Anja Böllhoff is the coordinating director of ECFI, a position she has held since the initiative’s start in January 2016.
From 2002-2015, Böllhoff was CEO of the Bielefeld Community Foundation, during which time the foundation multiplied its endowment tenfold and implemented many successful projects. Since 2008 she has advised the German Community Foundation Initiative as a regional curator, further widening her connections in the CF field.
Böllhoff also participated in the Körber Foundation’s Mover programme for two years, a project dedicated to peer learning activities with members of the most successful non-profit organizations in Germany and Europe. Böllhoff has published several articles on national community foundations and is a recognized speaker in the field.
She holds a degree in business studies from the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Nuremberg and possesses qualifications in foundation management (DSA) and leading roundtable discussions (Breuninger Foundation).
Dr. James Magowan
James has had a diverse career working in a range of disciplines, from agriculture, through European affairs, to philanthropy, in the private, public and not for profit sectors. James joined the ECFI team in January 2017as co-Coordinating Director. He combines this with his part-time positions as Co-ordinating Director of DAFNE and Northern Ireland Development Officer for the Association of Charitable Foundations in the UK.
Earlier in his career James worked for the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland for a total of 10 years, during which time he was a board member of UKCF (then CFN). He was a Senior Fellow with the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the City University of New York in 2007.
In addition to his degree and PhD in Agriculture, James has a Diploma (with Distinction) in Management Practice (Audit Skills) from the Chartered Institute of Finance and Administration and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge.
Peer Learning Expert
Mihaela is working as a freelancer with the Centre for Philanthropy (CPF) from Bratislava, Slovakia and is replacing Boris as Peer Learning Expert from July 2018 for the duration of his absence. Mihaela is currently based in the Netherlands and she combines this position with another part-time position as INSPIRE program manager at the Association for the Practice of Transformation.
Mihaela has worked for five years for the national support program for development of community foundations in Romania, within the Association for Community Relations (ACR). In her role she worked with initiative groups to support them in the process of becoming community foundations, through grant-making, capacity building and consultancy. She has also organised national conferences, thematic meetings, study visits and peer learning activities for the existing network of community foundations together with national and international partners and donors. In parallel, Mihaela has also worked as coordinator of the INSPIRE program, a community of philanthropy development practitioners from CE Europe who contribute to the advancement of philanthropy for social change through their experience, knowledge, resources and connections.
Mihaela holds a Master of Public Administration in NGO Management from a joint program of Babeș-Bolyai University and Michigan State University and was an Emerging Leaders International Fellow with the Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the City University of New York in 2014.
Mihaela also advises community foundations in Romania through ACR on improving governance practice and board development and is interested in the use of technology as a resource for organisational effectiveness.
Consultant for emerging countries in the community foundation field
Boris Strečanský is a consultant responsible for emerging countries in the community foundation field. His role is to identify and engage a variety of country actors to think about and explore the potential of CFs in the local development and philanthropy context. In the past he has been instrumental in the establishment of ECFI as well as in the development of CF movements in Slovakia, Romania and Hungary and in facilitating cross-country learning.
He worked in various capacities strengthening civil society and public management in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. He co-founded the Center for Philanthropy in Slovakia, as a social enterprise and philanthropy infrastructure organization, which he headed for 10 years. Boris is a member of the editorial advisory board of Alliance magazine and the Supervisory Board of the European Center for Not-for-profit Law.
Boris has a degree in philosophy and history from Comenius University, a post-graduate certificate in Developmental Donor Practice from London Metropolitan University and a Masters degree in Public Policy from Princeton University.
Julia Szanton supports ECFI as a long-term consultant. Her areas of focus are learning processes for CSO practitioners, fundraising and program and organizational development. In the current period Julia is assisting ECFI with its annual study visit and approach to monitoring and evaluation.
Prior to becoming a consultant Julia worked in a number of positions involving support for social change in communities in East & Southern Africa, the Balkans and Central & Eastern Europe and facilitating international networks of community-based organizations. In the 1990s and 2000s she helped establish the Via Foundation in the Czech Republic and the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund in Serbia (now Trag Foundation) and created their initial programs related to community and philanthropy development.
Julia holds degrees in Urban Studies with Honors (Brown University) and Political Science (University of Amsterdam) as well as a Certificate with Distinction in Donor Development Practice.