Questions and Answers
Why was the Athens Partnership created?
Like many other cities, Athens has historically benefited from philanthropic support of some of its public services and amenities. However, there has not been a systematic vehicle for organizing and strengthening investments from the private sector. The Athens Partnership was designed to facilitate high-impact partnerships between the City of Athens and the private sector to support effective, priority public programs.
How is the Athens Partnership structured and what is the oversight?
The Partnership was createdwith lead support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and strategic guidance from Bloomberg Associates, an international philanthropic consulting firm that helps cities tackle their most complex and difficult challenges. New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) organization based in the U.S., serves as the fiscal sponsor for the Athens Partnership, and works closely with our Athens-based team. NVF was established in 2006 in response to demand from leading philanthropists for an efficient, cost-effective, and time-saving platform to launch and operate charitable projects. They execute a range of donor-driven public interest projects in global health, international development, education, disaster recovery, and more.
NVF is overseen by an independent board of directors that has extensive experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management. NVF is partnered with Arabella Advisors, a leading philanthropy services firm that helps philanthropists and investors find innovative ways to achieve greater good with their resources, and the organizations share a commitment to evaluation and measuring impact. In addition to the supervision of NVF’s experienced board, the Athens Partnership operates with guidance from an advisory board with unique understanding of needs in Athens.
Is the Athens Partnership independent and transparent?
NVF is a public charity, not a private foundation/institution. As a U.S. nonprofit organization, NVF is legally required to have a high level of independence and there are strict guidelines in place in order to retain its charitable status. The organization is required to submit financial statements and other information, such as the salaries of its directors, officers, and key employees, to federal authorizes. These documents (ie. IRS Form 990 in the U.S.) are publicly accessible.
What is the unique value of the Athens Partnership?
Unlike other nonprofits, this organizational model is uniquely positioned to intersect between municipal government and private sector partners, leveraging the resources and strengths of both. It also serves as a responsible agent for foundations, corporations, and individuals wanting to contribute to priority public programs in Athens. The Partnership is enabling the City to pilot innovative new programs, track progress, and assess effectiveness to meet more community demands as well as respond rapidly to emerging needs. It was designed to support actionable, immediate projects serving Athenians, not to raise money for unknown needs in the future.
While the Athens Partnership was championed by Athens Mayor Georgios Kaminis, it is an nonpartisan entity designed to live through many more administrations, and serve as a model for Greece and beyond.