23 October 2019  -  25 October 2019

EFC Grantmakers East Forum 2019 – Common actions for social change: mobilising people, creating spaces, using technologies

The EFC’s Grantmakers East Forum (GEF) will meet in 2019 in Tbilisi, Georgia, hosted by the Europe Foundation, for the 24th annual meeting of the forum to explore the role of foundations in confronting the new threats and challenges to civil society in Europe and beyond.

While global social and environmental challenges require united action, increasingly, many countries of Central and Eastern Europe are playing up their narrow nationalistic interests over universal human values.  Often, this is manifested in hostile takeover attempts or open threats to civil society. Among these threats are restrictions of public and private funding, reduced access to public information and participation in decision-making as well as a growing number of attacks upon civil society groups or individual activists.

It is in this context that foundations must take a stand as unanimous stewards of civil society, to be platforms for social interaction, facilitator’s of citizens’ empowerment, promoters of fundamental rights and shaper’s of societies’ social fabric. To bolster the impact of civil society actors, funders need to re-evaluate and adapt strategies, tools and operating mechanisms.

The annual gathering of GEF offers an open space and stimulus for debate and new ideas, with grant makers, academics, civil society actors, EU and international organisation representatives being provided with the opportunity to discuss pressing questions, such as:

  • How can philanthropic foundations support the resilience of civil society actors?
  • What are alternative ways of mobilising people and building communities and constituencies for human rights and social change?
  • Are the new social movements the new backbone of civil society?
  • What is the role of local, national and European philanthropic actors and networks?
  • What are the inherent risks for grantmakers and grantees?
  • Can technology help create secure affiliations in hostile environments?
  • How are grantmakers adapting their strategies and funding mechanisms in order to continue delivering positive impact?

To learn, reflect and (re)connect, the 2019 Grantmakers East Forum offers its participants stimulating plenary and thematic session discussions and workshops. Participants will have ample time for networking and the opportunity to explore the social and cultural scenery of Georgia with local non-profits.

For more information visit here.

Image courtesy of Diego Delso.