Central and Eastern Europe

We seek to foster an environment in which the nonprofit sector strengthens democratic values and practices.

The most important office in a democracy is that of citizen.

How It Works

Mott cultivates a healthy civil society in Central and Eastern Europe by promoting a culture of respect, freedom and opportunity for all people.

The energy and enthusiasm that accompanied the sweeping political changes across Europe in the 1980s set the stage for our grantmaking in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The Mott Foundation seized the opportunity to help people in communities understand and participate in their new democracies and to address critical social service and humanitarian needs in post-communist societies.

Our long-term commitment to fostering a vibrant civil society in this region has been a cornerstone of our international work. Today, our grantmaking is organized under two objectives:

Active Civic Participation

We strive for a society in which people and nonprofit organizations are empowered to promote and defend their democratic values.

We make grants to:

  • intermediary organizations that build the capacity of nonprofits and independent civic leaders to promote community-level development, organize around key issues, and strengthen participatory approaches to advocacy and rights protection;
  • networks and nonprofits that mobilize individuals and grassroots civic initiatives on key issues that relate to strengthening democratic values and practices; and
  • networks and support organizations that promote the development of community schools in countries where the movement has taken root, including Ukraine, Moldova and parts of the Western Balkans.

Philanthropy Development

We envision a robust culture of private giving that serves the public good.

We make grants to:

  • philanthropy support organizations, including donors forums, community foundations, networks, support organizations, research and advocacy organizations, and knowledge and capacity-building providers; and
  • key grantmaking foundations, including indigenous grantmakers and community foundations, to strengthen their organizational and programmatic development and to provide leadership in expanding the field of philanthropy.

A civil society is a place — first and foremost — where there is a sense of community and connectedness. A place where the rights of individuals are respected and individuals respect the rights and needs of the greater community … a place where civic participation undergirds everything.

William S. White, Chairman and CEO