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What we do?

LEAD and LEVER - pillars of action

ECFI will achieve its goal of building a supportive infrastructure for the development and strengthening of CF networks in Europe through two pillars of action.

LEAD - LEArning & Development pillar

  • Engage CFs and CF support organizations in peer learning and knowledge exchange programmes to build cross-border CF contacts and improve CF practice on local and regional levels.
  • Map current CF practices to better understand the varying needs and opportunities for CFs and CF support organizations across the continent.
  • Organize a biannual conference (to be hosted by UKCF in 2017) as a space for sharing skills and ideas, establishing connections between CFs and developing strategies for future CF development within and beyond Europe.

LEVER - LEVERage pillar

  • Ensure the long-term security and sustainability of CFs and their initiatives through the education and engagement of current and potential donor communities.
  • Promote CFs by highlighting the evidence-based benefits of CF’s work and the advantages of a strong civic sector.

Mapping and analysis

ECFI will undertake investigative projects to understand how CFs are currently working across Europe, variations at regional and local levels, and how ECFI can best serve European CFs and their support organizations in the future. This analysis will be pursued in coordination with several partners and CF support organizations in order to obtain an accurate understanding and avoid duplicating existing information. The initial focus is to gain a comprehensive overview of CF activities in Europe. Moving forward, efforts will be widened to include the identification of potential partnerships with researchers or other experts and people not yet aware of or engaged with community foundations. This information will serve as a major resource to assist CFs and help ECFI to promote CF work in the LEAD pillar of action.

Bi-annual conference

In 2017, UK Community Foundations (UKCF) will expand its bi-annual national conference to offer an opportunity for a pan-European conference for community foundations. The European Community Foundation Conference will be a platform to share experiences, discuss present challenges and opportunities, and initiate future joint activities across the European and broader CF network.

Donor engagement, community foundation advocacy and promotion

ECFI sees an opportunity to assist the European CF network through increased promotion of the successes and benefits of a strong civic sector by engaging with and building long-lasting donor relationships and advocating for community foundations to play an important part in Europe’s future. These ambitions will be guided and informed by the needs identified in our work with CFs Europe-wide. The information and relationships that arise from ECFI’s other platforms will be invaluable in these efforts and will provide the tools to harness support for CF initiatives for decades to come.

Anja Böllhoff

Co-ordinating Director

Further information