As regular readers of this column will know, the WINGS-CF network has always been keenly engaged in the support of the community foundation field. Thanks to a generous decision by the World Bank, WINGS is now moving into a new area of support for the field.
In June 2005 the World Bank, through its Development Grants Facility, made a commitment for a three-year grant to WINGS (through its host body the European Foundation Centre) to start a Global Fund for Community Foundations to promote the development of community foundations in Bank client countries – primarily therefore in the global South. The Global Fund will provide grants for technical assistance and capacity-building to community foundations in their early stages; seed funding and challenge grants; opportunities for study visits, regional gatherings and training events; and monitoring and evaluation. The Bank’s grant needs to be matched 4:1. To date, four funders have made a sufficient commitment to the Fund to allow programmes to start. While WINGS is only focusing on the next three years at this stage, it hopes to use the period to explore the feasibility of creating a longer-term fund.
At this point the Fund is still at its earliest stage: committees are being set up and regional advisers selected, and staff will be recruited shortly. By early 2006, WINGS hopes to have invited proposals and attracted interest from community foundation in the target countries.
Several community foundations in the North are planning to make grants to build up the Fund and WINGS will follow up any leads to other potential donors. Some donors are asking that their money be focused on specific regions, a request with which WINGS is happy to comply. WINGS will keeps its network and the wider philanthropy field informed on progress, particularly once the grants programmes are available and proposals have been invited.
For more information about the Global Fund, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on WINGS, contact Gaynor Humphreys, Director, at email@example.com
WINGS (Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support)
c/o European Foundation Centre, 51 rue de la Concorde, Brussels B-1050, Belgium
Tel + 32 2 512 8938
Fax + 32 2 512 3265