Welcome to the www.cfpracticelab.org – the space for the community of CF learners, practitioners and researchers that participated in the CF Study Trip Project, or in the learning events of the European Community Foundation Initiative (ECFI).
If you want to use the resources offered on this site (materials from the study trip, reflection papers or other resources) please register to the site as it is a non-public space and we want to keep it so for the time being. By signing-in, you get the full access to all resources at the site.
You can find here various resources on community foundations in Central and Eastern Europe related to the series Study Trips to Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia during 2010 – 2014 held as a part of the C.S.Mott Foundation community foundation learning initiative and also Germany, England and Scotland as a part of the ECFI (European Community Foundation Initiative).
You can use the blogging platform to post your opinions, views, and ideas relevant to the community foundation practice. The site allows us, the CF practitioners and CF support organizations to share news about relevant events in the field. More information about members registered to this site (their backgrounds and interests) can be found in the Members section.
For more information about this site contact Boris Strečanský, Center for Philanthropy/ECFI, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the cfpracticelab.org contact Boris Strečanský, Center for Philanthropy, email@example.com,
About CF Study Trips
The Study Trip to Slovak CFs in September 2014 was the fifth study visit in a row. Preceding visits were paid to CFs in Bulgaria (2010), Czech Republic (2011), Poland (2012) and Romania (2013).
The concept of CF Study Trip consists of combination of several elements:
- learners who are typically practitioners from the CF related areas (CF directors, Board members, CF association and CF support organization professionals) or theorists and academics interested in issues of community philanthropy
- community foundations that hosts the group of learners in their communities
- one week of intensive interaction, observation and conversation among those mentioned above.
The origins of the idea to organize annual CF study trips to different countries in Central and Eastern Europe (so far) where CFs have grown in last two decades can be found in the shared awareness that towards the end of the first decade of 2000 when there has been a vacant regional space (V4 or CIS or Balkans) for sharing and reflecting different developments in this field.
After phasing out of Community Philanthropy Initiative (CPI) meetings hosted by the EFC (European Foundation Center), most of the networking and sharing among practitioners was taking place ad-hoc or on a national, or, if at all, on a sub-regional basis. The impetus for starting this process was given by the Mott Foundation and the Association of Bulgarian CFs. The number and composition of participants proved validity of the concept and visits organized so far. Thus in the past five years, the Mott Foundation funded and facilitated these study trips – in cooperation with the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation and the Association of Bulgarian Community Foundations in 2010, together with the Czech Association of Community Foundations in 2011, with the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland and the Polish Federation of Community Foundations in 2012, with the Association for Community Relations and the Romanian Federation of Community Foundations in 2013, and with the Center for Philanthropy and the Slovak Association of Community Foundations in 2014.
The diversity of countries in Europe, different tempos and approaches of support and development of CFs and the very uniqueness of each community in which CFs have been established, only emphasized a need to stop and reflect of what is it that we see, that we do and that happens around us in order to be able to make more informed and hopefully better decisions in our work. Be it a work for a CF, CF Association, CF Support organization or a donor interested in CFs.
Last but not least, CFs represent a real-life social laboratory of community transformation that deserves reflection by peer practitioners and academic researchers. That is the reason why study trips from early on included participants whose interest and roles were research based.
And it is the combination of the practitioners’ experience with the experience of experts that has been a unique feature of the Study visits so far and their added value to participants.
The study visits have been crafted on the go as an open-end and open-process endeavor that has one common denominator: a genuine interest of their participants to share and to reflect.
The participants include CF practitioners from existing CFs and promising CF initiatives, CF support organizations, national CF associations and federations, experts and researchers interested in issues such as the community cohesion and social capital, and donors supporting community philanthropy.