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Thursday
Jul272017

Community Foundations from around the world come together in Belfast to tackle social injustice and #ShiftThePower

Community foundations from across the world are in Belfast this week to learn how to tackle some of the social injustices and burning issues that confront their communities including homelessness, gender based violence, youth unemployment and environmental destruction.

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Monday
Jun122017

Building bridges not walls at the European Foundation Centre annual conference

If philanthropy is serious about building solidarity, it must give away some of its own power. 

This was the statement up for debate as a line-up of GFCF partners took to the stage for the closing plenary of the 2017 European Foundation Centre’s annual conference, “Courage to re-embrace solidarity in Europe - can foundations take the lead?” held in Warsaw. If the political events of 2016 made anything clear, it is that around the world the social fabric of communities is weakening, walls (metaphorical and otherwise) are being built, and trust is sorely lacking. But what could change if foundations, in Europe and beyond, stopped paying mere lip-service to notions of solidarity, and really started working together, as well as with (not just on behalf of) their constituencies, around building the new, rather than fighting the old?

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Monday
Jun122017

This is why we need to build community philanthropy (in Vietnam and beyond)

Last week, during a workshop on coal energy’s effect on marine life off the coast of Vietnam a common development debate heated up: can social protection and economic development co-exist or does economic development need to come first? There were rational and emotional arguments for the two perspectives but what became painfully obvious is that local people are rarely engaged in debates concerning their own communities. If they are engaged, it is often without full knowledge or understanding of the issues and implications of any decision they may be asked to make.

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Monday
Jun122017

Community foundations emerge even amid shrinking space in Hungary 

The shrinking space for Hungarian civil society has gained considerable attention from our colleagues around the world. The government has cut funding to non-profits by one-quarter. What is left has been re-focused toward a narrower group of NGOs. The proposed law to force some NGOs to label themselves as “organizations with foreign support” has received scrutiny and criticism from across Europe and beyond. It is seen, rightly, to stigmatize organizations that are able to be free(r) to criticize the government. The story that has not yet been told is the response from civil society, and, from community foundations. While the shrinking of space for civil society can result in self-censorship and shutting down, we instead see new efforts to create unity in the sector, a phenomenon that is relatively new to Hungary.

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