The Trust for Civil Society in Central & Eastern Europe announces the award of a one-year grant to the Ekopolis Foundation
). The grant in the amount of $83,000 shall support a project focused on analysis of and advocacy for increased public funding of watchdog, advocacy and public policy NGOs.
As most of other CEE countries, Slovakia is lacking domestic funding sources for advocacy, watchdog and public policy activities of NGOs. While some of the activities of the non-profit sector in social services delivery are developing access to local philanthropic giving or contracting from public sources, activities related to the public policy development and advocacy and watchdog activities are scarcely supported from domestic sources. In the past, various efforts were undertaken by the non-profit community aimed at fostering independent domestic funding of critical roles of NGOs. These activities included an initiative for endowing foundations from revenues from privatization (2001/2002) or charitable lotteries (2004). While substantial new domestic funding emerged thanks to tax assignation mechanism (2002-2004), its impact on the above described NGOs appears to be limited.
The goal of the project is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of advocacy, watchdog and public policy activities of NGOs for further development of Slovakia; explore existing and various new potential sources of public funding of this type of NGOs. The project shall be implemented in an inclusive way in co-operation of funders involved in supporting the advocacy, watchdog and public policy activities of NGOs, as well as NGOs fulfilling these roles. The CEE Trust in Slovakia
The CEE Trust is currently engaged in a strategic review process that was launched in 2004. This review is mainly prospective and formative. Its purpose is to look at the strategic strength, cohesiveness, and performance of the CEE Trust in order to help the Board and staff make decisions about future strategy. The review covers the broad areas of: the (perceived) purpose and strategy of the CEE Trust; significant contextual changes that impact on the future CEE Trust strategy; the role and focus of the CEE Trust in relation to other funding streams; views on overall CEE Trust performance, approach, and culture; and preliminary readings on the CEE Trust's added value and impact. The CEE Trust anticipates being able to communicate any changes in the strategy and related activities and operations that arise from the review process by late spring or summer 2005.
Once these broader decisions concerning the CEE Trust's strategic framework for future work in the region have been taken, the CEE Trust will consider the scope and content of its future involvement in Slovakia - including concrete objectives and activities.
In the mean time, the CEE Trust decided to provide support to the Ekopolis Foundation in view of the urgency of the issue and the opportunity to achieve impact; as well as the inclusiveness of the initiative itself.