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Community-Foundation-to-Community-Foundation (CF2CF) exchanges provide the necessary framework and space for a fruitful mixture of communication, learning end experiences. They are, so to speak, a real-life social laboratory, and like all good labs, they are experimental and hope to bring fruitful results. These cannot always be precisely defined and classified, but on the whole they help participants and their organizations to learn, grow and become stronger in their communities and together better address key challenges of our times in Europe, and throughout the world.

CF2CF exchanges are designed to improve participants’ understanding of other European communities and the work of community foundations by visiting these regions, entering into a fruitful dialogue, learning from each others’ experience and building long-term professional relations and friendships. CF2CF exchanges have following characteristics:

Number of participants:  Groups of approx. 3-5 people are visiting.

Eligible applicants:  Due to regulatory limitations, applying organization may be only an organization located in a member country of the European Union. The partner organization may be from any other European country in a broader sense of Europe as a shared cultural and geographical space. 

Reciprocal approach: As is typical for an exchange, the learning results are mutual. When possible, we encourage therefore reciprocal visits where the exchange visit from country A to country B will be followed by a return visit from country B to country A. 

Repeated visits: A CF2CF Exchange is not limited to one time per year and can be repeated.

Emphasis on practice: Participants are community foundation or community foundation support organization practitioners – staff, board members, founders or volunteers.  

Personal initiative: Participating CFs or CFSOs have to decide on a suitable partner themselves. ECFI team can help in identifying possible partners using its networks and contacts.

Reporting:  Program and financial report are required two months after the completion of the final exchange. Commitment to communicate on the exchange using variety of media (video, photo, blogs) and channels is strongly encouraged.

The CF2CF exchange on the average lasts 3–5 days, but is not limited to this. We encourage applicants to be creative and make their own suggestions. Likewise, co-funding suggestions are welcome, since the programme can offer a maximum contribution of EUR 4,000 per application.

Cultural differences need to be considered. There also has to be a common language (not necessarily English) that everyone involved knows sufficiently well. Participants are encouraged to communicate about their activities via video blogs, pictures, Twitter or other social media.

For 2018, ECFI has planned to support three to five CF2CF exchanges, depending on the levels of funding requested.

CF2CF is open to practitioners from the existing community foundations, promising initiatives and interested groups from countries that do not have this form of community philanthropy but work towards establishing it and also community foundation support organizations. They can be executive directors, staff members, volunteers, founders, or Board members.

The applicant organization must be located within the EU however partner organizations may be from any other European country in a broader sense of Europe as a shared cultural and geographical space. 

All interested organizations must complete the CF2CF application form. The proposed exchange activities should be planned to start approximately 60 days after the deadline for applications and be completed in 6 – 9 months.

There are three deadlines for applications in 2018: 26 February, 4 June and 1 October. Deadlines for 2019 will be announced before the end of 2018.

In a selection process, applications will then be assessed by a committee consisting of ECFI internal and external collaborators. It is based on the following criteria:

  • coherence of the application, quality of reasoning
  • potential contribution to long-term relationship building
  • relevance of proposed agenda for the goals of CF2CF
  • quality of the proposed sequence of activities
  • cost-effectiveness

CFs in Europe are a heterogeneous group of philanthropic organizations, although with many common features and characteristics. Diversity in their context, form and function is not only a challenge both practically and intellectually, but also represents potential for learning and advancement for the field. By understanding how others react in a certain situation, we can extend our range of options for similar challenges in our own environment.

At ECFI we are interested in supporting well-thought and good quality exchange program that enhances mutual learning on how community foundations can better address key challenges of our times in their particular contexts.

The CF2CF exchanges are offered to CFs and CFSOs in Europe as a part of the European Community Foundation Initiative (ECFI). The funding has been generously provided by the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Körber Foundation and the Bosch Foundation. 

Mihaela Giurgiu

Peer Learning Expert

Next deadlines for applications
  1. 25 October 2018
  2. 25 March 2019
  3. 25 October 2019
CF2CF Exchanges 2018
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