Coat after the Buttons

Coat after the Buttons

Are you interested in what happened to Ferencváros Community Foundation in H1 2016? Just read our director’s subjective report!

Coat after the Buttons

This spring I was asked at a workshop on branding, how we would like people to see us, Ferencváros Community Foundation, let’s say by the end of the year. That time I replied, I want us to be seen reliable, i.e. people who do what they talk about and they do it transparently; plucky, i.e. modern and experimental and open, where any stakeholder in the district will turn to with pleasure and trust. Taking a look back, I feel, we are on the right way.

logo_AcademyThis year has started really well. It was even worth finalising the translations of a professional programme with one of my fellow trustees from the cafeteria of a shopping mall on the phone in the middle of the Christmas rush, since we won again (close to one and a half million forints) at the tender supporting community foundations of the Visegraad countries announced by the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Warsaw. We basically applied for and received help for institutional development and to prepare our new adaptation experiment. Thanks to this the amount of my wage for my (new) position as director could be supplemented and I was able to select an excellent office manager, Flóra Lucza who is a member of the Trafó team with cultural relationships in the district.  Establishing the conditions for the position of director also indicated the demand of the Board of Trustees that we have started to pull on the coat to which we had been collecting the buttons only for years. The desire to operate as a more professionally managed organisation after our first four years, has appeared more obviously than ever in the decision of the Board of Trustees bringing great responsibility and also giving trust.

önkéntes _tal_In January we organised two forward-looking events to establish traditions. First we thanked our indispensable volunteers for their work, giving the Volunteer of the Year Award shared between graphic designer Réka Balogh and photographer, cameraman Balázs Pivarnyik in Élesztőház supporting FCF. Then we convened the corporate sponsors of „Aput a Kapuba”  (Daddy the Goallie) Cup in Ferencváros which was organised successfully for 5 years to an extraordinary stand-up night showing a lot of similarity with us even in its title, the performance of Tamás Jordán called Against the Wind and the following talk.

BELSŐ-FERENCVÁROS NAPThanks mainly to the steady background work of our trustee, Tamás Scsaurszki, the leader of our Inner Ferencváros Fund, just a little more than HUF 300 thousand was missing to collect the needed HUF 1 million in the Fund by spring from which we can give donations for local community programmes.  Our fundraising campaign Inner Ferencváros Day was mainly started for this purpose with exciting and exclusive walks in the Central Market Hall and the Museum of Applied Arts and a Charity Auction of Facebook with relics from nine well-known local people.
radioraday_licitálokkalOn the other hand we aim to help the stakeholders of this part of the district get closer to each other, to create a discussion about what living in Inner Ferencváros is like today, what we love in it and what we would like to see around ourselves. Our civil Internet radio with a local atmosphere, Radio Ráday was first on air from Púder with the support of Tilos Radio. You can listen to the first programme here. We raised HUF 376 thousand in the campaign, exceeding our desired goal. The Board of Trustees is working on determining the potential ways of using this amount and we also plan a community radio programme on 15th October 2016 before the final decision. The Fund was directly supported by over ten private individuals and entrepreneurs and the number indirect participants and supporters was above fifty people; dozens of articles recommended our campaign with acknowledgement and two extraordinary volunteers helped our work: Ferenc Dávid community radio speaker and Béla Krumpli photographer and blogger.

swimathon úszók integetDreaming about this new programme started with a study tour in Cluj-Napoca, then we organised the first Hungarian Swimathon 2016 fundraising event on 18th June this year. Seventy civilians swam in the Kőér Street swimming pool and had campaigned, raised funds for the cases appreciated by them. Together with the three cooperating NGO partners we raised over HUF 8 million from almost 1,400 donations. The supported cases included the Mother Ship Mothers’ Centre (Mother Ship Association) joining families with small children; the plan of a Recovery Centre for people with addiction problems (Blue Point Foundation); the expansion of Démétér House accommodating bone marrow transplanted children and their families for follow-up treatment (Démétér Foundation) and the Fix Point Programme strengthening the operation of Ferencváros Community Foundation popularising local community donation. The implementation of the supported programmes shall start in autumn the latest. The real moving power and success of the campaign however cannot only be measured by the amount of money raised. We have stepped over an important border that we had not had an event moving such a great crowd of people before. We involved dozens of volunteers to implement the programme with the partnership of private donors, small and medium enterprises as well as large companies through the joint work and efforts of four NGOs that had not cooperated before.  We managed to bring several local NGOs and businesses closer that may have been kept separately by fear only. We, civilians often feeling paralysed and in the lack of tools could see that there are techniques available for us in fundraising and the campaign also showed that the so-called hard cases can also get more attention once placed in an easily loveable environment. It was important for us that everybody could give something (money, expertise, volunteer work, products) to their community on their own ways as it was most suitable for them. The Swimathon became a fundraising event, a great public “game” in which everybody’s participation was at least as important as the money raised. Cooperating with the Közös Alapon Programme (Community Foundation Support Programme) established to develop community foundations in Hungary we plan to summarise and disseminate the know-how and experiences of the campaign. See further Swimathon 2016 information at our website here.

You can find the independent campaign site here  and you can watch our video of the event here (with English subtitles).

The President of the Board of Trustees, Gabriella Benedek participated at the international convention of community foundations held for the migration case in Brussels. The FCF also established a work-group for migrations and we have started to map up whom and what NGOs have given what answers to manage the migration crisis. Being locals in Ferencváros, we think it is important to become informed and to inform for a colourful and welcoming district and to do so actively in the future.

infografikák_kuratorok_talánSince we had a fundraising campaign early this summer larger scale than ever and the rate of donations raised by FCF significantly increased this year, we felt it was particularly urgent to consider two professional methodological issues more thoroughly. First, how exactly the supporting policy of FCF shall look like in the future and how to measure the effect of the community programmes we support on the community. Second, how shall we follow the supported organisation through the implementation process, i.e. what may and should the role and task of the following trustees be. We discussed these questions a lot at the strategic design days for boards of trustees held in Pécs in early July this year and we shall continue to think about this together in autumn. Our trip was also a study tour, a visit to the second registered community foundation in Hungary, the Pécs Community Foundation. We are glad to have followers and we hope to celebrate the operation of similar organisations elsewhere with the support of the countrywide Közös Alapon programme.

Erika Barna



(Special thanks to Tamás Bátori)