The Global Community Foundation Practice: Experiences, Observations and Implications for Turkey

Filiz Bikmen, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2006



Community foundations are expanding rapidly in the global context, in both developed and developing countries. This is indicative of a growing need in communities all over the world to create new ways of reaching donors and generating resources for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). This paper seeks to examine the implications of global experience and the relevance of community foundation practices for Turkey.

The main questions investigated in this paper are: What are the similarities in terms of contextual factors (mainly social, economic and political), which have led to the establishment of community foundations in other countries? What are the experiences of community foundations in terms of fund development, grantmaking and convening? What are the relationships between community foundations and their key stakeholders? What are key operating challenges of community foundations? What are the key obstacles, risks, opportunities and implications of these experiences in considering the community foundation practice for Turkey?

The paper is aimed at presenting findings about the main functions and respective experiences of community foundations in various countries; identifying key findings related to the obstacles, risks, opportunities and implications for  community foundations in Turkey; and proposing a general framework upon which a detailed feasibility study can be undertaken.  The author argues that the framework for the feasibility study proposed in this report will determine the specific design of a community foundation according to the local context, which in turn will yield critical information upon which a sustainable community foundation practice can be established in Turkey.



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