Dejan Peric

picture of dejan peric

Executive director, :Step Forward CF, Zajecar, Serbia,,

Key characteristics and information about the CFs and community philanthropy in your country:

Community philanthropy in Serbia is underdeveloped. SFCF is the very first genuine community foundation. While there are examples of local foundations, their focus is very narrow, covering just one area of social problems, without broader approach to community development. Also, such local foundations mainly do not deal with development of community philanthropy. There is an obvious lack of initiatives aiming to mobilize local resources and develop community philanthropy. Examples of significant individual giving, corporate philanthropy or income generating activities at the local level are extremely rare. Further, there are no initiatives for the establishment of CF networks. Hence, SFCF perceive itself as pioneer in this field, that could serve as a model for other similar initiatives in the country.

Area of your particular interest in the CF development/ CF management/ practice:

Having in mind that SFCF was only recently established, I am particularly interested in hearing examples of successful CF practices in the following fields: Capacity building and organizational development of CF’s; Approaches to development of individual philanthropy; Innovative methods of fundraising; Segmentation of obtained funds and financial self-sustainability; Networking of CF’s and Constituency building. Since our foundation was founded by ZI, which has been operating for 12 years, I will be more than happy to share our experiences of establishing a CF with all participants.

Your experience with the CFs and your professional relevance to the theme of CFs:

CSO Zajecar Initiative (ZI) has established Step Forward community foundation (SFCF) in February 2013 as an instrument for more effective community philanthropy development, fundraising and investing in Eastern Serbia development. With its activities, SFCF is focused on the Timok Region, aiming to support citizens to shape the local communities according to their needs and wants. In ZI, I was actively involved in all activities related to community philanthropy development and grantmaking, one of the three strategic directions of ZI. ZI has been particularly working on development of individual philanthropy, as well as on corporate philanthropy development, dealing with local SMEs. ZI is implementing 4 small-grants (re-granting) programs in cooperation with different donors: Transformer, Renewal!, Cultivation and ZI-man’s legacy fund.