What an absolutely exciting time it is in the philanthropy sector in the Balkans. Since deciding to dedicate a portion of my time to mapping and learning from the new forms of philanthropic practice popping up all around the Balkans, I have found myself in continuously thrilled at each new discovery. Here are a few of my musings…
I have had the privilege of sitting with the founding members of the South-East European Indigenous Grantmakers Network (SIGN) this week in Ohrid as they hammer out their vision and mission and discuss ways of moving philanthropy development forward and spreading their belief that everyone is a philanthropist. The leadership and some staff of BCIF (Serbia), CIRa (Macedonia), Mozaik Foundation (BiH), fAKT (Montenegro) and FIQ (Kosovo) are for the first time comparing and compiling their respective methodologies for training in fundraising, local resource mobilization and community development grantmaking, with the helpful inputs from the VIA Foundation (Czech Republic).
They are also charting out a clear path to achieve a specific set of goals and objectives they have jointly developed to influence and speed the emergence of local-source philanthropy as a key source of social good funding in the region. I believe you will be hearing lots more about the SIGN Network over the next few months as they pursue their strategy and emerge as a collective leading force in our industry.