In 2002, the European Foundation Centre (EFC) launched a Research Task Force (RTF), which acted as a clearing house for research on foundations in Europe, collecting data where appropriate. The RTF comprised representatives of European Union-based EFC member foundations and national associations of foundations who often coordinated data-gathering with universities or researchers. The RTF ran two surveys in 2003-5 and 2006-8 to assess public-benefit foundations and provide key data on the scale of the sector across the EU. It also explored some key topics on foundations' regulatory and operating frameworks.
This brochure summarises the RTF's findings, reviews the sector's size and economic weight in the EU, and gives general background on where foundation income comes from, who sets up and runs foundations, whether foundations cooperate, who their partners are, whether they develop links with public bodies, and whether they evaluate their actions.