public sector has less ands less money and, particularly because of the world sustainability goals, the general interest is also appropriate by the private sector. Philanthropy has to work with new actors, like social entrepreneurs, new partnerships and new tools. At the same time, the problems to face are more and more complex; flexibility, interdisciplinary, imagination and long term politics are more and more required.
WINGS: What is your involvement in the session you will be speaking at WINGSForum and what issue(s) are you most looking forward to addressing at WINGSForum2017?
D.L.: I’ll be speaker in the session “Social Problems, Business Solutions: Myth or Fact?” I’ll be very interested to discover how the situation is in other countries.
WINGS: Why do you think infrastructure and this global gathering are important for the development of the sector?
D.L.: I think that people everywhere are more and more busy and have less and less time to read. That’s why it is very important to organize symposiums and meetings to give the time and space to professional debate and prospectives.