Danko Nikolić

photo of Danko Nikolić

Executive Director, Zajecar initiative (Western Balkans CF Initiative), Zajecar, Serbia, E-mail: dankon@zainicijativa.org

What are your expectations from participating in this particular study trip to Germany?

I find the Study Trip potentially useful for facilitating relationship building between German CF and those from Western Balkans. Such a relationship could have various forms (bilateral internships and exchanges, know how sharing etc.). Generally, as contexts in Germany and Western Balkan countries are very different, simple replication of models and approaches might not be possible. However I firmly believe that successful practices of German CF can be used as an inspiration, lessons learned and even rolemodels for their counter-parts in the Balkans. When it comes to the specific topics, it would be good to know how community boards of German CF are structured and how they are functioning as well as, what strategies are applied to ensure the community legitimacy of CFs. I am also very interested to learn more about the way that German Association of Community foundations is working, particularly about the services and assistance that it provides to its members. Similarly, it would be good to know about the forms of collaboration between individual CF in Germany within (or even
outside) this Association if any. Finally, experience in working with German-based CF support organisations, particularly in terms of assistance provided, will be highly appreciated.

What specific questions related to your work or to CF practice do you ask yourself?

What are specific dynamics within a community that could boost or even undermine a cultural of giving (money, time) of individuals? How to engage diaspora members to give to a community that they are originally coming from? What are the most effective approaches to map diaspora? Is the endowment building a dream or a reality for CFs coming from economically disadvantaged regions with less developed philanthropy and giving traditions?

How may your participation in the CF study trip help advance your organization’s development plans?:

The first and foremost, I believe that my participation in the CF Study Trip could be beneficial for the planning process of emerging Western Balkans Community Foundations Development Initiative. Simply, during the visit, the relevant knowledge will be shared, information and experience that could be useful for planning and structuring the approaches and modalities related to the strengthening of CF sector in Western Balkans. Back home, I will be able to share these informations and experience with other partners involved in the Western Balkans Community Foundations Development Initiative. Also, contacts established with other CF from Germany might be beneficial for this process. Finally, the experience from this Study Trip might also be very useful for the establishment of the membership based association of CFs in Western Balkans, something that Zajecar Initiative is seeking to facilitate.

Where do you see european community foundations in 20 years?

In united Europe 🙂 With established links among each other, built endowments and more effective in addressing the needs of communities they serve.

What are your favourite colour, your favourite meal or your favourite animal?

Colour: Black; Meal: Pizza; Animal: Cat.

Last but not least, your favourite proverb. You can write it down in your mother tongue, but please try to translate the meaning into english:

‚Kaniš li pobijediti, ne smiješ izgubiti‘‘ – ‚‘If you want to win, you must not lose.‘‘ (Alan Ford comic book)