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Venture philanthropy and social investment in Greece - A key driver for NGO capacity building

 

December 17, 2015

EVPA and the Bodossaki Foundation hosted a joint event on 15 December 2015 in Athens, attracting more than 100 civil society organizations and representatives of charitable foundations, companies and social investors. The methodology of venture philanthropy and social investment, as proposed by EVPA, was presented to this targeted group as a key driver for capacity building, long-term sustainability and impact.

Excellent keynote speakers from Europe confirmed the growing importance of VP for increasing the capacity of NGOs. Kurt Peleman, CEO of EVPA, presented what he calls an ecosystem for societal impact, embracing civil society, the academia, corporations, banks and service providers and highlighted in particular the role of VP in this system’s systemic impact. 

Benoit Fontaine, Venture Philanthropy Advisor to King Baudouin Foundation, emphasised the need to structurally rethink organisations, taking into considerations the particular benefits of the VP methodology. 

Caroline Broadhurst, Deputy Chief Executive of the Rank Foundation, offered the example of an engaged philanthropy with the Hull Community Development Programme to highlight the importance of the public, private and third sector working together in order to ensure sustainability and impact. 

Ingrid De Jonghe, founder of Tejo in Antwerp, Belgium, offered a very inspiring example of how social entrepreneurship can work hand in hand with social investment to achieve remarkable results in turbulent times and with a very critical group of people: youngsters. 

Catherine Mc Sweeney, Civil Society Coordinator, Senior Officer within EEA Grants, presented the scope and contribution of EEA Grants funding NGO projects across 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, with particular emphasis on building the capacity of the organisations involved.

The Bodossaki Foundation, local fund operator of the EEA Grants Greek NGO Program ‘We are all Citizens’ has presented the results of the program’s capacity building approach, involving more than 75 NGOs as local project promoters. The capacity building program has already offered more than 400 hours of training in 23 thematic fields, 14 mentors who contributed 200 hours of pro-bono mentoring to Greek NGOs, together with concrete results already put forward by local NGOs in the framework of achieving transparency, accountability and sustainable results through strengthening their own policies and procedures.

Sotiris Laganopoulos, Secretary of the Board to the Bodossaki Foundation, has also presented the Foundation’s next step towards strengthening the third sector in Greece. In partnership with the Municipality of Athens, Bodossaki is implementing the ‘Social Dynamo’ project, an initiative focusing on supporting local NGOs, community and citizen’s groups through pro-bono technical support, learning opportunities – both through training events and an e-learning platform, and promoting networking and the exchange of ideas, both among civil society actors, and between civil society, academia, and the public and private sectors.

Event summary provided by Maria Fola, Communications Officer at Bodossaki Foundation.

 

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