The Various Tools and Processes that Community Foundations Use to Improve Practice

Czech Republic14

Supporting the growth of community foundations

The Czech Donors Forum - National Association of Foundations has promoted the growth of the foundation section according to the Foundations and Foundation Funds Act (law no. 227/1997 Sb.).

In 2002, the association put together a Code of Ethics for its members setting out certain principles of ethical behaviour. A membership criteria was also established described as ‘simple, with minimal expectations but revisited yearly for consensus building on the association’s activities.’ The criteria was designed to ensure that potential members are grantmakers providing annually about US $ 8,000 to at least five different entities. Adherence to the Code of Ethics is one of the criteria, however, “policing the foundation community“ should not be pushed too early, the Forum decided. One needs to determine the readiness of members and the environment for this.

In this environment, the four members of the Forum who were community foundations set up the Czech Association of Community Foundations (A.K.N.) in 2006.

A.K.N. and The Community Foundation Minimum

In May 2006, the Community Foundation Minimum was drafted by the four community foundations to serve as:

  • One of the basis and backbones for future efforts, including work with donors as well as the active operation within the communities served;
  • Basis for future partnerships between signatories of this declaration;
  • Basis for future partnerships with other entities who decide to join this declaration in an appropriate format, positioning themselves as community foundations;
  • Basis for partnerships with other, primarily foreign entities – including associations and networks – who declare and uphold similar values.

After holding its first conference in October 2006, A.K.N. became the point organization for community foundations. A.K.N. has held networking and knowledge sharing activities for Czech community foundations and jointly with Slovak entities. In December 2009, A.K.N. started the project “Development of European Community Foundation Network” with funding support from the Global Fund for Community Foundations.

Fulfilling membership requirements for A.K.N.

  • A written official application with the applicant‘s description
  • The board agreement for the association statute
  • Declaration of fulfilling the standards (the Minimum of Community Foundations)

The process then moves forward as the association president sends out the application to all members. A one month deliberation ends with a vote.

14Report based on inputs from Iwona Olkowicz, V4 Maturity and Development Program