Good Practices

Local solutions participatory events in Usti

CF: Ústecká Komunitní Nadace

Project name: Local solutions events series

Grant round: I

The general strategy for the implementation of this project was to organize four “Local solution participatory events”, one for each of the four global challenges relevant to our region. The theme of each event (SDG) and so the call of proposals corresponding with the topic was communicated to the general public in advance using the Foundation’s own communication channels and through local media. To each event we have invited local initiatives to present their project – how to contribute the global challenge solution at the local level. Potential local donors who address the topic were invited to each event as a Grant Committee. The projects that received financial support from the Grant Committee’s members own resources were selected according to the presentation of the leaders of the local initiatives and following discussion.

The main expectation of the project was to make members of the local community behave responsibly in the spirit of the motto “think globally, act locally” in their everyday life. Although it takes a longer time to evaluate such complex changes, engaging more than thirty leaders, and supporting more than twenty projects, we consider it to be a successful start of this change in the behaviour of local people.

A little behind our expectations remained interest of the general public about the project´s activities. Although all the events of the project “Exchange of good ideas” were communicated towards the public, the response in the form of participations of the events remained behind our expectations. On the other hand, some of the supported projects had great response of the general public (for example: The project RE-VIZE ÚSTÍ, who organized 4 discussion events about local topics had 200-300 people at each event).

On the contrary, because of the project “Exchange of good ideas” we decided to change some internal mechanisms of foundation grantmaking. We want to use this format of the immediate interaction between the community leader applicant and the local donor judge that took place in the project “Exchange of good ideas”. We consider it as beneficial for both to the donor who creates authentic ideas about the supported project and to the applicant who creates a moral commitment to implement the project to a person who has put his trust in it.

Supporting local grass roots initiatives was one of the key activities for us. By doing systematic small bottom-ups (21 projects), they contributed to find the solution of the challenges in 5 SDGs and they have helped to change the perception of the global challenge to the public in the region where we serve. As the impact we managed to find existing players and initiate and support the creation of the new grass-root initiatives and their collaboration and make them actively look for local responses to global challenges. We helped to strenghten their leaders (34) through assistance-training support.We considered SDG 4: “Quality Education” as a crucial challenge in our community. As the impact of the project we contributed to strengthen teachers’ skills (9 projects for 50 teachers) and skills to help improve the quality and attractiveness of primary and secondary school education in the region.

We see the impact in Community Philanthropy Development matching local needs with philanthropic interests. We helped to slightly increase donor interest in Global Challenges (SDGs).  For the first time we tried to engage corporate and individual donors into co-responsibility for addressing local priorities with global challenges using new tool based on principles of participatory fundraising (as a pilot we engaged 12 local donors).

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