About CMDF

The Fund

The Community Development Fund (CMDF) was established at the end of 2009 to aid local civic initiatives in their development. CMDF is implemented by Pact, a non-governmental and non-profit organization with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mission: CMDF aims to support self-organized positive civic action that increases citizen participation on the community level.

CMDF is looking for people who unite to make life in their city, village, and district better. We support different approaches to local communities’ development: individuals, informal groups, and organizations. We support ideas that fulfill the aims of local communities and we support individuals who produce these ideas and implement them through collaboration.

Following the concept of local community development we appreciate seeing ideas at the project’s core that mobilize and strengthen local communities and:

  • Offer the possibility of self-realization;
  • Provoke positive perspectives for the future;
  • Support equal participation of all community members;
  • Unite the community around problem solving activities.

We appreciate seeing local communities that:

  • Сontribute to increasing the welfare and give equal possibilities to all members of the community for development and performing other vital functions;
  • Increase the quality of life of all the community’s inhabitants;
  • Contribute to development of secure and attractive environment;
  • Allow people to demonstrate their creativity and develop their culture;
  • Enable every member of the community to take part in the process of decision making, especially concerning issues that directly effect their daily lives.

Other aspects of the local community development process which are important to us:

  • Development of abilities and opportunities of every local community member;
  • Solving of real community problems;
  • Adjustment of the dialogue and collaboration between local communities and agencies whose activities influence people’s lives.

Our Understanding of the Situation

Belarusian state that has traditionally played a strong paternalistic role in the society, will no longer be able to provide for the same level of social assistance as it has done before. The economic situation creates prerequisites for citizens to rethink the roles they may play in determining their own lives and the life of community and society as a whole. This proves to be particularly crucial on a local level.

We are convinced that transformation of Belarus is impossible without citizens’ participation, development of values and strengthening a sense of personal dignity. Personal responsibility for the quality of life and for the things happening in everyone’s house (at the front door, in the yard, district, town or village) prove to be necessary conditions for the development of a safe, cohesive and free society.

Fund Approach

The Fund is not a charity organization, and we consider ourselves to be more of an investor. Our object of investments is a process of a gradual transformation of Belarusian society since namely progressive reforms constitute the articulated interest of the majority of Belarusians. We want our investments to work with maximum effectiveness, in order that 1) needs and interests of a target group could be represented in the best possible way, and 2) our partner organizations could develop themselves, ensuring the safety of our investments.

Therefore, our technical approach is based on a comprehensive work with Belarusian partners: support of civic activities is provided in parallel to capacity building and organizational development of a local partner. Priorities of such development are defined according to a partner’s needs yet, as a rule, include:

  • Strategic planning and organizational development;
  • Assistance in professionalization of statutory activities and services;
  • Design of communication strategy, mechanisms and products;
  • Development of monitoring and evaluation systems;
  • Financial and budget planning and management.

We are looking forward to working with citizens, initiatives and organizations, which share our understanding of the situation in Belarus, namely:

  • Mission of civil society organization is not in the attaining political power, but in the addressing of pressing needs of their target groups, local communities and of the society as a whole. Leadership in the third sector is defined by the quality and effectiveness of work on issues of public interest, but not by political ambitions;
  • Belarusian society is a dynamic structure, where transformational processes are taking place. This fact requires systematic correlation of approaches, priorities and methods of work of civil society organizations;
  • Progressive transformation is impossible without the competition of ideas, their open statement and public discussion. Transformation is impossible without influence, which, in its turn, is just an illusion without a professional approach to work, work with mainstream audience, as well as, open and pertinent communication with all parties involved.

Our values

  • Impartiality and priority of interests of Belarusian society;
  • Responsibility;
  • Professionalism;
  • Openness and transparency, as much as it is possible.

More detailed information about our understanding of the situation and approaches you may receive at the Q&A page. To get more detailed information about conditions of applying to the Fund for support, please, visit the Eligibility page.