Rob Williamson, Community Foundation for Tyne and Wear, UK; Jan Despiegelaere, Streekfonds, Belgium; and Danko Nikolic, Zajecar Initiative, Serbia offer their highlights and wishes from 2017, and resolutions for 2018.
What was your highlight from 2017?
Rob: I spent an amazing three weeks in Canada on a study trip including attending the Community Foundations of Canada conference in Ottawa and visiting seven community foundations to learn and share experiences.
Jan: The ECFI-Thematic Meeting in Brussels was a real highlight, as well on a professional as on a personal level. The topic, presentations and discussions were extremely interesting and food for thought, rising high above the average discussions and/or sessions that I may have experienced during my 13-year career in CF-world.
Danko: Emergence of WEBCFI – Western Balkans Community Foundations Initiative. Major stakeholders from three countries got together to give a boost to the CF movement in the region.
What did you hope for but not receive for Christmas?
Rob: I was hoping for Philip Pullman’s new work ‘the Book of Dust’ as I loved ‘His Dark Materials’, but I will now plan that to be my Easter reading. Mostly I wished for a relaxing and re-energising break with friends and family which I definitely did get!
Jan: An e-bike to commute to the office and back home.
Danko: In front of stage tickets for the February Depeche Mode gig in Vienna. Anyone have spare tickets?
What is your New Year resolution for 2018?
Rob: To visit more grant recipients to learn first-hand about their work and the impact of our grants – something as CEO that always gets pushed off my to-do list.
Jan: I would welcome more interaction, more exchange and more learning opportunities amongst European communities/ community foundations as an investment in the vast human capital which is there and the strengthening (or saving) of Europe as a ‘community’ rather than being an open market place. And the announcement on BBC news that Brexit was a hoax.
Danko: to use the power of crowdfunding to support the diaspora's philanthropic engagement in Eastern Serbia.