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Thursday
Sep072017

Building bridges for local good - a guide to community foundations in Europe 

This report, produced by the European Community Foundation Initiative on the eve of their first annual conference, provides a look at the diversity which characterizes the approximately 670 community foundations in Europe. In 27 European countries, citizens are actively committed at a local level to improving their community. The differences in the general political, economic and sociocultural conditions become secondary; what connects people is their common goal. The report considers the field from a social science point of view, reflects on the future of the movement on the continent, and also provides a snapshot of the support organizations working to support community foundations in Europe.

Editors: Anja Böllhoff, Judith Engelke, Burkhard Küstermann, Anke Pätsch

Published by: European Community Foundation Initiative

Published: September 2017

Download ‘Building bridges for local good - a guide to community foundations in Europe’

Monday
Sep042017

Resilient funders 

The closing space of civil society around the world over the last decades has created a challenge for social, economic, and environmental funders of civil society organizations. Funders are working in restrictive political environments and are subject to new and enhanced state restrictions on their activities, increased cost of funding from new red tape, and even physical and other immediate threats to their staff and networks.

While most work in the area focuses on advocacy for civil society organizations and enabling policy environments, little research looks at the key practices of resilient funders that enable them to continue to operate under shifting circumstances. This study considers a cross section of social change funders working in countries of concern that are creating ways to ensure that funds can continue to have an impact on issues as the space to operate narrows.

This paper applies a resilience lens to the funding sector and suggests ways that this lens can help evaluate and interpret how to continue supporting the civil society sector in old ways and new.

Authors: Chris Allan and Scott DuPree

Published by: Global Greengrants Fund & GFCF

Published: August 2017

Download 'Resilient funders'

Thursday
Jun152017

Community philanthropy's 'burning issues'

Supporting environmental activists in Mexico who face a climate of violence and insecurity. Exploring the use of shared spaces in Northern Ireland to address disadvantage and division, particularly across religious affiliation. Equipping and encouraging youth groups in Kosovo to become more active and positive contributors to their communities. These were some of the topics raised in response to the Global Fund for Community Foundations’ (GFCF) call for proposals for ‘Burning Issues’ grants in early 2016. Despite the enormous range of issues being addressed by community philanthropy around the world and the organizational differences among the 13 eventual recipients, there are strong similarities across the cohort.

Author: Wendy Richardson, GFCF

Published by: Alliance Magazine

Published: November 2016

Download 'Community philanthropy's 'burning isssues''

Thursday
Jun152017

The rise of community philanthropy 

In this special feature on community philanthropy, the authors propose a new paradigm called ‘durable development’. This involves shifting power closer to the ground, giving agency to local people and their organizations on the principle that they should have greater control of their own destinies. The growing field of community philanthropy has much to contribute towards such a paradigm shift because it marks a distinct break with many of the conventions – and resulting distortions – of mainstream development. The ‘three-legged stool’ of community philanthropy combines asset development, capacity building and the strengthening of trust between multiple local and external stakeholders. Durable development follows John Ruskin’s maxim – ‘when we build, let us think we build forever’.

Authors: Jenny Hodgson & Barry Knight, GFCF

Published by: Alliance Magazine

Published: November 2016 

Download 'The rise of community philanthropy'

Thursday
Jun152017

Funders: use your power to shift the power 

The international development landscape is shifting rapidly. In many ways, we’re witnessing the end of the ‘development-industrial complex’ that has dominated the sector for the last two decades. The days of rich northern countries delivering large amounts of official development assistance (ODA) to poor countries in the global south, often via massive northern-based international NGOs, are numbered. A variety of complex and connected factors are driving this shift: radical global socio-economic changes and the emergence of a new, universal, sustainable development agenda, to name but two. The question now is what kind of new development model are we constructing in its place?

Author: Danny Sriskandarajah, CIVICUS 

Published by: Alliance Magazine

Published: November 2016 

Download 'Funders: use your power to shift the power'

Thursday
Jun152017

It begins and ends with trust 

If you want community philanthropy to work, you have to start with trust. Yet many of the elements in funders’ relationship with grantees – evaluations and reporting requirements – are based on scepticism. They have become deep expressions of doubt and mistrust. Granted, it’s not easy to create trust. The history of global development is littered with failure and misunderstanding, and we are all carrying assumptions from our past, even if we’re not aware of it. So how can we build trust? Here are steps to help you as you embark on supporting community philanthropy.

Author: Jennifer Lentfer, Thousand Currents 

Published by: Alliance Magazine

Published: November 2016 

Download 'It begins and ends with trust'