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Active and Generous Communities


Ţara Făgăraşului








Odorheiu Secuiesc

Community Foundations:

contribute to the transformation of local communities, so that
those communities reach their development potential, based on their
aspirations, resources and opportunities.

help to building active,
generous, and connected communities, with an increasing quality of life.

develop funds starting from
donor concerns and invest the funds
in their communities by offering
grants and scholarships.


of total

In Romania, the first two community
foundations were established six years
ago in Cluj and Odorheiu Secuiesc. The
number of community foundations
increased so that by the end of 2013 there
were 12 active community foundations
(see for more details see the map and
chronology above).
In 2012 the Romanian Federation of Community Foundations was established. Its
role is to represent the community foundations and to support the development
of philanthropy at a national level.

The 2013 report presents the framework,
actors, and results of the National
Program supporting the development of
community foundations in Romania. The
program was initiated by the Association
for Community Relations and had two
stages so far: 2006-2008 and 2009-2013.
The program is now in its third stage
and benefits from the expertise and
involvement of the existing community
foundations. Starting with 2012, the
Romanian Federation of Community
Foundations became a strategic partner
of the National Program.

support the non-profit
organizations, imitative groups, and
individuals from their areas, so that
they implement projects in various
fields, such as education, culture,
environmental protection, and youth

establish an important
connection between donors and local
needs, between people and causes
and ensure that donations have
visible results.

take initiative in developing
dialogue and collaborative platforms
so that communities’ needs and
opportunities are identified.





Active and generous communities


Community Foundations
Alba Community Foundation
Bacău Community Foundation
Bucharest Community Foundation
Cluj Community Foundation
Covasna Community Foundation
Iași Community Foundation
Mureș Community Foundation
Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation
Oradea Community Foundation
Prahova Community Foundation
Sibiu Community Foundation
Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation


The National Program for the development
of Community Foundations


Program partners and supporters



Romanians who have access to a
community foundation (35% of
the total population)

provided in grants and
481,314 USD
scholarships in 2013


Supporters of the activities of
the Community Foundations,
especially the users of community card in Covasna, Mureș and
Odorheiu Secuiesc.
Volunteers involved directly by

1,559 the community foundations in
community initiatives.

financed by community
321 Projects
awarded by the
174 Scholarships
community foundations
Community projects

53 implemented by community

12 Active community foundations
4 Community
established in 2013
funds in Reghin and
2 Regional
Cristuru Secuiesc.


Active and Generous

in Romania?
Eight years ago, during the pilot phase of
the community foundations program, that
was the key question we felt we needed
to answer. Based on the international
experience with community foundations
we wanted to show what was the potential
role such foundations could play in the
Romanian context. It goes without saying
that some of those roles we could only
partially understand, while another part was
simply hypothetical at that specific moment.
Now, the Romanian community foundations
movement has reached twelve community
foundations and each of these foundations
has a specific experience within its community. I think that this is a good moment to
return to the initial question and to reflect
on it, relying on the experience the community foundations have gathered.
I was inspired to do so by the reflections
of several of the community foundations
leaders, whom I had asked several questions
about the role of the foundations, the reactions of the local donors, partners and beneficiaries of community foundations, some
of whom I had met during the international
visit in September 2013. In 2013 Romania

hosted an international study visit organized
by C.S. Mott Foundation, an important global supporter of community foundations. We
had the opportunity to hear the reflections
of the practitioners and researchers in this
field who were coming from Central and
Eastern Europe, South Africa and the USA.
It’s really possible and it’s possible to do
it well!
The first campaign that stimulated the
development of community foundations
started from the idea “If you want to do
good, do it well.” The second campaign
addressed those who “wanted to turn
good deeds into a life-style.” Both slogans
touch upon essential aspects of the activity
of community foundations. Doing good
through involvement in community can
generate excellent and durable results if
those involved are consistent, learn from
one year’s or one event’s experience, and
apply what has been learned in current
and future practice. The second important
aspect is that the community foundation’s
activities need to be well organized, and
to have quality management that offers a
useful, interesting, and pleasant experience
for those who are involved in donating or
building successful community initiatives.
Consistency and a quality management
are essential in building and sustaining
trust within community. After each activity,
participants can ask and receive information
about what happened next and can find
new ways to increase their involvement.
Following a successful event, the
community waits impatiently for the next
event it can be part of.

The community foundations support those
people from the community who are generous and responsible and who search for
a credible framework through which they
can get involved and where their involvement brings visible results. We find such
people within each community throughout
Romania, although they may not be visible
because they do not want publicity or have
not found yet an organized framework for
action. It is also possible that there are not
yet sufficient resources and support so that
their involvement had a visible impact.
Or, maybe they do no not trust the ideea
that the actions of a single person could
contribute positively to community life.
Community foundations offer the space for
that trust to be re-built, for those generous
and involved people to approach others
who are similar, so that on the long term the
motivation to continue to be generous and
involved is maintained. Due to such leaders,
other people from the community have
contact with involvement opportunities,
see the positive effects involvement brings
about and, in return, become interested to
be engaged. A virtuous circle is created and
stereotypes like ‘we cannot do it,’‘it’s not up
to us,’ or ‘we do not care about each other’
are one by one, being dismantled.

The testimonies of participants taking
part in community foundations’ programs
that are presented in this report say, in
various forms, the same thing: ‘through my
involvement I discovered that together we
can do much more than I initially had hoped
for. Now I know it is possible. Now I know it
depends on me and on those around me.’
The most common reaction we encountered


understanding of local needs and identifying potential solutions. There are also
challenges related to the way in which
community foundations can stimulate and
support, together with donors and partners,
the talents, resources, and development
within vulnerable groups.

in the study visit of the international practitioners was the following: the community
foundations movement in Romania has a
positive attitude, where the accent falls on
the full part of the glass, on what can be
built and on what can be realized. It is not an
unrealistic attitude; community foundations
understand well the existing challenges, as
well as the costs for building community capacity. Nevertheless, as they are positioned
to have a long term perspective, they realize
that at any given time a step in the right
direction can be made, even if many more
steps are necessary. It is a fresh attitude that
is probably also connected to the young
age of the community foundations, but an
attitude that deserves to be maintained as
much as possible, because based on it, those
who want to be involved in their community
can unite their enthusiasm and optimism
with that coming from the community
foundations’ teams.
The act of giving and receiving, of uniting
efforts with others motivated by the same
ideals, as well as the satisfaction that one’s
efforts have been useful become part of the
everyday practices.
Challenges continue to exist at the level of
sustainability and resources that the foundations can invest in supporting the

Thinking about how to address the abovementioned challenges is important. That is
why the communities of generous, active,
and concerned people the foundations bring
together are relevant. We believe that these
communities of involved people will find
solutions for the challenges of the future,
as their broader communities increase their
resources, strength, and impact.

I believe that community
foundations offer people
a lot of hope that is currently missing and offers
them opportunities to be
involved in creating the
change they wish for.
Bita Zerbeș, Board President,
Cluj Community Foundation

Members of community
need to re-gain the trust
that together they can
change things around
themselves, that they
can have a nicer life
based on their own
efforts. The community foundation is that
catalyzer that helps community to trust itself.
Ciprian Ciocan, Executive Director,
Sibiu Community Foundation

Not just a few initiatives, but a national
2013 was an important year for the national movement of community foundations.
Once with the establishment of four new
foundations in Bacău, Oradea, Prahova,
and Țara Făgărașului, the national coverage
reached 35% of the population. The local
initiatives of each of the foundations are
extremely important, but what strengthens
the community foundations’ movement is
collaboration. Successful initiatives from
one area can be a source of ideas and
inspiration for other areas. Information
exchange and sharing expertise decreases
innovation costs at the level of the movement. Those who enter the network have
access to what has already been built.
Continuity in relationships and active
participation in joint activities are just as
important for the community of foundations as they are for local communities.
The existence of national organizations
that continuously support the community
foundations offers the necessary settings
for exchanging experiences and for
developing joint national programs.

These aspects will be visible in the way
each of the foundations is presented in this
report. Among the programs and funds
of several of the foundations, you will find
initiatives like YouthBank funds, events of
the type swim, run, or bike for your community, giving circles, community card, or
scholarships programs. These are ideas that
can be adapted to the local context and
where local inhabitants participate with
enthusiasm. Community foundations are
closely linked to the local contexts and the
diversity of the approaches and projects
becomes an important resource at the
level of the national network of community
Alina Porumb,
Community Foundations Program Director
Association for Community Relations

In 2013 the Romanian
community foundations
have doubled the value
of their grant-making
funds and started to
become a voice in what
regards support for local
projects. We increase the
number of organizations, as energy, and as
experience in supporting our communities.
I am proud to be a part of this pioneering
movement that I strongly believe will
change the face of our communities.
Alina Kasprovschi, Executive Director,
Bucharest Community Foundation


Only by creating a united community we will
manage to evolve at
a county and national
level, to offer a more
beautiful and normal
life to our children! It
is important to restore
real and normal values in what is now a
more and more confused society. This can
be done only by providing an example and
through diversity in unity. The community foundation is one of the few efficient
mechanisms through which projects that
are really valuable for community are
implemented, having a long-term impact.
It is very important that in 2013 four new
and enthusiastic community foundations
joined the national movement and that
Oradea is among them. In addition, an
important step forward is that the four
foundations joined the Romanian Federation of Community Foundations.
Luminița Popa, Board Vice-president,
Oradea Community Foundation
In 2013 the movement
became truly national.
It surpassed that critical
moment where it now
covers a sufficiently
large geographical area
and undertakes and
implements sufficiently
large funding programs. The movement starts to be relevant
and surely can no longer be ignored.
Ciprian Ciocan, Executive Director,
Sibiu Community Foundation

Community Foundations


Invests in the future!
Alba Community Foundation offers support and
trust for the new generation and for the community. It unites energies and channels resources for
a change for the better.

YouthBank: active youth for community
In 2013 Alba Iulia YouthBank team built a
grant-making fund based on the activities
they proposed and implemented. Funds
were mobilized through events such
as the YouthBank Ball, 1st of December
event, and Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus
events. From this fund 10 youth initiatives
were supported with a total amount of
$6,897. The financed initiatives include
events in various areas such as: theatre, journalism, promoting reading, discovering
the community, and promoting sports, a
healthy life-style, and optimism. During
five years of activity, YouthBank Alba Iulia
financed 47 projects, with a total value of

YouthBank is the perfect definition for friendship, adventure, and project organizing and
implementation. YB gives you the chance to
grow, to know yourself better, and to develop
from all perspectives. It gives you the chance to
present your ideas, having the guarantee that
at a certain moment they will become reality. YB
encourages you to be a human being and to be
a volunteer.

Carmina Jibertean,
Alumna, YouthBank Alba


Projects financed by the end
of 2013:

Total value:

Projects financed
in 2013:


Total value:

Scholarships awarded by the
end of 2013:

Total value:

Scholarships awarded
in 2013:


Total value:

Community projects
implemented by
the end of 2013:

Total value:


Community projects
in 2013:






Total 2013



Total value:

I chose to support YB feeling that there are
not many opportunities out there for youth,
that there are not enough situations where
they are really supported. I am happy I did it;
they did not disappoint me. I will continue to
support them.
Anica Ancău,
General Director, Ancău Company SRL

Your future starts today!
‘Your future starts today!’ is a program
belonging to Alba Community Foundation
and designed to support the young ones
in their education, life-long learning, and
in acquiring entrepreneurial skills. The aim
of the program is to support youth to finish
their studies and facilitate a better insertion
in the labor market.
The Genius Fund for Talent
The Genius Fund has a total value of
$3,116. The amount was raised by organizing two Dinners for Community with
the aim of supporting talented youth with
The Culture Fund
The Fund for Culture aims to support new
cultural initiatives coming from NGOs in
the area served by the Foundation. In 2013
five projects were financed, having a total
value of $3,007. The projects covered aspects such as promoting traditions, theater
plays, a contemporary art camp, and an
experimental archeology project.


Community involvement
Alba Community Foundation is a member
of the STATUS Alba Iulia working group, a
program for shaping an integrated agenda
for urban development. Also, the Foundation joined the campaign ‘The Gendarmerie
101” aimed at promoting safety in schools.
The activity of Alba Community Foundation was recognized at the Alba County
Volunteering Gala 2013 where it receiving
six prizes.

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