Part 1: First of its kind pan-European philanthropic actor. ENAR Foundation Initiatives

Interview with Izabela Jurczik-Arnold, Development and Granting Officer at ENAR Foundation. Part 1

Publishing date
3 Jan 2024
Liane R
Communication Expert
Interview ENAR Foundation

ENAR Foundation powers up the Anti-Racism movement across Europe. We have the knowledge and capacity to support and empower organisations and activists fighting and making a difference for racialised communities throughout the continent.  

Why and when was ENAR Foundation created? What are some of the values it is based on and mission it wants to accomplish?

"The Foundation was established in 2009 by the already existing European Network Against Racism, as a vehicle of the Anti-Racism movement and a space for innovation and outreach.  From the start it was designed to not only generate extra funds but also to experiment, incubate new projects and enable cooperation with organisations committed to fight racism."   

ENAR Foundation's initiatives have taken off this year. Was it a planned project?   

"The steady growth of the Foundation started already a couple of years ago, but it is in 2023 that we were able to shape up a long-term strategy, new programmatic structure and an independent team. This has given a proper boost to the development and scale of support to different Anti-Racism initiatives."

Which were some of the most meaningful initiatives in 2023 and why?   

"The biggest and most impactful initiative of the ENAR Foundation remains the support to grassroots Anti-Racism organisations through the Empowerment and Resilience Fund grants. There we make a huge difference for the racialised communities and civil society across Europe."

ENAR Foundation collaborates with donors in establishing the Empowerment and Resilience Fund supporting ENAR and its member organisations. The Empowerment and Resilience Fund is made possible thanks to grants and donations from individual and organisational donors.

"The second project that took off only this year is the SPARK Communities for racialised professionals in different sectors, with impact to the world of economy and employment".    

SPARK Communities are reaching across Europe indeed. Being a pilot pan-European initiative, how are you seeing it influence the rest of the European landscape?   

"Through the SPARK Communities  we are reaching and connecting amazing individuals who absolutely need recognition and support, to break the ceilings and increase presence in the sectors where they are underrepresented. It is incredible how racialised people can be invisibilised, sometimes in fields where they could contribute so much more. We are starting with SPARK Communities for DE&I Consultants, for Teachers and for Academics. But the situation is similar in many other sectors, so we hope that this is just a start of a concept, which will help promote and empower racialised experts."

ENAR Foundation has powered up three SPARK Communities. SPARK DE&I was the first one launched in January 2023, with SPARK Teachers and SPARK Academia following in autumn of 2023.

When you think about 2023, what puts a smile on your face?   

"It makes me really happy to see some fruits of the seeds we have been planting for a while. We have been able to move from “scoping” and “piloting” to real frameworks, which help build a more inclusive Europe. Now we are able to showcase outcomes of funded projects and attract interest from further like-minded supporters!"

Izabela Jurczik-Arnold is ENAR Foundation’s Development and Granting Officer. With 2 years on the job, her role has been rather versatile in the starting phase of the Foundation’s development, from grant and programme management, fundraising and donor relations, finances, to setting up internal structures and processes, and hiring new team members. 

Izabela Jurczik-Arnold