The purpose of the Theory of the Foundation European Initiative was to contribute key insights into European foundations; and to look beyond the direct charitable activities or grant-making of European foundations and instead to explore and understand how foundations operate as organisations in their pursuit of mission and social impact. This we term a "whole foundation approach".

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) established a framework to stimulate discussion around the organisational form of philanthropy called "The Theory of the Foundation."1 Inspired by Peter Drucker's "Theory of the Business,"2 RPA's approach to framing philanthropic practice is detailed in Figure 1 and contains three core domains: Charter, Social Compact, and Operating Capabilities.

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