Europe Foundation’s (EPF) mission is to empower people to effect change for social justice and economic prosperity through hands-on programs, helping them to improve their communities and their own lives. EPF engages citizens in social, economic, and political developments, in order to effect substantive and sustainable positive socio-economic change at the local, regional, and national level through both operational programs and grantmaking. EPF was established as a local organization in 2008. EPF’s work, both grantmaking and program implementation, is guided by these program mandates and approaches:
The Foundation seeks to increase citizen action in monitoring the activities of government, businesses, and the donor community to effect positive changes. Policy formation and implementation, public and social service delivery and public works all have significant impact on the society and economic development of Georgia. The Foundation will encourage CSOs to pursue work on setting and maintaining public accountability to international project and audit standards through civil sector involvement in infrastructure and legislative monitoring, as well as project evaluation. Direct citizen engagement will constitute a key component of all activities funded.
CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY PHILANTHROPY
The Foundation seeks to encourage community volunteerism and activism in Georgia. Activities in this field include increasing the understanding and practice of local corporate philanthropy and developing the skills and vision for youth to become advocates for and implementers of social change.
EVIDENCE-BASED ADVOCACY AND POLICY MAKING
EPF seeks to promote evidence-based advocacy and policy making throughout all of its program areas. Recognizing that sound advocacy and policy making are built on the foundation of reliable and unbiased information, EPF supports survey research to inform its programming, as well as encourages its grantees and partners to utilize the existing data or generate new data to design advocacy campaigns and encourage public authorities to engage in evidence-based decision making.
The Foundation is one of the leading program implementers in cross border/cross community activities within the South Caucasus region. Regional programming aims to contribute to security and stability by building links among individuals and civil society groups in different communities and countries that face similar problems and are working toward common goals. An essential component of public diplomacy efforts, cross community work focuses on the third sector and businesses to establish the essential social cohesion that builds confidence and prevents violent conflict.
CROSS-CUTTING GENDER POLICY
The Foundation is committed to the principle of gender equality and therefore promotes the use of gender mainstreaming in the design, implementation and evaluation of all operational programs and grant–funded projects. EPF fully supports equal rights and equality of responsibilities and opportunities for women and men, and girls and boys.
Young people if, provided with appropriate skills and mechanisms, have a unique potential to bring fresh perspectives, energy, and solutions to entrenched problems. The Foundation will make conscious effort to engage youth in its programs and grantmaking, so as to create addition outlets for practical youth empowerment activities.
The Foundation believes that government, civil society, and business community share a responsibility to bring about positive change in a country’s cultural, social, economic, and political life. For this positive transformation to take place, it is necessary to encourage and nurture effective cooperation of various sectors. In its programs and grantmaking, the Foundation will promote collaborative approaches and will explore ways to create lasting public-private partnerships that can lead to mutually-beneficial societal changes.
OPEN DOOR GRANTMAKING
The Foundation recognizes that smart people with good ideas can have significant social impact, especially working at the grassroots level. Social entrepreneurs bring fresh solutions and ideas to existing challenges and are the driving forces behind many of the most successful interventions. The Foundation’s Open Door Grant Program is a tool to support sometimes risky pilot projects and to test new ideas on a small scale. When projects supported through the Open Door Grant Program demonstrate success, the Foundation and its partners can help to replicate them at a larger scale or in different geographies.
To contribute to the achievement of its mission, EPF is implementing the following programs: Engage and Monitor for Change, European Integration, Youth Integration, Social Enterprise Development, and Open Door Grantmaking.
In these efforts, EPF is supported by the European Union (EU), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and other public and private donors.
Europe Foundation is a member of the Eurasia Foundation (EF) Network: nine local foundations supporting civil society that are based in Russia, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and Washington, DC