FAQs

OPERATION AND FINANCIALS 

1. Is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) a not-for-profit? 
Yes. The SNF has no shareholders and engages in no business or commercial activities.  The SNF’s income and assets are devoted to the public benefit through its four core program areas: Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Sports, and Social Welfare.

2. Does the SNF fundraise?
The SNF is a grant-making organization only.  The SNF does not solicit or accept donations from individuals, corporations or other organizations.

3. How much funding does the SNF commit every year?
There is not a specific amount of funds committed each year for grants, nor a specified number of grants that the SNF approves on an annual basis. The grants that the SNF makes, as well as the grant initiatives it undertakes yearly, are determined by the growing challenges and needs worldwide, with the aim of achieving a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, always within the SNF’s means, and acknowledging that the SNF complements and does not replace the efforts of the public sector.

Since its inception in 1996, the SNF has approved grant commitments of $1.9 billion / €1.6 billion, allocated among 3,685 grants to nonprofit organizations in 111 nations around the world. The SNF does not make grants to individuals.

 

GRANT MAKING

4. How did the SNF select the four core program areas of its grant-making?
The program areas – Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Sports, and Social Welfare – reflect the wide interests of the late Stavros Niarchos, the SNF’s founder. Within these areas the SNF works and conducts research to make sure its grant-making is aligned with societal needs and that its priorities and responses to programs are guided by those needs.

5. Are grants distributed equally among the four core program areas?
The SNF employs a holistic philosophy with respect to the core program areas and does not have a set allocation for each area.  All program areas have equal weight in terms of the focus they receive from the SNF Board of Directors and staff.  But the actual allocation of funding among the four areas will depend on the particular challenges and opportunities existing at a given point in time.

6. What portion of the SNF’s grants is focused on Greece and its people
Excluding the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), the SNF’s funding is almost equally divided between grants in Greece and international ones. The SNFCC is the SNF’s largest single commitment. The project's total budget of $867mil (€630mil) includes two grants of $6 mil (€5mil) each to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera respectively, aiming to support the organizations’ transition to their new facilities. This support represents a significant contribution to Greece’s future, at a critical historical juncture, and engine for short- to mid-term economic stimulus, which is essential under the current circumstances. 

In June of 2015, the Foundation announced a new grant initiative of €100,000,000 ($112 million), in addition to its standard grant-making activities, to help address the deepening crisis in Greece by providing immediate relief support to the most vulnerable members of Greek society. The new initiative follows on the heels of two earlier initiatives in 2012 and 2013 of €100,000,000 ($130 million) each. While the initiative in 2012, which has been completed, aimed as well to provide immediate relief against the adverse effects of the socio-economic crisis, the one announced in 2013 aims to address the high percentage of youth unemployment, seeking to create better employment prospects and new opportunities for the young. 

7. Does the SNF support projects that combine private philanthropy with public initiatives?
Given the complexity of global issues in the SNF’s core program areas, the SNF believes that collaborations between philanthropic organizations and the public sector can be an effective means of promoting the public welfare. These public-private partnerships can leverage the available funding from both sectors, ensure that philanthropic funding is aligned with the public interest, and build upon diverse, practical experiences to test and implement innovative measures that meet community needs.  Private philanthropy can never be a substitute for the public sector, but support from philanthropic organizations can be complementary to what the public sector is doing, in order to bring about results that will create a better society for all.

8. What is the relationship between the SNF and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)?
The SNFCC is the SNF’s largest single project. The SNFCC is a multifunctional and environmentally sustainable education, arts, and recreation complex/destination, currently under construction in Athens, Greece, which comprises the 170,000m2 (42 acre) Stavros Niarchos Park, and new, state-of-the-art facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO). Due to the project’s magnitude and complexity, the SNF is building the SNFCC through an entity called Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, A.E., or SNFCC, A.E.  When construction of the facility is complete, the facility and SNFCC, A.E. will be donated to the Greek State. For additional information on the SNFCC, please visit www.snfcc.org. 

9. What will be the role of SNF in the National Library of Greece (NLG), the Greek National Opera (GNO), and the SNFCC?   
The SNF has no role in the operation of the NLG and the GNO. Both organizations are independent public institutions. Once the SNFCC is completed and turned over to the Greek State, the NLG and GNO will use the SNFCC for the conduct of their activities.  The SNF will have no seat on SNFCC, A.E. board of directors once the facility is completed and turned over to the Greek State. However, a contract ratified by the Greek Parliament will permit SNF to organize and present (at its own expense) cultural and educational events at the SNFCC.  And, of course, the SNF will be free to make grants that support any aspect of the SNFCC that the SNF believes to be appropriate or necessary.