First National Conference of Community Foundations in Hungary 18-19 March 2016
Community action-oriented institutions of a novel type are being built and starting to operate in Hungary, and they are already present in seven local communities: Ferencváros (Budapest), the Danube Bend, Debrecen, the Gödöllő region, Miskolc, Nyíregyháza and Pécs. Their members can now do something about their own future and the improvement of their environment - with the help of a community foundation. The conference presents the concept, the participants of the construction process, and their situation, embedded in Hungary’s present social and economic settings. Although internationally the concept of community foundations has a remarkable past, in Hungary it is still very little known. These self-organising groups work on a voluntary basis and build on the will and initiative of the local population, with the long-term goal of having all citizens who are willing to actively shape their social environment get the necessary encouragement, inspiration, and, last but not least, financial and professional assistance to do so in their respective local communities. Today, over 1800 community foundations in 60 countries prove with their operation that, when well-embedded in the local community, this type of organizations have a serious society-shaping potential in terms of social, educational, cultural, local development - and even health education and environmental conservation.