The purpose of the Global Challeneges Local Solutions Program is to support community foundations and local communities throughout Europe to address Sustainable Development Goals on the local level.

Within the Program we:

  1. organize European Grant Competition, to financially support local activities adressing Sustainable Development Goals and to collect good practices,
  2. organize European education campaign showing that SDG-related issues and projects are in every community, and teaching on how to tackle them,
  3. facilitate the European network of community foundations engaged in establishing various activities adressing Sustainable Development Goals locally by organizing themathic groups and international meetings.

In addition, we implement so called donor-adviced funds – projects implemented together with a local partner, mostly focusing on one main SDG-related topic, limited geographically to one or few countries.

Our vision

Local community members all over Europe, in their attitudes and civic activities, as well as consumer choices, are consciously driven by SDGs. As a consequence, comfort of living gets better and the quality of natural environment increases. Community Foundations, along with local donors and beneficiaries, actively support this process. 

Our impact

Between 2017-2022 we distributed 57 grants for the total amount of approximately 700 000 USD. Grants have been awarded to organizations from: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Slovakia, Latvia, Italy, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Republic of Kosovo and Spain. We collected many good practices and published a brochure.

The idea behind the Program

Self-organizing communities supported by local philanthropic resources are key to addressing our societies’ problems and improving quality of life.

Even the biggest, most crucial social problems can be better solved on the local level, in other words starting from the bottom. Or at least ideally they would be solved this way. If there is no support and understanding at the local level, if at the local level leaders are not engaged, they won’t marshal resources towards solutions, and the problems will remain unresolved.

We are strongly convinced that local communities should play the key role in the process of a global problem resolution. It is impossible to solve global issues such as Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,) without grass-root initiatives, run by local communities. Change comes from the bottom-up, so if we want to empower local communities and to encourage them to take part in such process it is needed to foster solidarity by cherishing the values of community philanthropy (tolerance, empathy, care and peace) and to inspire them by promoting good practice.

However, the activities undertaken by local communities need an outside support to make them sustainable and effective. Such support can be offered by community foundations (CFs) and community philanthropy organizations – the institutions that harness local resources, but they also channel social capital and provide community leadership for change. They play a role of a major engine of community philanthropy. They can serve as tutors and guides who share best practice and the variety of methods for solving social issues with local communities.

There is a huge potential!

There are approximately 650 community foundations (CFs) in 23 European countries (however, in 12 countries there are just one or two CFs and, on the other hand, the number of CFs in UK and Germany totals 420 CFs)  and many community philanthropy organizations that differ from the CF’s model, but (as e.g. the organizations from the Act Locally Program) have big influence on the community philanthropy.

Donors are hesitant to support innovative initiatives of community foundations because they are considered risky investments; obtaining finances for the technical assistance shall be equally difficult. Based on it and our experience within V4 Community Foundations Maturity Program we have learned the importance of outside support for such organizations, which serves as the impulse for the development and change in local communities and this is why we decided to organize Global Challenges Local Solutions Fund – long-term funding program to provide small grants to community foundations throughout Europe for the purpose of identifying and implementing local solutions to global challenges. Projects implemented by our grantees need to refer to Sustainable Development Goals.

Let’s keep in touch!

In 2023 we launch the next stage of the Global Challenges Local Solutions Program. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first who will hear the great news!

Join us!

You are more than welcome to join the Program as a partner! Find out more here.


We support community foundations, as well as other local philanthropic organizations both from Poland and from other European countries since 1998.

In 1998 the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland started supporting the CF movement in Poland. The “Local Philanthropy Development Program” included training sessions and financial support for emerging CFs. The Academy facilitated the process of drafting the first set of standards of Polish community foundations (CF). As a result of the program, 20 CF were established. In 2001, the first 12 CFs set up the Network of Polish CF, and agreed upon a set of common standards and elected governing body.

Moreover, we have also established (with the support of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation), a network of Local Grant Organizations (now called Act Locally Centers) – community philanthropy organizations that are partners of the ‘Act Locally’ program. Currently, there are over 77 of them in the network. Thanks to the Academy’s grants they have supported over thirteen thousand local projects.

Beginning in 2007 we entered into a new phase of our activities by starting Academy’s first international program thanks to the support of Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe. V4 Community Foundation Maturity Program has been supporting the development of community foundations in the Visegrad countries. The Program started from the research, based on which we invited the CFs from Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. In the Program there are 35 CFs invited to participate in: (5 Czech, 8 Slovak, 2 Hungarian and 20 Polish). From 2007 to the end of 2014, we allocated almost one million USD to the V4 CFs, including: 74 institutional grants for 31 CFs, and 67 travel grants for 27 CFs.

In 2013 we also measured the CFs’ development in numbers. You can find full results of our research on our website along with the research summary: Over 40 000 grants and scholarships were allocated into communities. The amount of 30 million USD was invested into local projects. The amount of over 53 million USD was raised for activities. CFs have built endowments for the total amount of almost 8.5 million USD.

Visit our website: http://filantropia.org.pl/eng


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