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Europe pitching – Aggressive charity

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Philanthropy is becoming a savvy industry in Europe in the face of shrinking government support for the arts and a slowdown in corporate sponsorships, The Economist reported in its Aug. 18 edition.

While finding American-style fundraising crass, Europeans still are getting used to it, with arts groups hiring American development directors and learning about private patronate, the magazine said.

And support groups that advise arts groups and donors about fundraising are sprouting.

They include the Institute for Philanthropy in Britain, an academic research group tied to University College London; the European Association for Planned Giving, which advises tax lawyers and other professionals; and BDG & Associates, a new law firm in Brussels whose entire practice is focused on philanthropy.

Several nations also have made small but important changes in their tax and legal systems, The Economist said.

Britain, for example, is simplifying the way donors can use the tax system to maximize gifts, and Italy now allows its 13 most important opera houses and music groups to change their status from state-owned organizations to private foundations.

For full story, go to The Economist.

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