“How to reinvent philanthropy”
Meeting with Chloé Baunard-Pinel, Philanthropy Manager at Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation
While the wave of generosity to support the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris divides on the real motivations of donors, we asked Chloé Baunard-Pinel, Philanthropy Manager at the French Foundation Apprentis d’Auteuil, to get back to the fundamental principles of generosity and the importance it plays in our society.
You are responsible philanthropy of a historic French foundation. Could you give us a definition of philanthropy?
Philanthropy is a person’s deep and thoughtful personal commitment to a cause that is close to his heart. This commitment is specific to each one according to his means, his values and his convictions. Philanthropists who commit to our Foundation feel invested by the major societal challenges of education and inclusion. They support over the long term our actions and our strong development axes.
How do philanthropists engage?
In addition to cash donations, these can be more complex projects such as a temporary donation of a real or personal property, the income of which is thus granted to Apprentis d’Auteuil over a period of 3 to 10 years. During this period of time, the income produced is no longer included in the calculation of the income tax and, in the case of real estate, the value of the usufruct comes out of the calculation of the wealth tax on real estate. Above all, the income generated by the property allows the Foundation to fund actions for young people and families.
However, beyond giving, philanthropists are often looking for a real exchange relationship with us and we regularly invite them on the ground to discover what we do concretely. With 230 establishments and devices we have a lot of things to do! These meetings also allow us to retain these donors, even if it is not always easy.
What difference do you make between a patron and a philanthropist?
In France, the word “patronage” is generally used when donations are made by companies, and the word “philanthropist” when it comes to an individual donor. In many other countries, especially Anglo-Saxon countries, this distinction is not made. As philanthropy was not really developed in France, it started by encouraging businesses to get involved. In 2003, the Aillagon law definitely anchored the term “patronage”. There are, however, bridges between philanthropy and patronage. It happens that some business leaders, donors in their personal life, want to raise awareness among their employees and set up a sponsorship policy in their company.
What about in other countries?
In Anglo-Saxon countries, particularly in the United States, philanthropy is much more developed. It is a true culture, resulting from the Protestant roots of the country, which encourages this tradition of the gift of money but also the gift of oneself since it is estimated that 2/3 of Americans give a part of their time to a philanthropic work. The generosity of companies and individuals nevertheless benefits in France from one of the most advantageous tax frameworks in the world.
Can you give us a typical portrait of the philanthropist at Apprentis d’Auteuil?
It is often a young retiree who knows the Foundation by family tradition or because he lives or lived in the district of Auteuil (Paris 16th), headquarters of Apprentis d’Auteuil since its creation in 1866 by the Abbot Roussel. However, this target is getting younger and we are getting more and more young entrepreneurs and managers, particularly sensitive to the problem of youth integration.
In the latest barometer of “France Générosités” published April 4, there was a decrease of 4.2% of generosity in France in 2018, have you also been impacted?
Undeniably since we have lost almost 20% of donations! As this study explains, this decrease is mainly due to the disappearance of the ISF tax and the rise of the CSG tax on pensions. Income tax at source has also played an important role in this decrease. For example, some people suspended their regular donations because they did not know what impact that measure would have on their monthly income. In general, I would say that tax instability is unfortunately still harmful for associations.
What levers do you see to revive generosity?
It seems to me that associations and foundations have communicated too much about taxation for too long and not enough about the causes they support. Let us not forget that donors donate primarily by conviction and not to reduce their taxes. We must also turn to innovation to rejuvenate our targets: crowdfunding, donations online or SMS, micro-donations, … Everything that can involve the new generations must be tested and that’s what we do. At the same time, we must find new philanthropists, but they are few and much sought after. We need to increase the number of speaking engagements in order to highlight our expertise, beliefs and actions, because supporting youth is also investing in the future of our society.
 Chloé Baunard-Pinel has been involved in the non-profit sector for almost 10 years, first of all as a lawyer and then legal and public affairs manager at Admical, a philanthropy development association. Since January 2017 she has been applying her legal and tax expertise and her knowledge of philanthropy to the French Foundation Apprentis d’Auteuil.
 For over 150 years Apprentis d’Auteuil has been developing actions to act as early as possible with young people and prevent exclusion through education. It intervenes in four main fields: child protection, school dropout, support for parenthood, social and professional integration. Indeed, the Foundation is convinced that a global and personalized support allows the young person to develop and build a project so that it finds its place in society.