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Transformational cooperation with the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund - Phase III


VIA Foundation, 2007

Partner organization: Balkan Community Initiatives Fund  (BCIF)

Grant amount from the Program of Transformational Cooperation: 1 239 460 CZK

Total expenses of the project: 1 844 403 CZK                    

Co financing: Via Foundation and BCIF


The project goal is to build the organizational and fundraising capacity of Serbian NGOs and to develop and cultivate corporate philanthropy. Presently, the majority of Serbian NGOs are financed by foreign institutional and private donors. However, these donors are phasing out their aid and are gradually moving to more needy countries. Therefore, it is very important to prepare Serbian NGOs for the situation in which they must find new funding sources in local communities. Branches of multinational corporations are very promising resources as they are bringing to Serbia not only investment, but also the concept of corporate social responsibility.

The project „Transformational cooperation with the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund (BCIF) – Phase III“ continued our activities aimed at organizational development and capacity building of the BCIF foundation, formulating strategies for working with corporate donors, development and cultivation of philanthropy in Serbia and fundraising skills of minor NGOs through sharing know-how and offering financial challenge for securing new financial resources from local communities.


The project was composed of four main activities:

1. A study trip of 2 BCIF employees and 3 corporate managers to Prague. VIA organized meetings with Czech CSR managers of multinational corporations and a lecture and discussion with US advisor and former director of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley Peter Hero on corporate community involvement in Silicon Valley.

2. Program of matching grants for minor Serbian NGOs working in communities and a two-day workshop on fundraising from local sources.

3. Preparations for a second seminar on CSR for Serbian corporations to be held in April 2008. 

4. Organization of the first VIRTUS Award for corporate philanthropy and media coverage of the award and topic of philanthropy.  


The project successfully triggered fundraising from corporations by BCIF and established mechanisms for working with corporate donors. CSR and giving has almost no history in contemporary Serbia, however multinational corporations operating in Serbia are bringing this topic back to the table. Successful and high-level activities of BCIF in this field are positioning BCIF as an expert and partner for creating corporate giving strategies and for administration of corporate funds supporting publicly beneficial causes.

            The cooperation of Via and BCIF resulted in introducing new practical information about CSR and giving to Serbia, pointing out advantages of cooperation between corporations and NGOs, advanced BCIF as a professional partner in the field of corporate giving and, last but not least, brought BCIF the first corporate money for regranting to NGOs building civil society. During implementation of the project, BCIF also made new contacts among Serbian firms, comsulted on giving strategies of Erste Bank and CSR of Delta Holding, networked Czech and Serbian corporate managers, extended and intensified relationship with the media and organized its first Award ceremony for corporate philanthropy. We also tested the pilot phase of a matching grant program for regional NGOs and organized fundraising workshop for 11 Serbian NGOs.