Welcome, PHINEO—Working on Wirkung, and Building Bridges

By Lena Baumgartner 13 May 2010

On Monday evening, several weird and wonderful things happened in the Spree Palais in Central Berlin. Senior executives from Germany’s corporate world, foundation and voluntary sector scrambled over colourful building blocks to jointly construct a bridge formation; Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen, a famous German comedian (no, for our British readers, that is not a contradiction) presented a lively speed-dating event between charities and donors; and around 200 guests celebrated until the small hours to mark the birth of a new organisation, aimed at people ‘who don’t just want to do good, but have a good impact’ (trust me, it sounds better in German).

Welcome PHINEO!

NPC is excited about the arrival of PHINEO, and also a little proud. As of Monday, Phineo’s team of 17 will research social problems in Germany as well as analysing charities trying to tackle them, to find those that have a large impact on the lives of beneficiaries. For this work, PHINEO has carefully adapted NPC’s charity analysis methodology for the German market, and has developed a three-staged charity analysis process. They have already written sector reports on topics such as the environment and music for young people and are publishing information about analysed and recommended charities on their website. In the coming weeks and months, they will also develop a consulting support for funders. No doubt, there is a lot to do. But judging by the enthusiasm of the staff, and the impressive partner consortium that is funding and governing the organisation, there is a great chance of success—Bertelsmann Foundation, Deutsche Börse, KPMG, Siftung Mercator and third sector organisations such as Active Aktive Bürgerschaft e.V., der Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and NPC have signed up to support PHINEO over the next three years.

NPC and PHINEO share a commitment to effectiveness, impact-driven funding, and the creation of public knowledge. We also believe that collaboration is essential to build the case for effectiveness and hope more and more similar organisations will spring up around the globe so we can learn from each other. We’re looking forward to following PHINEO’s progress—watch this space for regular updates.