Lights, camera, #CF100 Video Contest!

The Council on Foundations is helping to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the world’s first community foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, by highlighting stories that show how community foundations are addressing critical local and regional issues. Part of this is the exciting 100-second Centennial Video Contest for community foundations.

Applicants are encouraged to create and submit short, entertaining clips of no more than 100 seconds that spotlight their role in shaping and impacting their communities. First place will be awarded a grant of USD $15,000, second place $7500 and third place $2500. Videos must be submitted to COF by 12th September 2014 for consideration.

What’s next for community philanthropy?

It is appropriate (and no doubt deliberate) that launch of the “What’s Next for Community Philanthropy?” toolkit has come half-way through 2014, a year that sees the Cleveland Foundation – America’s first community foundation  – mark its centenary. Now I should probably say that the extensive toolkit, which has been produced by Gabriel Kasper and his colleagues, Justin Marcoux and Jess Ausinheiler at Monitor Institute, has not really be designed for someone like me. I do not work for a community foundation in the United States, and U.S. (and Canadian) community foundations are really the main target audience for this suite of tools and essays. So my comments and observations on the toolkit are framed by my vantage point at the Global Fund for Community Foundations, a global grassroots grantmaking organization, working to support the development of community philanthropy worldwide.

Evolving concepts, changing terminology: Let’s start with “community philanthropy”.  In my everyday work, I find myself constantly juggling language and terminology, driven by a desire to be inclusive and yet specific, to use the right kind of language that will resonate in particular contexts, that captures the essence of what happens when the magic ingredients of local asset mobilization, grantmaking for community development and multi-stakeholder governance combine together under one institutional roof. Unlike in the U.S. and Canada (where community foundations alone can be counted in their hundreds), there are far fewer of these types of organizations (whatever they are called) in most of the rest of the world, and so by focusing on one particular institutional form, you end up with very small numbers. So although community foundations form a large part of our constituency (and we even prioritise them in the name of our own organization – a fact that is not lost on me), we have always embraced other forms of “community philanthropy institutions”, including women’s funds, local grantmakers, environmental funds etc. So I was pleasantly surprised (and also curious) to see that the more inclusive “community philanthropy” is used throughout the toolkit (defined as “community foundations and other community philanthropy organizations”).

A global world – fact not choice: One of the perils of working locally (and most community philanthropy organizations tend to be place-based) is that it is easy to become inward-looking and insular. The excellent essay, “Shift Happens: Understanding how the world is changing” does a great job in providing a succinct overview of six different types of global trends that are having a profound effect on the nature of communities. If you are a community foundation leader or board member in need of evidence to convince your colleagues that the community that your foundation was set up to serve is no longer the same, and to find examples of how other community foundations are responding, then this document, which provides excellent sources as well as cogent examples, will save you many hours of Internet searches. Although much of the specific data is geared towards a U.S. audience the essay demonstrates to any reader how global trends (both good and bad) are driving huge changes in our communities the world over.

Community foundations as specialist generalists:  Community foundations tend to make grants across a range of different portfolios. This is well understood within the community foundation field, but it can sometimes like to outsiders like a lack of focus or being overstretched in terms of technical expertise. (In fact, I once got involved in a very long rather heated conversation with a U.S. immigration official in New York, who doubted my professional credentials because he was very sceptical about the community foundation idea, insisting that all philanthropic organizations and NGOs should have a focus – he suggested water, healthcare or education – and that it was poor form to try to do everything in a community). What the toolkit also highlights in its examples is quite how specialised and sophisticated specific programmes clusters and approaches have become within the community foundation field. In our grantmaking at the GFCF, we have also been looking at how to deepen community philanthropy practice around particular issues (such as youth engagement or the environment) so that community philanthropy organizations can deliver excellent programmes but within the context of a broader, holistic and networked approach.

A launching point for a more linked-up global field? Certainly, there are some valuable tools in the kit that a community foundation or community philanthropy organization anywhere in the world could use to test assumptions, stimulate reflection and inspire creative thinking (although for those community foundations operating in contexts where local giving is still very nascent, the level of sophistication around different kinds of donor services might still seem like wishful thinking). It is also good to see strategies that have been adopted by many of our community foundation partners, often driven more by innovation and instinct than blue-print, are listed and named in the tool kit.  So when in the “Bright Spots” tool, which looks at “Promising approaches in community philanthropy”, there is a question, “What if you solicited small gifts from less affluent individuals?”, I think immediately of Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation in Romania which created a “Community Card” programme through which over 13,000 donors give small amounts each month. And another “bright spot” on “Sharing Community Information”, asks “What if you conducted routine check-ups of your community?” which takes me to a recent blog by one of our partners in Ukraine. Moloda Gromada (“Young Community”) is based in Odessa, which has seen its own fair share of violence which resulted in the deaths of 42 people on May 2nd 2014. The foundation’s director Inna Starchikova describes how, following the violence, the foundation conducted a survey to “check the state of health” (her words) of the community by asking people about how they saw their own personal role in allowing the violence to happen and their thoughts on how future violence might be prevented.

What’s next for “What’s next”? A separate essay, which focuses specifically on examples of community philanthropy innovation from the global field, is in the pipeline and I look forward to that. And finally, I wonder whether this kind of reflective, big picture exercise might provide new opportunities for those community foundations, wherever they are in the world and which are interested, to create spaces for engagement, solidarity and collaboration. Although there may be huge differences in the financial asset bases of community foundations in different parts of the world, it seems to me that energy, innovation and commitment to community-driven development are plentiful the world over.

Jenny Hodgson

Executive Director, GFCF

Troubleshooting not troublemaking at the first youth community philanthropy global summit

In fact, throughout the course of this one day summit, held 17th June in Chicago, there were plenty of “T” words thrown around: time, talents, treasures, trust, transparency and ties were just some of the others. Organized by the Council on Foundations and the Council of Michigan Foundations with support from the C.S. Mott Foundation, the summit brought together more than 50 youth philanthropy practitioners and enthusiasts from 14 different countries to gain a broader understanding of innovative approaches in youth community philanthropy and to begin building links between these actors.

The morning examined the “what” of youth community philanthropy: various approaches around the world and what strategies are proving to work well (and which aren’t). During the first panel, with speakers from Brazil, Romania, and the US, it became quite clear, quite quickly that the challenges experienced in encouraging individual youth constituencies to contribute their time, talents and treasures resonated across borders. As Anderson Giovani da Silva, CEO of ICom in Florianopolis, noted: “Failures are best when they happen quickly.” But as in real life this just isn’t the case very often, Summit participants eagerly shared and listened to each other’s anecdotes and experiences from the different corners of the world represented, keenly digesting the practical learning from peers grappling with the same issues.

Digging deeper into substance, the ensuing Table Topic Talks (at which point it was impossible not to notice the alliterative pattern running throughout the day) delved into the “how” of the work. What tools are proving to be successful in day-to-day work? Giving circles, YouthBanks, Youth Advisory Councils, crowdsourcing, cash mobs were all explored by those with plenty of experience and lessons to share, and those just beginning to test the waters. A brilliant presentation from Gabriel Marmentini, a student and social entrepreneur working with ICom, succinctly expressed what matters most in online crowdsourcing: trust, transparency and ties. Drawing from his own experiences in Brazil he emphasized that one cannot overstate the importance of being clear in your goals, communicating how funds are being used throughout the process (not just at the end in a snazzy report), and using existing networks to help spread your message and reach new partners.

Challenges around terminology and language recurred throughout the day. Firstly in the use of the word “youth”, as it seemed for as many people as there were in the room there were as many understandings of who we were speaking about when we used the word. Use of the word “philanthropy” was also debated heavily: in some contexts it is somewhat off-putting as it suggests an old way of operating, and doesn’t go far enough in capturing all of the different activities that today’s youth engage in to uplift their communities. Adina Ana Cristea, from YouthBank Romania, stated that she “would rather see people doing things than stopping to define them.” In other contexts, participants noted that using a recognized word such as “philanthropy” offers legitimacy and a greater sense of trust in the value of youth voices.

Afternoon sessions focused on how the field can be advanced more coherently moving forward, and participants offered that further, more regular, efforts should be made to share youth community philanthropy models, best practices, and other information on a global level. Practitioners seem to learn best from exposure to new environments and situations, so mediums should be generated for this exchange – while additional face-to-face meetings, perhaps organized on a regional basis, would serve to keep stakeholders in contact). More difficult questions included: how to raise the profile of youth philanthropy outside of the sector, in order to draw more attention to the field and its potential; how to build greater trust in the value of youth voices (moving away from the stereotypes of troublemaking youth); and, how to ensure voices from different parts of the world, emerging economies in particular, are heard as youth philanthropy grows as a concept.

But despite the diversity of those present, differences in terminology, language, approaches, beliefs, there was one overarching theme emerging from the day: youth around the world are ready to take on the challenge of uplifting their communities. Everyone agreed that the secret ingredient to youth philanthropy, why it is so important, is that it moves away from the traditional sentiment that young people are the future but rather gets them involved in their communities, in giving, in decision-making, not in the future but here and now.

New grants for community philanthropy and the environment to Turkey, Bosnia, Egypt and Nepal!

The GFCF is pleased to announce grants totalling $117,000 to 10 community foundations and community philanthropy organizations for a new programme aimed at exploring the links between community philanthropy and the environment. New grantees include the Bolu Community Foundation in Turkey, the Tuzla Community Foundation in Bosnia, the Waqfeyat al Maadi Community Foundation in Egypt and Tewa in Nepal.

This programme represents a new area of exploration for the GFCF and builds on a series of activities conducted last in year which included consultations and two pilot grants in Romania and South Africa. In addition to grants to individual organizations, the GFCF will create a peer learning network and will host at least one face-to-face meeting later this year.

A full list of grants can be found here


Photo courtesy of the Monteverde Community Fund in Costa Rica, another 2014 GFCF environment grantee

New regional network launched at Russian community foundation conference

Since 1998, when the first community foundation was established in Togliatti, the development of the community foundation field in Russia has been impressive, with 45 community foundations now in existence and an additional dozen or so institutions which could be described as community foundation-like. This growth has been accompanied by the emergence of a variety of networks; indeed the infrastructure supporting the work of Russian communtiy foundations is one of the most developed and robust in the world.

In another sign of the Russian communiety foundation sectors’ maturity and growth, the seventh regional platform of cooperation amongst community foundations in Russia was established in Tyumen (Siberia) on May 20th 2014. Representatives of the Pervouralsk, Nefteugansk, Noyabrsk, Berezovskiy, Tyumen and Sorokino community foundations signed an agreement which brought into being the Ural Federal District Alliance of Community Foundations. The development was welcomed as an opportunity to provide greater regional solidarity as well as offering a network for exchange of information and learning. Two of the member community foundations pledged a sharing of equipment which augured well for the spirit of cooperation.

Each of the six member community foundations is very different, reflecting how community philanthropy can be responsive to local circumstances. The youngest member has been operating for just two years, whilst the oldest – the Tyumen Community Foundation – was celebrating its fifteenth birthday. The Tyumen Community Foundation serves the urban centre of Tyumen in comparison to the dispersed rural area covered by the Sorokino Community Foundation, which relates to village populations of 10,000. Similarly, both the community priorities identified and the resources available cover a wide spectrum.

Larisa Avrorina, Avila Kilmurray & Vera Barova at the 15th anniversary of the Tyumen Community FoundationWhat was evident from the description of the programmes of work of each of the six community foundations was the emphasis placed on civic activism and volunteer energy. Whether it was organising a fundraising charity ball or environmental clean-ups, success depended in local participation and enthusiasm. At least one of the community foundation representatives explained what could happen if activities were organised in the absence of community buy-in – a tree planting initiative failed to attract the involvement of local people and within a week the trees that had been planted were vandalised and uprooted. The learning from this experience was taken to heart. Next time round the local community foundation activists took the time to invest in community engagement.

Each of the community foundations operated programmes of grant competitions, with a wide range of beneficiaries, however they also promoted a number of development interventions often in partnership with local government authorities and with the support of the small business sector. There was investment in children’s playgrounds and hostels for the homeless; also support for clean river campaigns and the rehabilitation of recreation zones. The Pervouralsk Community Foundation responded to the fact that there was no cinema in its area by sponsoring monthly film shows around local villages; and a number of the community foundations supported a very popular Book Exchange project, whereby children could exchange the books that they had read for new ones. In identifying community priorities, reference was made to household surveys and community focus groups as forms of consultation.

The new Ural Federal District and Russian Community Foundation Alliance received expert advice from speakers on behalf of the Russian Community Foundation Partnership, the Perm Alliance of Community Foundations, the Russia Donors’ Forum and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Russia, amongst others.  Speaking on behalf of the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy, Avila Kilmurray congratulated the community foundations in attendance at the two day event for their commitment and welcomed the new Ural Alliance. She noted that it was a particularly timely development, given that 2014 marks the centenary of the community foundation movement globally.

Call for concept notes: community foundations and the environment grants pilot

The GFCF is inviting concept notes for a grants and peer learning programme at strengthening the links between community philanthropy, people-led development and the environment in ways that are holistic and process-driven.

The purpose of these short-term grants will be to support the work of individual community foundations and community philanthropy organizations, both programmatically and institutionally, and to begin to draw a map of the range of different activities around the environment in which community philanthropy organizations are engaged.

Grants will be in the range of US $7,000 – $12,000 and the grant period will run from April 15th – December 31st 2014.

Read the full set of grant guidelines here

What does meaningful change look like for your community foundation? Join the global atlas project and add your voice to the picture!

The Community Foundation Atlas is an online project aimed at mapping community philanthropy the world over. A joint collaboration of the Cleveland Foundation, the Global Fund for Community Foundations, WINGS and the Foundation Centre, the Atlas seeks to detail the locations, resources, roles and measurable achievements of the world’s community foundations and community philanthropy organizations.

Preliminary data from the survey reveals a rich and diverse global landscape of community change that is being driven by community foundations and community philanthropy organizations. So far we have responses from 458 community foundations or community philanthropies from 42 different countries around the world.  They come in all sizes and shapes. For example, 28 of them have no paid staff while 8 have more than 50.  They are involved in a wide variety of different activities but more than 95 per cent of them see their main accountability being to local people. The range of their work on the ground is enormous: from addressing domestic abuse, to community mobilization in contexts of extreme violence, to leading local educational reform and to reviving lost traditions of apple farming.

When asked about the “most meaningful change” that their organizations had brought about, here’s how some of the respondents answered:

“We have established a local community group to develop and open a “green” nonprofit coop/laundry mat in an underserved neighborhood that will be supplied in part through a network of community gardens we helped to establish as a community-wide initiative and is intended to serve as a center of community engagement through selected programming and other activities.”

“The concept of community foundation is new to Haiti. In our pilot region, hundreds of local leaders from all sectors of society took part in our regional planning process. Thanks to our work, the vision of a Haiti community foundation has been inspiring community leaders, gaining traction and is steadily moving forward on the path of becoming a reality.”

“Since people start to be aware of their own potential significant changes have occurred. People start to mobilize themselves to change their spaces into a more dignified environment, improving their housing, community c enter and so on. When they can start to imagine all the possible solutions for their own community development, social change is happening.”

“We help to fund a new initiative that does two things: 1) brings organizations together to explore more collaborative ways to bring about positive change and to strengthen the community’s competitive advantage; and 2) helps local organizations (non-profits and government entities) apply for competitive funding available at the federal level. This initiative is helping to transform our community culture from one that used to cherish “the lines that divide” to one that understands the value of working together across sec tors and disciplines.”


“Although our community foundation is new and small, we have been tackling three major challenges: the first one is that Hungarian soc iety, both at the loc al and national levels, is increasingly fragmented and divided along lines of politic al orientation, ec onomic position, and social status. T aken together, it makes joint action, suc h as starting a new organisation for the good of all, fairly difficult. T he sec ond issue is the ec onomic crisis in the country, the worst in the last 25 years, meaning that everybody bec ame more c autious with their money, and reluctant to take risks and try out new things. And the third challenge was the lac k of an in-country example to follow, as there were no operating c ommunity foundations in Hungary. We reflect regularly on our work and understand that more change-making lies ahead than behind us.”

“Promotion of the concept of philanthropy in the community through initiation of Random Act of Kindness Day.”

“Our community development foundation is a unique organization. In a landscape where many not-for profits look to external donors for their sustenance, we look within Kenya and ensure it has its own investments to finance its activities. In a context where most donors and grant makers impose their agendas on communities, we support communities to be drivers of their own development agenda.”

What is the most meaningful change that has your organization has been involved in in your community? Join the survey and add your voice to this rich global picture! If you haven’t already filled in the survey, please do so at


What’s next for community philanthropy?

The Monitor Institute’s What’s Next for Community Philanthropy initiative aims to engage the U.S. community foundation field in thinking about the future of its model in a way that builds on past successes and explores new approaches – drawn from both domestic and global examples – for serving communities moving forward. One of the tools that has been developed through the project is an exercise called “Finding and Flipping Orthodoxies”, in which “Orthodoxies” are deeply held beliefs about “how things are done,” that may or may not still be true, but that often go unstated and unchallenged and can become blind spots over time. Every organization and every industry has orthodoxies, observe the “What’s next?” project leaders including – and maybe especially – community foundations.

To learn more about the initiative you can watch Gabriel Kasper’s recent speech at the Council on Foundations 2013 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, where he walked conference attendees through an exercise aimed at challenging traditional assumptions and orthodoxies in how they go about their work. 

Asian community philanthropy practitioners gather in Shillong, India

In mid-September, a group of community philanthropy practitioners and supporters gathered for a two-day meeting in the hill station of Shillong, capital of the state of Meghalaya, one of the “Seven Sister” states of Northeast India, which is connected to the rest of the country by a narrow corridor squeezed between Nepal and Bangladesh. This part of India is quite isolated from the rest of the country and it has seen decades of conflict and separatist insurgency. The meeting was organized by the Global Fund for Community Foundations and the Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace Network and it was hosted by the Foundation for Social Transformation – enabling north east India.

In 2011, the GFCF convened a meeting of South Asian community philanthropy practitioners at Tewa Women’s Fund in Nepal. The aim of that meeting had been to begin a regional conversation about the state and practice of organized community philanthropy in South Asia, a field which is still quite scattered and disconnected. This time, the geographic net was extended even further: so, in addition to foundation representatives from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, there were also participants from southeast Asia – Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

We asked three participants, Gayatri Buragohain (Foundation for Social Transformation and our excellent local hosts), Nhu Ngo (LIN Center for Community Development, Vietnam), and Amelia Fauzia (Social Trust Fund, Indonesia) to tell us about their impressions of the meeting.

GFCF: Firstly, Gayatri, as the local hosts, how important was this convening on community philanthropy in Asia to the Foundation for Social Transformation?

Gayatri: Northeast India has suffered much over the last few decades due to on-going conflict, both in terms of economic and social development and in the recognition and protection of human rights. Although there are many local initiatives all over the region working to restore peace and support development, it is a big challenge for such groups or organizations to access resources that are needed to support and sustain their work. To fill this resource gap, in 2005 a group of people from the region got together to create the Foundation for Social Transformation as a local philanthropic organization.

Foundation for Social Transformation – enabling north east India [the organization’s full name] is the first philanthropic organization in the North East that has been started by local people and that is exclusively dedicated to giving grants for development projects in the region. However, the concept of ‘community philanthropy’ is quite new in this region. Although community giving has existed in the various different cultures of the region, with community dwellers pooling resources to help one of its members in distress, the concept of organized philanthropy is still at a nascent stage.

For the team of FST, the Asia Community Philanthropy Peer Learning and Exchange came at a time when we were seeking some much needed support. We were happy to organise the meeting on behalf of the GFCF and the PSJP Network and felt a great sense of pride that it was going to be held in our part of the world! We feel it helped us highlight the region on the global “map” of community philanthropy. It was also very helpful for us to see the larger picture of community philanthropy in Asia, meet with others and understand our place in this larger picture. It reconfirmed the need for an organization such as ours. Being located in a geographically less accessible place, and working on very different social context from mainland India, we do feel a little lonely and disconnected. More importantly, we have a very new team on board for whom the understanding on local philanthropy is new. This meeting helped us feel connected, inspired and gave much needed conceptual clarity on local philanthropy.


GFCF: Gayatri, Nhu and Amelia, what were you impressions of the meeting, in particular, in terms of the similarities and differences between different institutions and different countries as well as the current state of community philanthropy in Asia overall?

Gayatri: FST has been struggling to survive over the last few years due to a serious financial crunch. We started recovering towards the later part of 2012 following some major strategic changes in the way we function and raise funds. In this meeting we realized that the challenges we are facing are very similar to what many other community foundations are facing, especially when it comes to raising operational costs for the foundation. It also came out from our various conversations that the strategies other organizations have used or are considering are also very similar to what we have adopted or are considering. It was certainly clear that through networking, sharing of experiences, we can share best practices and not reinvent the wheel. A lot of discussions also resulted in identifying possible collaborations which we are very excited about. At the same time, however, we did feel that there were some ideological differences with some tactics of raising funds [in particular, in engaging corporates], but we feel that discussing those helped us to examine and reflect on different perspectives on resource mobilization.

Nhu: We were honoured to participate in such a convening that lets us exchange and learn from other institutions building philanthropy.  Although we come from different countries, our issues and concerns are similar.  This was my first meeting with other community philanthropy institutions in the region.  I was so impressed by the way that we were all so open with each other about our successes, experiences and challenges.  In one group, for example, we were five people from five different countries; when the first one finished talking about his institution’s goal and challenges, most of us said, “Same here!”  Each different institution has different programmes for fundraising and different approaches to serving its local community. 

Amelia: The meeting was very productive and useful for us all to learn from each other on some very practical issues related to community foundations. It is also a great opportunity for everyone to reflect on his or her own organization and to define where it “sits” in the working concept of the community foundation concept.

Previously, I had thought my organization, Social Trust Fund, had a rather uncommon or unusual form, but in Shillong, I found that my institution is not alone at all. There are many similarities in terms of activities, visions, and organizational characteristics (such as grantmaking and capacity building) among the different community foundation-type institutions in different countries. Culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, are all big issues that have caused particular problems across Asia. Because of this, it seems to me that these Asian-based community foundations try hard and are perhaps more outspoken in their missions of pluralism, inclusiveness, and targeting non-discriminative approaches and aims. Community philanthropy in Asia is not yet strong enough in terms of asset and numbers, but it is certainly rising as an important force. It matters because change or transformation should be led and done by the community itself.

Yes, I learnt the importance of grantmaking, community leadership, community money and cause, and capacity building within community foundations, which are very important for growing community foundations in Indonesia. Although the term “community foundation” is not familiar in Indonesia, there are similar types of institutions (although they tend to involve less grantmaking, community leadership and capacity building). I have many ideas as to how to build up my own institution (Social Trust Fund-STF) as well about how to seed and grow community foundations in Indonesia. …In terms of the national context, I think there is an urgent need to transform “traditional” foundations into more community foundation-like institutions.

GFCF: From our grantmaking experience over the last few years, we have observed that although community philanthropy institutions around the world may be quite diverse and operate in very different contexts, some of the particular aspects of their work that bring them together as a distinct cohort include an interest in a) building assets b) building agency of local institutions (often by strengthening them through small grants) and c) building trust across and within different parts of a community. What are your thoughts on this as far as your own institutions are concerned?

Gayatri: I agree with all three points you have mentioned. For FST, it is a top priority right now to build trust within the local community around the notion of civil society and also build assets within the community to support local progressive development projects. It has become important for two reasons. The first is that accessing traditional funds from foreign foundations and donors has become more and more difficult for local NGOs because of both a reduction in international funding and the introduction of new government rules and regulations that restrict access to such funding. Secondly, we feel it is important for people of the region to own the responsibility of development of the region and peace building in the region. There are many local institutions that are doing remarkable work for the region. They need support from the local people to sustain their work. Otherwise they will always find themselves flowing against the tide. So even for us, building assets, building agency of local institutions and building trust are key priorities – all of which need to take place within the framework of a rights based approach.

Nhu: LIN’s approach to community philanthropy indeed seeks to achieve all three of the objectives you mentioned:

(1) We build assets in our community by attracting and pooling resources from as many sources as possible to address the needs in our community.

(2) We build agency of local nonprofits not only via small grants but also by other means, including the creation of organizational development tools, peer working groups, workshops, introductions to skilled volunteers and information sharing.

(3) We are working to build trust across and within different parts of our community by being transparent about our activities, income and expenditures and proactively communicating what we are doing to as many people as possible. We are also trying to support our local non-profit partners that want to do the same.

Amelia: Yes, these three are very important to us. They are inter-related: trust, agency and assets. Social Trust Fund chooses to start from building trust. We are very new organization, almost two years old. Trust aspect is very important to us, and it is explicitly stated as name of our institution. Trust should be started from our internal institution (staff, board, activities) and then transformed to our wider programs and communities. Based on trust, we build agency and we build our assets.

Read more PJSP Coordinator, Chandrika Sahai’s blog here and Drishana Kalita’s (Drishana is a staff member at FST) here. Also on the PJSP Network’s website is an interview with Sumitra Mishra, Country Director, at iPartner India, who talks about the unique and important role of “intermediary” organisations and their “value added” in the process of philanthropic giving

Share your views in the planning process for a Global Summit on Community Philanthropy!

The first “global symposium” for community foundations was held in Berlin in 2004.  This was widely regarded as a successful meeting, and many people have subsequently suggested that it should be repeated. Although there have been discussions about doing this, and a group of people met in Belfast in March 2009 to discuss the possibility, the idea only began to take shape in September 2012, when a group of people met at the Council on Foundations’ Community Foundation conference in New Orleans.

The purpose of this paper is to develop the agenda for the “Global Summit on Community Philanthropy” to be held either in 2015 or 2016. It is  intended as the beginnings of a “background paper”.  The final version of the paper will determine the character the summit meeting itself, but, before the paper can play this role, it needs to go through an iterative process so that it has wide ownership by the field.  For this reason, the paper will be used to consult widely about what is planned for the summit and periodically revised to take account of comments received.

Read the full paper