What We Offer

The work of the Via Foundation is focused on two main areas of development – the art of giving and the art of living together – or in other words, philanthropy and community development. Via supports people who are engaging fellow residents to build strong communities and encourages people to view philanthropy as a normal part of life in the Czech Republic. Our support combines grants and learning opportunities, which are offered through our Via Academy. We also help donors set up advised funds.

Community Development

Through our Community Development programming, we provide support to people and non-profit organizations, located mainly in the Czech Republic, who share a drive to improve their communities in both tangible and intangible ways. Some groups build community gardens. Others revitalize public spaces or hold community festivals. Yet others restore small monuments or reawaken long-forgotten orchards of heirloom fruit trees. All of them engage fellow residents from diverse social groups in their efforts. Through their projects, they learn to work together, collaboratively care for their environment and strengthen bonds to each other and to their communities. We provide grants, consultations in project management and citizen engagement, and learning opportunities, guiding these groups in their community work and helping them connect to likeminded people in different corners of the country.

Our Community Development programs include:

Living Communities
The Living Communities program gives people the tools they need to make a difference where it matters most to them – in their neighborhoods and communities. We support efforts that engage residents, strengthen bonds, build trust and increase use of local assets for the good of the community. Living Communities also encompasses our Fast Grants programming for citizens taking a stand on urgent local public interest issues such as mismanagement in local government, wasteful use of public resources, land use plan manipulations for personal gain, new construction projects of dubious public merit and the like.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we supported a total of 79 Living Communities projects in 2019, which ranged from neighborhood festivals to community mural painting and a save-our-hospital initiative. We invite you to read about some of them here.
The Community in Which We Live
The Community in Which We Live is a long-standing, intensive Via Foundation program for community groups or municipalities improving public spaces in their communities, such as parks, town squares and village commons. These projects are based on broad engagement of residents in the planning, design and construction of public spaces that serve local needs, and give residents a chance to work together, set common priorities and build relationships. We offer project teams seed funding, an expert guide to help them with project management and community engagement, and workshops on local fundraising, building with volunteers and engaging community.
Read about the 8 projects completed in 2019 here. The 2020 program is underway – check back for news about the selected projects in March.
Community alphabet
Coming soon!
T-Mobile Fund
In 2019, we launched a new program with T-Mobile to improve media and information literacy, particularly among children and senior citizens. In 2019 we awarded $87,280 (CZK 2 million) through this program to projects across the Czech Republic.

Concluded programs

ViabilityNet 3.0
ViabilityNet 3.0 was a three-year program that trained Central and Eastern European community leaders, brought together nine organizations from different CEE countries to learn with and from one another, supported alumni of our previous ViabilityNet program, and measured the impact of community work and our leadership training. The program was founded on the belief that by helping communities strengthen local leadership, internal communication and the ability to reach compromises, we help them become better equipped to deal with challenges that will arise in society in the coming years. It was the last segment in our nine-year Viability programming generously supported by the C.S. Mott Foundation.
You can read more about the program on the dedicated ViabilityNet 3.0 site. We also invite you to read about the participants of the community leaders’ development program here and for interviews with some of these inspiring individuals, click here.
Cultural Heritage Fund
The Cultural Heritage Fund provided support for projects restoring and preserving small monuments and chapels located throughout the Czech Republic. Experts and volunteers worked together to restore these pieces of history and preserve their cultural significance for generations to come. In 2017 we folded the Cultural Heritage Fund into our Living Communities program but we invite you to read about the Cultural Heritage Fund 2016 Projects here.

Philanthropy Development

Via strives to help make charity, generosity, giving and caring for others a natural part of people’s lives in the Czech Republic. We raise awareness about giving in the Czech Republic and recognize outstanding individual and corporate donors. We also support children and students organizing charity events to launch them on lifelong paths of giving back, and we develop online giving in the Czech Republic.

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Our philanthropy development programs include:

Young Philanthropists
Through this program, children and young people raise money for good causes in their communities. For most participants, it is their first direct experience with giving back to the community and can be the start of a lifelong path of community giving and engagement. We give them support in planning, designing and implementing their fundraising projects through workshops, project guidance and a small grant and matching of the funds they raise locally. Over the past six years, we have reached more than 3,000 children and young people through this program.
In 2019 we supported 30 teams, which you can read about here.
Art of Giving
Our Art of Giving journal brings readers news about philanthropy, interviews with philanthropists and other interesting articles to inspire giving. Printed quarterly, the Art of Giving enables us to reach an every-growing audience of Czech philanthropists and people who are considering giving but are not sure how to start. The online journal (in Czech) is available here.
Via Bona Philanthropy Awards
For the past twenty-two years, the Via Bona Philanthropy Awards have publicly recognized individuals and companies in the Czech Republic for outstanding charitable efforts. Each year, the awards highlight exemplary cases of giving and draw attention to new trends in philanthropy, acting as a beacon inspiring current as well as potential donors.
In 2019, the Via Bona Philanthropy Awards  highlighted inspiring communities and culminated in a gala awards ceremony in May 2019. We invite you to read about the 2019 award-winners here.
Darujme.cz
We developed the Darujme.cz online fundraising tool to give donors an easy and secure way to give online and help Czech NGOs reach out to current and existing donors. Over 630 Czech non-profit organizations are registered. In 2019 alone we registered 140 new NGOs and helped donors send gifts worth $5,673,150 (CZK 130 million). We manage Darujme.cz in close collaboration with our sister organization, Via civic association (Sdružení VIA, z. ú.)

Learning and Development

Via’s approach to support is multi-faceted, which means that our programs provide more than just grants. Whenever possible, we complement funding with learning opportunities such as educational seminars, workshops, and technical assistance, which are provided through Via Academy (see below). Our sister organization, Via civic association (Sdružení Via, z.u.), provides technical support to Czech non-profit organizations.
Via Academy
Through Via Academy, a cross-program learning initiative that is open to all of our grantees as well as other community leaders, we offer workshops on e.g. How to initiate a community project, fundraising and community mapping. Along with these workshops,we offer grantees project-specific consultations with experts and publications. The cross-program nature of our educational program enables grantees to learn from each other and network with each other, gives them freedom in designing their own individual learning paths, and also maximizes the efficiency of our learning programming.
Techsoup
This program, managed by Via civic association, offers Czech non-profits the opportunity to apply for software and hardware from leading technology companies at discounted prices.

Concluded programs

Better Business
From 2012 to 2016, the Better Business program supported fledgling social enterprises that aim to do good by doing business. The program concluded in 2016.
Community Forum
We held our first Community Forum in May 2016 with the aim of bringing together people working on various levels in local communities in the Czech Republic and other European countries. The forum gave community leaders opportunities to glean inspiration from different countries, share their best practices and approaches and support one another’s efforts. We built on the 2016 event with Community Forum 2017: Breaking Out of Bubbles, which once again combined key note speakers, a set of workshops, open space discussions, site visits and networking activities in an informal setting. The focus of the 2017 was exploring the issue of polarization in local communities.

Donor Advised Funds

Sykora Family Fund:
The proceeds from the Sykora Family Fund support various projects in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Rachunek Fund:
This donor advised fund, established in 2006 by Marek Herman and his students, supports educational and development programs for parents of preschool-aged children.
Three Sisters Are Helping Fund:
In 2011, the music band Three Sisters established a donor advised fund to help socially at-risk children and youth.
Mr. and Mrs. Hora Fund:
Marie and Vaclav Hora established this donor fund in 2005 to help children in the Carpatho-Ukraine. The final funding from this donor fund was distributed in 2017.