Highlights in 2015
CFSP worked with six organising groups with diverse memberships working to establish community foundations in their communities (in Debrecen, Dunakanyar, Gödöllő, Miskolc, Nyíregyháza and Pécs). in April, 2015, we originally selected seven groups, but one decided to leave the programme in June. We strived to work that allowed diversity within and across the organising groups while it also encouraged 1) board development, 2) strategic thinking and planning their own development, and 3) autonomous and co-operative relations with CFSP and other organising groups/CFs. Over the year, the organising groups built their understanding of the concept and the practical operation of CFs through residential meetings, workshops, study trips to visit CFs in the region, attending international conferences, one-to-one personal consultations and phone/skype-calls with members of CFSP.
CFSP supported Ferencváros Community Foundation (FCF) with a grant of €6,500 to develop programmatically and organisationally. Our support enabled FCF to venture into new areas such as organising the first Donor Circle in the country, plan new large-scale community projects like a Swimathon (a well-established community fundraising method in the neighbouring countries, but new to Hungary) while CFSP’s support also contributed to ensureing the smooth operation of FCF by covering some of the core costs.
Having completed the first part of our work, we published two English-language articles (in the newsletter of the Global Fund for Community Foundations and on Alliance Magazine’s blog) to provide a detailed account of the work of CFSP. Among other things, we highlighted that the organising groups embrace community foundations as more than just new non-profits. They see them as institutions that are ‘different’ to what one is used to in Hungary: they are transparent, credible institutions are built on voluntary contributions from the community; independent of the local government and beyond party politics; they bring in a new culture of giving based on relationships – as opposed to transactions – both for local wealthy people and those who have left the community or the country. Last but not least, community foundations put into practice words like local democracy, self-determination and responsibility.
As the Hungarian partner, CFSP participated in the international project ‘Community foundations’ role in building civil society – change comes from the bottom up’. The project looked at the contribution of community foundations’ through their leadership role, values promoted (such as social solidarity, nurturing the common good) and their work with local donors. The debate organised for community foundation’s leaders, experts and practitioners in Krakow in November focused on the possible future directions and roles of community foundations in the Czech and Slovak republics, Hungary and Poland. The publication produced in the framework of the project will be ready in early spring. The project was implemented by the Academy for the Development in Philanthropy in Poland in partnership with the Association of Slovak Community Foundations, the Czech Association of Community Foundations, the Federation of Polish Community Foundations and CFSP and supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the C. S. Mott Foundation.