Can there also be exchanges with a CF support organization?
Yes, provided that the other exchange partner is a regular CF.
What about an NGO that is not directly from the CF sector?
If you can explain why this NGO represents a valuable learning opportunity for CF purposes, an exchange is possible. That’s typically the case when both share relevant values, experiences or methods – such as an asset-based approach in community development, for example.
Who picks or suggests the other exchange partner?
You as the applicant are responsible for that. However, the ECFI team can assist in finding the partner best suited to your learning objectives. If for example you are interested in a specific issue, our volunteer Advisory Group often can help with useful tips. But then it is up to you to establish contact and work out the project details together (please also see CF Atlas).
What is the ideal number of days for an exchange?
That depends on the depth and quantity of the intended learnings. In the past, we have made good experiences with exchanges lasting 3–5 days, and thus have roughly based our calculations on that number. However, we encourage applicants to come up with different time concepts if required. In the case of longer periods, we appreciate co-funding suggestions.
Can the exchange take place within the same country?
No, that is not possible. Please understand that a cross-country dialogue is the very idea of this programme and a major prerequisite for its success.
In how much detail shall I describe the agenda?
To get the most out of your exchange programme, it is advisable to plan well ahead and back up your application with a detailed agenda. This should include all scheduled activities, topics for discussion and work formats – such as round table or presentation – for each individual day.
How many people per organization may take part?
The more, the merrier. In fact, you should plan to send at least two people to the partner organization, better three or four. Only then can the exchange have a lasting effect and a collective memory of the visit be built. Of course, the available budget may limit the maximum number of participants.
May Board members or active volunteers participate too?
Yes, there are no restrictions whatsoever in that respect.
How can I calculate meal and accommodation costs?
We recommend that you benefit from your exchange partner’s knowledge regarding local prices. By asking him or her to give you some typical examples, you will get a clearer idea about the necessary budget than by guessing on your own. It’s always good to talk.
Is the exchange designed to be reciprocal?
That depends on how far your budget will take you. And that, in turn, is determined by several factors: the number of travellers, the duration of the exchange, the cost of living in the respective countries, etc. If the math works out fine, we favour return visits!
How do I know if a partner is the right match for me?
By doing your own research into potential exchange partners’ backgrounds well ahead of time. After pre-selecting a candidate, you can find out in direct conversations (by Skype calls or emails) whether the chemistry is right. If you aren’t sure yet what the focus of the exchange should be, it might help to ask your potential partner some of these questions to make up your mind:
- What exactly made you establish the foundation?
- Which role do boards, staff, volunteers play in your work?
- How do you motivate people and is it sometimes hard?
- What do you give them to enable them to succeed?
- How do you interest potential donors in your cause?
- Do you also have public or foreign sources?
- Which ones?How do you make sure you get the required funds?
- Could you briefly describe a typical project from start to end?
Is additional fund-raising expected from me?
Let’s say: every little bit helps. Therefore, if you have access to further co-funding resources, you largely contribute to the success of this mission by adding them to ours. Please keep in mind that we can only support you with an amount of up to EUR 4,000 per exchange.
Program Support Officer