Trag is a regional foundation that encourages and supports the active engagement of citizens in local community development for the last twenty years. We gather people who believe that small changes can make a big difference and desire to be initiators of positive change in their communities. Since our establishment, we supported over 1500 successful projects with over 13 million Euro across Serbia and the Western Balkans region.
In 2019, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, we launched the “Our local foundation - community has a say!” program, with an aim to support the establishment of community foundations and the community foundation movement in the Western Balkans region.
We believe that community organizing in the smallest local units, be it buildings, neighborhoods or towns, is necessary for restoring trust in the ability of community members to change their environment and thrive. For this change to happen, it is necessary to ensure space as well as resources to facilitate community organizing. Our practice shows that community foundations (CFs) can be an agent of this change. They have the potential to open up spaces and create possibilities for realization of different community-led initiatives. They can build bridges in divided communities, build common ground for distant groups and gather people around a positive change. This can reaffirm the sense of community belonging, build more trust in different stakeholders on the local level and increase their credibility. CFs are an important part of the philanthropy infrastructure and can enhance the culture of giving on the local level thus improving their effectiveness and impact on communities that they serve. This is why Trag will strive to support the establishment of 15-20 community foundations in the Western Balkans region until the end of 2028. These CFs will strive to contribute to social cohesion and inclusion, because we believe that is the only way for philanthropy to be a transformative force of common good and achieve its social promise to fulfill true community potentials.