Why create a cluster serving the general interest?

Antoine Vaccaro, President of Force For Good, by Faircom and of Cerphi, the Centre for the Study and Research on Philanthropy.

The French generosity market is now mature. According to the declarations of donations within the framework of the RI and the IFI, the amounts of donations declared in 2018 show a decrease in the amount of donations estimated at 6% compared to 2017 (58% of the amount of donations collected by the ISF, which in 2018 will become the IFI. 1.8% of the donation amounts reported to Income Tax – IR), in absolute terms with a 3.9% decline in the number of donors. This deterioration was mitigated by an average annual donation that increased by 2%, from €497 in 2017 to €507 in 2018[1]. 1] In addition, 93% of donations are made by loyal donors. Only 7% are new donors. This decrease does not take into account the financial effort that beneficiary organisations have to make to maintain their level of private resources, which leads to a downward trend in net income.

This generosity is divided among 200 organizations that monopolize the market, thanks to their solvent causes, their track record, the size of their databases and the flow of legacies that devote years of “investment”. The competition for the philanthropic euro between these leaders is fierce and leaves little room for emerging structures with equally remarkable struggles and causes.

Economic models are evolving, particularly that of international solidarity NGOs. These organizations most often finance their structural costs through short-term revenue from public generosity, which essentially covers collection and operating costs and, to a lesser extent, the organization’s social purpose (-30% on average, but this varies greatly depending on the weight of public revenue and its nature)[2].

Expressed differently, as Daniel Bruneau points out in his analysis, private funds make it possible to implement the social object largely financed by public subsidies: the French State and its agencies, European and international public institutions, which do not assume their responsibility by granting, on average, only 7% to cover operating costs, while their requirements in terms of qualitative and quantitative reporting become exorbitant. Also, any tax instability, and this continues from year to year (transformation of the wealth tax into an IFI, reduction in the deduction rate for corporate sponsorship), weakens this economic model.

Antoine Vacarro, Portrait par l’artiste Patrice Zana.

The integration of more and more human resources in head offices has considerably changed the needs of associations and foundations vis-à-vis consultancy agencies. The nature of the services required is different. The level of advice is also different. Faced with this movement to increase staff numbers at the expense of “outsourcing”, consulting agencies and fundraising consultants, who have accompanied and amplified the growth of the philanthropic movement for more than 30 years, are looking forward to the future.  In addition:

  •  The rise of new technologies that “disrupt” traditional fundraising models,
  •  New generations of donors with new forms of commitment,
  •  The arrival of new competitors, usually confined to public funding,

change the course of a deal.

To meet this demand, we at Faircom have decided to reinvent ourselves.

New brand: Force for Good by Faircom, new identity, new positioning and new initiative by co-founding the first cluster of services dedicated to the general interest: The Goodraising Network.

In economics, a cluster is a geographical and interconnected concentration of companies, suppliers and institutions in a particular field, combining competition and cooperation. More simply, the cluster is a network that allows the economic, academic and public spheres to meet around a common interest, to exchange and to move forward together.

The Goodraising Network is an alliance of experts from large companies, foundations, the public sector, family offices, collection specialists, data, philanthropy, communication, finance in France, Europe and the United States. A veritable ecosystem of skills, the Goodraising Network makes it possible to select the best experts in order to support each project with the right team and ad hoc resources (hybridisation of resources, major donations, relational marketing, digital, strategic seminars, legacies, events, innovations, etc.).

For Force For Good, it is a question of aggregating skills, initiatives, profit and non-profit players, committed citizens, non-profit organisations and responsible companies, all over the world, in the service of the good, For Good. Already more than twenty partners have joined the Goodraising Network: agencies, consultants, freelancers in France and Europe. At the beginning of this year, I invite all the Forces For Good to join us!

Antoine de Saint Exupéry used to say that “the greatness of a profession is perhaps, above all, to unite people. “We are working on it!

Rendez-vous sur www.forceforgood.eu 

[1] Regards sur l’emploi des ressources des membres de France générosités. Daniel Bruneau FG

[2] Regards sur l’emploi des ressources des membres de France générosités. Daniel Bruneau FG


Antoine Vaccaro holds a PhD in Organizational Science – Management of Non-Market Economies, Paris-Dauphine, 1985. After a professional career in large non-governmental organizations and communication groups: Fondation de France, Médecins du Monde, TBWA; he is president of CerPhi (Centre for Study and Research on Philanthropy) Faircom International and the Fund-raising Lab. He holds various volunteer positions within associations and foundations.  He is also co-founder of several professional organizations promoting private funding of causes of general interest: Association Française des fundraisers, Comité de la charte de déontologie des organismes faisant appel à la générosité publique, Euconsult, La chaire de Philanthropie de l’Essec, 2011. He has published various books and articles on philanthropy and fund-raising.