Caddy workshop team with their new refrigerated lorry; Credit: Stëmm vun der Strooss

The Fondation de Luxembourg has published its 2020 Annual Report; despite the pandemic, the Fondation was able to allocate a record €10 million to more than 300 charity projects around the world last year.

Echoing the outpouring of solidarity seen around the world, foundations sheltered under the aegis of the Fondation de Luxembourg have maintained and, in many cases, even increased their financial support for philanthropic projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of sheltered foundations has also evolved and 93 foundations have been created since the launch of the Fondation, which represents nearly €250 million of commitments dedicated to philanthropy.

The international profile of the founders, nearly half of whom are foreign residents, is reflected in the range of geographic areas covered by supporters, i.e. 52 countries in total. This trend towards the internationalisation of donations has also been observed by the Transnational Giving Europe network, of which the Fondation de Luxembourg is a member, with the announcement of a record year with more than €28 million in cross-border donations redistributed (i.e. an increase of 102% compared to 2019).

Tonika Hirdman, Director General of the Fondation de Luxembourg, commented: "It is very encouraging to see the dynamism with which donors from all walks of life have come together to make their contribution to solving the current issues".

Seeking to respond to the most pressing challenges resulting from the pandemic, the sheltered foundations significantly increased their support to the health and research sector, which benefited from a 12% increase in funding compared to 2019. The focus was on projects that promote the education of children as well as the socio-economic independence of women, for instance the Eduq Foundation has supported various projects aimed at supporting young people in order to avoid dropping out of school. Climate change projects have also gained in importance over the past year, such as the innovative recycling programme supported by Massvoll Stiftung in Ivory Coast.

While ensuring the continuity of current projects, the Fondation de Luxembourg launched the Fondation COVID-19 at the start of 2020 in order to efficiently channel one-off donations to emergency projects linked to the pandemic. In just a few months, the foundation had raised more than €1.5 million in donations for shortlisted projects in the health and scientific research sectors, as well as for the benefit of the most vulnerable people in society. As highlighted by the President of the Fondation de Luxembourg, Henri Grethen, “the adaptability demonstrated by the Fondation de Luxembourg during the health crisis testifies to its complementary role to other initiatives, particularly government initiatives".

Beyond project support, the Fondation de Luxembourg received approval in 2020 as a signatory of the United Nations (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) charter. This recognition confirmed the Fondation's commitment to align the investments of its sheltered foundations with the philanthropic values ​​of the founders. In addition, the Fondation continued its mission of promoting philanthropy in Luxembourg and beyond, in particular by organising conferences for asset managers, round tables with players in the charitable sector to share best practices and giving training courses at the University of Luxembourg.

The year 2021 looks promising with the creation of four new sheltered foundations in the first four months and several projects under construction. Aware of the importance of the role of philanthropy in the post-pandemic recovery, the Fondation de Luxembourg is convinced that its mission of supporting donors will increase the impact of their philanthropic actions.

The full 2020 Annual Report (in French) can be viewed as a PDF at