Blog

Can Physically Distant Funders Catalyze Local Leadership? (They Can!)

By Sarah Bahn and Atallah Kuttab     Mission drives foundation work, and it can often point towards grassroots efforts. We know that local leadership is key to these efforts, but it can be challenging to navigate alignment of foundation practices with the execution of a local agenda from a distance. Fikra, a Brussels-based foundation created…

Walk Together

I received a poem from a friend in my inbox – an uplifting reminder about our hopes for the future at a time when many of us are despairing. It dreams of a race-less future generation, anchored on the words of Jimi Hendrix: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world…

Impact of aid on peace and conflict transformation in a deeply divided society: Lessons from Sri Lanka

The following presentation was shared by Ambika Satkunanathan, Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, Sri Lanka on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Foundations for Peace Network in November 2016, Philanthropy House, Brussels. I am here this morning to share with you the impact of aid on peace and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka, which could…

The Power of an Effective Exit: Ford Foundation’s Exit from the Philippines

By Sarah Bahn and Suzanne Siskel      When I was working for the Ford Foundation as a representative in the Philippines in the late 1990s, the foundation expanded its programming, giving us the opportunity to work on addressing the failing public education system. After just three years, Ford was supporting 27 local education reform…

Youth Revitalize Forgotten Philanthropic Practice in Palestine

By Sarah Bahn and Hania Aswad     ‘Al Ouneh’ is a type of informal, collective philanthropy led by community members to help individuals or the well-being of the entire community. The concept has been practiced in the Middle East and North Africa for generations. Al Ouneh can be used in a number of ways,…

Seeking Justice through Grassroots Leadership in Brazil

By Sarah Bahn and Ana Valeria Araujo     In May 2006, prison gang violence and police retaliation unleashed a wave of killings in São Paulo, Brazil. The victims were mostly poor, young people of African or indigenous descent. Most were not involved in organized crime, and their mothers were unable to find out what…

When the Wall Turned Bright Pink

By Sarah Bahn and Avila Kilmurray     It is not every day that the iconic ‘Free Derry Corner’ landmark turns bright pink. But this is what happened as a result of a small £3,000 grant awarded by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI) to the Rainbow Project, which works in Derry/Londonderry in Northern…

Cross-Sector Mobilization for Social Change

By Sarah Bahn and Lisa Jordon     The Bernard van Leer Foundation has a solid reputation in the area of early childhood education. It is known for financing early education models, publishing articles, and supporting research on early childhood development. It has been a respected figure in this field for over 60 years, operating…