The idea behind the grant competition
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 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.
This is why the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland, with the support of Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established the Global Challenges Local Solutions Program (GCLS).
There are 650 community foundations operating in 23 European countries. In our opinion community foundations are the most effective organizations in terms of acting and educating people on the local level. CFs are independent, stabile, transparent, open to changes and flexible: they easily adjust to current needs of local communities; they have considerable impact on community philanthropy and an ability to implement change on the local level. Therefore, they are the best organizations to undertake such activities.
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.