Local Community Development Foundation is the first Community Foundation in Macedonia with established philanthropy program since 2007. LCDF starts programme to strengthen organizations’ abilities to practice, build and advocate for community philanthropy as an important element within broader efforts to #ShiftThePower.
The main goals of the project are:
- To strengthen capacities of youth organizations and non-formal groups to practice and build community philanthropy;
- To promote solidarity and community philanthropy as a response to the COVID-19 crisis;
- To establish a youth-led concept for community mobilization and local philanthropy;
- To foster people-led development and self-reliance for solving community issues;
The objective of the project is to encourage the local community to work together as a community in overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The concept will introduce a youth-led development approach for community mobilization and philanthropy. As an innovative youth-led concept it encourages youth organizations and young people to become active community mobilizers who will lead the positive changes in the local community. They will be the community leaders who will organize and mobilize the community to face together the negative effects from the COVID-19 crises. As a concept, it focuses on promoting solidarity, self-reliance and local philanthropy as an answer to the crises. It changes the narrative from “someone else is responsible” to “us - the community is responsible” to overcome the crisis.
The concept gives the youth organizations and young people a decision-making power in all phases of the project cycle management (planning, mobilizing, gathering funds, re-granting and monitoring). This concept is strengthening organizations’ abilities to build and advocate for community philanthropy, providing them with mechanism for solving burning local issues, not only now when facing COVID-19, but in the future as well. It helps to promote local philanthropy and shift the power to the local community encouraging people-led development and self-reliance for solving community issues.
The proposed plan of work has five (5) phases:
First phase will focus on recruitment and mobilization of youth organizations, non-formal groups and young people for introducing the concept of community philanthropy and Community Foundation, methodology of fundraising and community engagement. A target of this phase will be young enthusiasts that are active in the community and are committed to undertake actions for mobilizing and solving problems the community is facing.
Once the core of youth is created, second phase will focus on capacity building of the selected youth organizations and/or non-formal groups. As a result, the participants will gain better understanding, knowledge and skills on how to develop and implement community philanthropy plan and mobilize the community for solving local community issues as well as project management skills in order to ensure their ability to implement the philanthropy plans without demanding long term support.
The third phase will be an upgrade of the capacity development programme and will enable experiential, evidence based learning. The established youth core will have to develop and implement a philanthropy campaign in order to mobilize the wider community. The campaign will aim to change the narrative from “someone else” to “us – the community” and to promote solidarity and self-reliance as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. Having in mind the situation, the campaign will mostly focus online, using online tools and concepts and (if appropriate) offline methods. It will encourage immediate response work of the local community in order to address the consequences of the crises, but also will raise awareness about the importance of solidarity and self-reliance in the future. Additionally, the campaign will promote a youth-led approach for community philanthropy and mobilization, thus will enable more representatives of the business sector and the larger community to understand the concept and to practice community philanthropy.
The fourth phase will establish a connection circle between the business sector and wider local community with the most affected subjects from the COVID-19 crisis. The idea is not to establish a charity or humanitarian aid, but to establish a community-giving circle and organized support to the short-handed ones in the community. It will foster local philanthropy and help the local community to overcome the crisis. The ownership of the whole process will be given to the previously trained youth core, which will facilitate the connection circle. They whole process, including methodology development and monitoring & evaluation will be led by them, entrusting them a bigger decision-making responsibility.
The last phase will be monitoring and evaluation of the campaign and its effects. This phase will close the circle of project management and prepare the youth for the next one. It will give the young leaders an opportunity to detect the “bottlenecks” in the implementation and to learn lessons that will be valuable for improvement of the future activities. Moreover, the youth core will be focused on monitoring and evaluation of the full cycle, which will give them the opportunity to further improve their fundraising capacities and develop more successful activities in the future re-granting cycles. This face is mostly focused on self-assessment and evaluation of the youth core in order to better understand and build their capacities for the future circles.
During the last three phases, gained knowledge and skills will be tested in practice, thus the youth organizations and young people can see the real value of the learned skills. This will also help them to understand the importance of their involvement in the decision-making processes, not only when it comes to their needs as youth, but also to the needs of the wider community.