Our vision

Community foundations can drive systems change
They bring together local assets and aspirations, leveraging them into philanthropic mechanisms that create impact with wider social effects: participation, collaboration and a sense of belonging.
As people see the results of surfacing and giving resources to doers, a culture of giving takes root, multiplying assets and actors over time and increasing communities’ trust in their own capacities to build the future they want.

What we do

We support change-makers to cultivate transformational abilities in the organizations they help start up
Central among these is strategic design – manifested as the ability to organize systems of collaboration at different levels of action.
Community foundations can position themselves as connecting devices between different kinds of resources and actors in their community, using philanthropic mechanisms such as funds and grants to align agendas and generate results.
They become even more impactful systems-changing players when they are part of a national network of collaboration that resources them with know-how and connections, enhancing their reputation and expanding their opportunities for collective impact.

This is the important work of designing a support system for community foundation movements to emerge.

How we work

An international community of practice powered by inspiring conversations, learning, coaching and tools
We help community foundation leaders, support professionals and field partners to design for excellence as architects of change.

If the goal is to change disempowering systems into ones where people acknowledge their agency and communities bring their resources together, might supporting community foundation movements have a role in this change process?

Movements run on broad collaboration and participation. They are also full of examples of entrepreneurial spirit – groups of people who take the risk of acting upon a belief that the future can look differently from the present.

INSPIRE is one of these groups.

Our principles

Intentional design, long term vision, creativity
From our experience as philanthropy and development practitioners witnessing the impact that generously supported and connected community foundations have, we have distilled some principles.
These inform our work as strategists, facilitators and tool builders who help other change architects do effective work in sparking transformative movements. And holding structure for them to grow.

The practice of nurturing core capabilities as part of the organization’s DNA gets passed onto the system of local philanthropy through the relationships that community foundations cultivate with their donors, grantees and allies.

By being intentional in their goals and roles, and capable in their delivery, community foundations can shift the systems in which they operate. This replicable design can start with CFSOs themselves, as models of practice. 

When compounded at the national level, through a network of community foundations, this transmission of different ways of doing can be a game-changer. 

Over time, several forms of capital (social, financial, reputational) accumulate, leveraging the initial investment exponentially. That is when results speak for themselves. 

Today is when the seeds are planted and the scaffolding for community foundation movements is designed, calling for visionary leadership and long term partnerships. 

New challenges require new structures and new principles of operating. In spite of their age, community foundations are nimble constructs that integrate mechanisms for effective collaboration and participation.

They can also be innovating agents in their ecosystems by incentivizing the creativity and civic imagination of a broader spectrum of people, groups and organizations. 

Permeating creativity and participation into their practice is a way of shaping community foundations that are relevant and ready for the future.

Our impact ambition

Practitioners become
the catalysts of their own philanthropy ecosystems
Our theory of change is that continuously learning professionals who elevate their practice in conversation with their international peers can better influence the way their own philanthropy ecosystems operate.
We see them as architects of change. They seed and nurture visionary entrepreneurship, make a convincing case for locally rooted and globally connected community foundations, and design creative and engaging processes to convene more change-makers to join this field.

Our team

Alina Porumb

Program & Organizational Strategies

Working language: English

Alexandra Stef

Community & Participatory Processes

Working languages: English and Spanish

Mihai Tudorica

Fundraising & New Initiatives

Working languages: English and Portuguese

Bianca Gainus

Illustrations

Razvan Precup

Videos & Tech

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The Association for the Practice of Transformation (APT) supports the intentional and systemic transformations of individuals, organizations, communities and societies by stimulating collaboration, research, learning, social innovation and strategic thinking.

INSPIRE is a program powered by APT with the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Contact us
hello@inspire-change.org
We are a Romania-based nonprofit legal entity. Most of our team is based in Romania, UTC+3.

© 2022 Association for the Practice of Transformation

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