Foundations whose aim is to achieve social and institutional change must have clear strategies. In this article we argue that in democratic societies grant-giving should not be the driving agenda for these foundations; rather it should be part of a much broader strategy, which might include direct implementation of programmes, especially in the field of advocacy, and using the foundation’s convening power to bring various stakeholders together. This was the conclusion the Roma Education Fund (REF) came two over its first two years of operation. The Fund is now trying to find the right balance between supporting local or national initiatives through grants and playing a direct role in advocacy, building knowledge, and influencing policies.
How the Roma Education Fund came about