On January 14-15 we hosted a training session in Warsaw for nine new organizations that joined the Act Locally Centers’ network in 2015. In Spring this year, these new members will launch open local grant competitions and that is why the main goal of the meeting was to introduce the newcomers to the standard operating procedures, as well as the procedures governing the program itself.
The new Act Locally Centers that joined the already existing network bringing their total number to 67 include: KOLD Association from Duszniki in the Wielkopolskie voivodship, the Land of Tourist Paths Association from Sulęcin in the Lubuskie voivodship, Local Activity Group Association Southern Warmia from Barczewo in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodship, Orawa Development Association from Jabłonki in the Małopolskie voivodship, Friends of the Lisewo Commune from Lisewo in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodship, the Alliance of Sochaczew District Organizations from Sochaczew in the Mazowieckie voivodship, the Center for Social Development from Łaziska Górne in the Śląskie voivodship, the Land of St. Anna of Krapkowice Association from the Opolskie voivodship, and the Partners in Solidarity Association from Stare Miasto in the Wielkopolskie voivodship.
The meeting was inaugurated by Joanna Lempart-Winnicka, the Program Director at PAFF. She introduced the history and mission of the „Act Locally” Program in the context of reinforcing local social capital. Kalina Grzeszuk-Zajączkowska, Program Coordinator at PAFF, presented the Foundation’s program offer.
The main focus of the first session, moderated by Tomasz Schimanek, an expert at the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland, were legal issues connected with running a grant-giving organization with respect to the provisions of the Act on Public Benefit Activity and Volunteerism. A separate segment was devoted to details of cooperation with the local government.
The afternoon session was opened by Paweł Łukasiak, President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland (the “Act Locally” Program Manager), who talked about the benefits of being part of the Act Locally Centers’ network. In his speech, he stressed the importance of the establishment of local bonds and cooperation between different sectors, as well as possession of a solid fundraising strategy, an essential element for the financial stability of the ALCs.
The last segment of the day was moderated by Justyna Matusiak, the coordinator of the „Act Locally” Program, who, together with Katarzyna Kunert and Karolina Muzal from the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland, talked about the structure of the undertaking, its components, the possibilities that it offers, as well as the role of the Act Locally Centers.
The second day was devoted to topics such as the schedule of local grant competitions and the reporting system. Additionally, some time was devoted to explaining the cooperation with the local grant commission. The participants in the training sessions learned how to run counselling services for the beneficiaries according to the standards of the „Act Locally” Program, as well as how to bring all of the supported initiatives together.
Tomasz Bruski, the CFO at the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland, moderated the panel on the finance procedures that applied to the ALC and their beneficiaries, and a separate segment was run by Katarzyna Kunert from the same organization, who talked about ways of communication and promotion within the framework of the program.
The next training session, this time for all the 67 Act Locally Centers, is planned to be held in spring this year.
For 15 years, the „Act Locally” Program has served to support and stimulate local communities in rural areas and small towns through civic projects that aim to boost developmental aspirations and increase the standards of living, as well as contribute to the development of social capital. So far, within the program 7750 projects have been implemented with the engagement of around 3 million participants, out of which nearly 150,000 have been volunteers.