Family Philanthropy Conference cocktail
Each year, the Council on Foundations organizes a conference on family foundations. This year, the Family Philanthropy Conference named « Bridges » took place in New York. On Tuesday, Januray 25, 2011, the Consulate General of France hosted the closing clocktail of this seminar.
Learn more about the "Centre Français des Fondations:" http://www.cf-fondations.fr/.
Speech by the Consul General of France in New York, Mr Philippe Lalliot:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends:
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you tonight for this reception in honor of the delegations of French foundations that have come to participate in the 2011 Family Philanthropy Conference here in New York. I would like to thank Juliette Timsit-Feeney, director of the French American Charitable Trust and Mrs. Guyot-Roze, who represents the family foundations du Centre Français des Fondations.
Please allow me to say a few words about FACT which did a formidable job in organizing this trip of six French family foundations. Your place is truly here at the Consulate because you are a Franco-American foundation in every sense of the term: the members of your board are American and French and you give your financial support to organizations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Philanthropy in France and the United States are two very different things which nonetheless profit by learning from one another. You already know, philanthropy here is an old tradition, profoundly established in the American culture, notably in that of the great families which contributed to the prosperity of this country.
A few statistics: In 2009 there were more than one million charity organizations in the United States, a number which is constantly increasing. In 2009 as well, the totality of charitable proceeds represented more than two percent of the American GDP, an impressive figure which shows to which extent philanthropy is deeply rooted in this country.
In France solidarity is expressed by other means and the majority of non profit activities occur as part of the public rather than private sector. However, things are beginning to change and some new legislative measures should now encourage the development of philanthropy in France.
The French non profit world is indeed changing. The proof, for example, is the creation in 2008 of “fonds de dotation,” financing structures which are similar to American endowment funds. It’s the reason why organizations such as the Centre Français des Fondations and FACT which help raise consciousness and promote development of non profit organizations are essential.
We have a lot to learn from our American friends, just as they have a lot to learn from us. The theme of the Family Philanthropy Conference this year is “Bridges”’: constructing bridges between foundations, between communities and between those with know how, this exactly what tonight is about. I am convinced that your visit will allow for the establishment of numerous bridges, increased cooperation and new partnerships.
I now give the floor to Juliette Timsit-Feeney. Je souhaite à toutes et à tous une excellente soirée.