At the end of April 2003, the Polish Parliament passed a landmark new Law on Public Benefit Activities and Voluntarism. It is expected that the Law will be signed by the President. The passage of this Law is a major victory for the Polish foundation and association sector.
In recent years, the term trust has made a notable entry into the discourse of the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). On the one hand, it has been observed that transition countries are characterized by low levels of trust in society. As a result, interest has arisen in those aspects of democratic life that are beyond institutions, such as culture, values and trust. On the other hand, and seemingly unrelated, the term has signalled a new form of philanthropic institution. The recent emergence of several such entities indicates a new trend in American support for civil society and democracy in the region.
When I was asked to write this article, my instructions were to talk about local 'regranting' organizations such as the African Women's Development Fund (AWDF). I cringed when I heard the word. My difficulty with the word is not rooted in semantics, but in what I feel is the distortion of the mission, values and legitimacy of organizations that are set up to support philanthropy and development in local communities in very specific ways.
The Center for the Study of Philanthropy is pleased to inform about two international fellowship opportunities - a new Senior International Fellows pilot program in fall 2004, as well as ongoing International Fellows Program in spring 2004.
Veronika Mora ( Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation.)
The Romanian Donors' Forum (RDF)has decided to register itself as a federation of members - a process that should be completedin late autumn this year.Currently the Forum is operating as an informalgroup, hosted by one of its members, the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation. RDF was initiated in November 1999 as an informal network of grantmakers with the aim of sharing information, promoting organized philanthropy and encouraging good and transparent grantmaking practice.There are 17 currentmembersrepresenting bilateral, multilateral and private grantmakers. Of the 11 private foundations, four are foreign and seven are local.
A constituent assembly of donor organizations active in Bulgaria met on 25 September 2003 in Sofia and agreed to launch the Bulgarian Donors Forum (BDF). The goal of the BDF is to contribute to sustainable development of NGOs in Bulgaria through improving environment in which NGOs operate and strengthening own regulation and harmonizing donors' policies. Membership is now open to organizations that provide annual grants in excess of 5,000 EUR and accept the Forum's Code of Ethics. Ginka Kapitanova, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Local Government Reform became the Chair of the BDF Board of Directors. Vessela Gertcheva was appointed the BDF Executive Director. For more information, contact Vessela Gertcheva at
Presentation delivered at the plenary session of the Grantmakers East Group annual meeting Bratislava, 23 and 24 October 2003
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, has announced that it is renewing its commitment to Central/Eastern Europe, Russia, and South Africa.