By Maria Cecilia Cruz
BrazilFoundation Program Manager

Celebrating the Foundation’s 10th Anniversary this year with the Project BrazilFoundation 10 Years gave us a chance to look at our history, reflect about our practices and to think about our future. The Project has provided us with a deeper knowledge about our work through the compilation of our institutional “memory”, and the systematization and evaluation of our work.

This exercise has led us to the challenge of thinking about our social work in the broader, rich  and diverse context in which we operate: from urban centers to the most remote corners of the country. It has been a moment of many (re)discoveries, exchanges and reflections, which leads us to institutional development. As a result of this process, the 2011 Call for project proposals brought a new definition of specific thematic sub-areas and the extension of financial support for a period of two years for projects on local development.

Throughout the development of the Project BrazilFoundation 10 Years we met and even went beyond some of our expectations.   Twenty organizations, previously supported by BrazilFoundation over the years, received financial and technical support to compile their institutional memory and to systematize their methodologies. For both the organizations and for us, the opportunity to delve into their stories has been intense as we have amazed ourselves with the richness of their trajectories and methodologies, which often times is not clearly perceived. Their reports represent a vast representation of contexts, motivations, peoples, cases, work processes and the impact these organizations have made throughout the country.

In another aspect, if BrazilFoundation is a reference in the field of capacity building, offering its expertise to advice partner organizations such as the HSBC Solidarity Institute, it is time for the Foundation to expand its horizons and to strengthen its role in knowledge production and dissemination. BrazilFoundation can contribute a lot to discussions in the non-profit arena considering the expertise attained along its ten years working with small and medium-sized social organizations. Recently, BrazilFoundation became a member of GIFE (The Group of Foundations, Institutes and Companies), a network that has become reference in Brazil on private social investment and has contributed to the development of similar organizations abroad.

The journey has been intense, not to mention the Carioca Fund activities, the partnership with JAPER- the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality, and the success of this year’s Annual Gala.

As a result of this process, we have the challenge to rethink goals for the upcoming year to rethink and improve content and practices, and to define an action plan for medium and long term. We will share with you the rich content generated by the Project BrazilFoundation 10 Years through events and publications, inviting all of you to learn more about the revolutionary work from these organizations that are transforming realities with commitment, creativity, and yet little resources- a work that inspires and encourages BrazilFoundation to continue its work.