The Association of Finnish Foundations monitors and defends the interests of its members, and serves as a trainer and expert, information provider and discussion forum, supporter and publisher of research.

What We Do

The Association of Finnish Foundations monitors and defends the interests of its 206 members, and serves as a trainer and expert, information provider and discussion forum, supporter and publisher of research. The association operates with foresight and guides the development of the foundation sector. It provides up-to-date and research-based information about the foundations to the media and the public, and offers interesting viewpoints to the foundations. The association advices grant applicants with questions regarding grants and maintains the Aurora grant database.

Topical issues in the AFF are its own 50th anniversary year 2020, defence against the planned source tax and the impact evaluations of the foundations. There is increasing pressure focused on foundations to fund the growing needs of science, art and culture, which in turn increases the overall expectations for the foundations’ operations. The foundations’ reputation in Finland has improved during the last years, based on a Foundation Barometer conducted in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Research

Our multiannual academic research project Tieteen tukijoukot (‘Support Troops of Science’) has, for the first time, clarified the significance of Finnish foundations supporting research and universities in Finland 1917–2017. The research project was conducted by PhD, Docent Allan Tiitta.

Finnish foundations fund an abundance of scientific research that has a remarkable effect on society. According to the study, the support has been more than EUR 4.2 billion, and it has multiplied by more than 2,500 within our first hundred years of independence. The study was published in 2018 in Finnish as a book and available in pdf at tieteentukijoukot.fi. In English a summary is available and can be downloaded here.

Publications

The Association of Finnish Foundations supports and publishes research concerning foundations and third sector in Finland. The publications include guidelines, reports and studies relevant to the field.

Good Governance of Foundations

Good Governance of Foundations presents the principles for good governance in a concise and practical manner, to be used in every foundation. The 2nd edition of the Good Governance of Foundations guidelines is based on the new Foundations Act which entered into force i Finland on 1 December 2015. The guidelines are meant to help and guide people working in foundations: members of the board of directors and the administrative council of the foundations, managing directors, secretaries general, functionaries and those planning to establish a foundation.

Best Practice for Foundations (Code of Conduct)

The Association of Finnish Foundations has prepared a written Best Practice for Foundations, which guides the foundations’ operations and good management. The guidelines are meant especially for the members of the Association of Finnish Foundations, but also other foundations and associations can make use of it in their operations. Best Practice for Foundations deals with good management, grants and awards, communication, administration, finances and cooperation between foundations and their interest groups. The Best Practice tells you how a good foundation operates.

A Foundation with Impact! Principles and Practices of Evaluating the Impact of Foundations

Available only in Finnish

The purpose of the Impact Evaluation Guide is to make those involved in the foundation’s operations consider what kind of results the foundations are aiming for and how the implementation of these goals, the impacts and influence of the foundation can be evaluated. The concise guide is meant to inspire thoughts and to provide tools. The Boards of the foundations may consider the impact evaluation as a way to develop their own competence: the results of the evaluation tell you what works in the foundation and what could work better.

Sustainable use of resources

Available only in Finnish and Swedish

The Board of Directors of the foundation is responsible for the foundation’s operations. This means, above all, responsibility for implementing the purpose of the foundation and asset management. The principle behind the foundation operations is to use the foundation’s resources as well as possible to implement its purpose. Operations that extend far into the future provide that the use of resources cannot lead to permanent decrease of the foundation’s funds, but neither should it lead to purposefully increasing the value of the funds, for example through overly cautious allocation policy. Finding this balance is the goal for the foundation’s sustainable use of resources.