Call for participation – Community Foundation Study Visit to Latvia

Join a group of 12 European community foundation practitioners to collectively explore the experience and practice of community philanthropy of our Latvian colleagues. 

The CF study visit is a one-week long, intensive learning program that brings a group of community foundation (CF) and CF support organization (CFSO) practitioners and thinkers from different European countries to one country to meet and interact with several community foundations for the purpose of mutual learning and reflection. The host country of the 2018 edition of the ECFI Community Foundation Study Visit will be Latvia and its partner in organizing the study visit is the Community Foundation Movement of Latvia.

Participation in the study visit is determined through an open process involving an expression of interest and selection based on the applicant’s potential to benefit from the Study Visit and contribute to shared knowledge building about the field in Europe. This call for participation is open to a limited number of participants (12) that form a diverse group of learners (staff, board members, volunteers, donors) from existing CFs, emerging CF initiatives, CF support organizations, national CF associations/federations, as well as relevant experts and researchers from Europe.

ECFI is seeking applications from participants that are curious to understand how CFs work in other parts of Europe, interested in learning and personal development, willing to actively share their own experiences and insights and to contribute to knowledge development in the area of CF practice. Good working level knowledge of English and interest in developing relationships with other peers are necessary prerequisites. It is also required that within 6 months of the study visit, participants produce a personal reflection from the study visit in a form of blog, essay, commentary or video blog and share it with the community of learners involved in prior learning events.


Interested applicants are expected to express their interest in an on-line form that includes writing a short essay (one page maximum) about how they view the leadership role of a community foundation in their context.

The application form for expressing interest to participate is now available. This form should be completed by 25 June.

Apply here

Selection of participants will be done by organizers after consideration of the following:

  • Potential to benefit from the Study Visit;
  • Potential to contribute to shared knowledge building about the field in Europe;
  • Diversity of the group.

The organizers will cover the cost of the accommodation (5 nights), meals, venues, travel within Latvia and the organizing costs. In addition to covering their own health insurance for the visit to Latvia, we invite participants to participate in the costs of attendance by covering their own travel costs (airfare) to/from Latvia. ECFI is nevertheless prepared to provide a travel scholarship of up to 300 EUR in substantiated cases based upon a written request.

If you are interested in joining the 2018 study visit to Latvia, please fill-in the form by 25 June to confirm your interest. We will review all complete responses and will come back to you with a confirmation around the end of June. Please be aware that the number of places is limited. Organizers reserve the right to make the final decision on participation.


From 17-22 September 2018, the Latvian Community Foundation Movement and ECFI (European Community Foundation Initiative) will hold a weeklong study visit to Latvia. Its purpose is to provide a space for reflection on Latvia’s context and its experience in articulating CF roles, practices and approaches to address community issues and challenges. Particular attention will be paid to how dialogue across the community and the convening of local actors can be encouraged.

Latvia has a vibrant community foundation movement with 9 active CFs. Latvia is the only country in the Baltic States in which community foundations have taken root and which can reflect on 15 years of achievement in this realm. In the European context, community foundations in the Nordic tier of countries are quite rare, making Latvia a particularly interesting case as well for its combination of specific cultural and political traditions and influences. Visits will be made to community foundations in two different communities – Valmiera and Alūksne – and will look particularly at the ways Latvian communities address their issues and challenges and explore the leadership roles CFs play in these processes.

The CF study visit typically consists of a series of meetings and visits at the host CFs that provide the background for intensive debates and reflective discussions among the study visit participants and with their hosts in various formal and informal settings and formats.

The study visit to Latvia will be the eighth study visit. Preceding visits were conducted to Bulgaria (2010), Czech Republic (2011), Poland (2012), Romania (2013), Slovakia (2014), London and Northern Ireland (2015) as part of an initiative of the C. S. Mott Foundation. The 2016 study visit to Germany, 2017 visit to Great Britain and this years’ visit have been organized by the European Community Foundation Initiative (ECFI) as part of its peer learning activities for CFs and CF Support Organizations in Europe based on funding from the C.S.Mott Foundation, Körber Stiftung, and Bosch Stiftung.

Confirmed participants will be encouraged to arrange their travel to arrive in Riga no later than by the afternoon of Monday, September 17 and depart from Riga on Saturday, September 22. Transfers between Riga Airport and Valmiera/Alūksne will be arranged. Organizers will provide detailed agenda and logistical information one month before the start of the study visit.

We hope you will be interested in joining us and contributing to collective learning in the growing field of community philanthropy. To learn more, please consult the ECFI website for more information or direct any questions you may have to Boris Strečanský, ECFI Peer Learning Expert at 


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