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Authenticity & the Participation Revolution

Two papers that ask what changes might be needed to create a more authentic international and national humanitarian response.

"Participation and Community Engagement; the challenge to make it Authentic," Martin Dawes, CDAC Secretariat, May 2017

"Seeing the woods and the trees: the quiet rise of community philanthropy," Jenny Hodgson, Global Fund for Community Foundations, May 2017

Download the report


Building Community Philanthropy in Vietnam: Understanding the experiences and expectations of donors to the LIN Center for Community Development

From 2009 to 2016, the LIN Center for Community Development, based in Ho Chi Minh City, received contributions from over 561 unique donors, of whom two‑thirds were Vietnamese. Most of these were relatively small contributions (less than US$25), and roughly 85% of all donations were designated to a single LIN programme. 

Seeking to better understand the experiences and expectations of donors to the LIN Center, this study (based on an online survey and one-on-one interviews) was undertaken in 2016 and explores: the reasons they contributed; their level of satisfaction; and, any challenges and unmet expectations they encountered or observed as a donor to LIN. The purpose of the research was to assess the potential for increasing local support and any requirements or unique propositions for being able to do just that. The research was also intended to serve as a case study on the relationships between one community philanthropy organization and the donors supporting its work to build local capacity, connect local resources and promote trust in local not‑for‑profit organizations. 

Authors: Dana Doan and the LIN Center staff 

Published by: GFCF 

Published: June 2017 

Download ‘Building Community Philanthropy in Vietnam: Understanding the experiences and expectations of donors to the LIN Center for Community Development’


Case Study: Cherokee Preservation Foundation

This Case Study, published to complement the GFCF report ‘An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets’, is one in an occasional series highlighting community foundations that have been formed with substantial revenue from corporate investors to explore how communities harness these assets for the greatest collective good. Data for this study was compiled through interviews with Susan Jenkins, former executive director of Cherokee Preservation Foundation, video interviews with stakeholders, and the foundation’s website and publications.

Author: Mary Fifield

Published by: GFCF

Published: February 2017 

Download ‘Case Study: Cherokee Preservation Foundation.’ See also the accompanying report ‘An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets’. 


When Size Matters: The phenomenon of community foundations in small towns and rural areas of Russia 

This research paper considers a phenomenon in local philanthropy development in small industrial and non-industrial towns, single-industry towns and rural areas in Russia known collectively as ‘rural funds‘. The goal of the research was to analyze the current state and activities of community foundations working in small towns and settlements, explore the characteristic features of this type of foundation and the role they play in local community development as a unique phenomenon of local philanthropic activity in Russia. 

Authors: Larisa Avrorina & Yulia Khodorova

Published by: CAF Russia

Published: 2017

Download ‘When Size Matters: The phenomenon of community foundations in small towns and rural areas of Russia’


Growing Individual Giving: Learning from Experiences in Serbia, Czech Republic and Romania

What are the needs and interests of individual donors in Serbia, Czech Republic and Romania? Individual donors want to be part of the solution, argue the authors of this report, but they are seldom asked what they think. 

Using the "Most Significant Change" methodology, the report’s authors explore the levels of change observed and experienced by 24 individual donors to PACT Foundation (Romania), Trag Foundation (Serbia), and Via Foundation (Czech Republic) and to understand how and what such donors are looking for in terms of information from the organizations they support.

This work was published as part of a 2016 joint initiative of the GFCF and the WK Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy aimed at connecting research and practice to advance the field of global community philanthropy.

Author: Alice Teodorescu & Ioana Traista

Published by: PACT Foundation, Romania

Published: February 2017

Download Growing Individual Giving': learning from experiences in Serbia, Czech Republic and Romania 


An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets

In this period of intense global flux, the international community is grappling with two formidable and simultaneous phenomena: the exponential growth of resource extraction and the rise of local communities demanding their right to self‑determination. From Mongolia to Madagascar to Brazil, resource extraction is occurring on a larger scale than ever before, and many of these projects are being executed in increasingly remote regions that are home to Indigenous and rural communities. While these industries have played a major role in increasing standards of living and global prosperity generally, it is also widely recognized that benefits and negative impacts have not been evenly shared. Significant conflict has accompanied the unprecedented economic growth of the last several decades.

Is it possible for extractive corporations to support community self‑determination and communities’ capacity to govern their assets over the long term? Is long‑term corporate investment in / corporate funding for community foundations a viable mechanism to achieve this goal, both for communities and companies? To explore these questions, the GFCF and First Peoples Worldwide embarked on a joint research project, which combined a literature review, consultation with industry and civil society leaders, and interviews with corporate representatives for social investment from major oil and mining companies.

Authors: Mary Fifield, Jenny Hodgson, Nick Pelosi

Published by: GFCF

Published: February 2017

Download ‘An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets’. See also the accompanying Case Study on the Cherokee Preservation Foundation or the Case Study on the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust

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