Baltic-American Partnership Fund
The Baltic-American Partnership Fund was established in 1998 by the United States Agency for International Development and the Open Society Institute (the Soros Foundation), as a public-private partnership. Each founder has provided $7.5 million to the BAPF to be spent over the next ten years. The BAPF is a New York based public charity, directed by an independent Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is composed of prominent individuals who are committed to the democratic and civil society mission of the organization, and to the objectives of the BAPF in all three Baltic nations.
The programs in the Baltic countries are implemented by the Open Estonia Foundation, the Soros Foundation Latvia and the Open Society Foundation, Lithuania. Each of these foundations has established a Baltic-American Partnership (BAP) program which is guided by a local experts council. The local experts councils have developed country priorities related to BAPF's program objectives, and have identified activities to achieve the program objectives. The BAP Programs in turn provide grants to local NGOs. In March of 1999 the BAPF Board of Directors approved the first round of proposals submitted by each of the foundations. Funding for the programs began in May of 1999.
The Baltic-American Partnership Fund (BAPF) supports the continued development of democratic institutions and market economies in the Baltic countries by enhancing the civic engagement of the populations, and by increasing the capability of and opportunities for citizens to participate effectively in political and economic decision-making. Through its local partners, the BAPF provides grants to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of local NGOs and to improve the environment in which NGOs operate. The BAPF's priority objectives are to develop 1) a clear, supportive legal and regulatory framework for NGOs, 2) a critical mass of effective NGOs, 3) diverse sources of long-term sustainable financing and 4) NGOs that demonstrate effective public policy advocacy.
The program of the BAPF provides support for the institutional development and operational activities of NGOs, as well as initiatives that are designed to strengthen the legal and regulatory environment in which NGOs function and that enhance public awareness of the role and value of the sector. The BAPF seeks to complement other donor efforts through a range of grant-making strategies that facilitate and enable local people and institutions to address these needs and opportunities more effectively. Each country program is guided and managed at the local level.
Board of Directors
As of 2011;
- Stephen J. Del Rosso, Jr., BAPF Chairman, Chair, International Peace and Security, Carnegie Corporation of New York
- Leonard Benardo, Regional Director, Open Society Institute
- Irena Grudzinska Gross, Boston University
- Willam S. Moody, Program Officer, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- Thomas Fleetwood Mefford, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia
- Juris Padegs,, Trustee LM Charitable Gift Trust
- Lawrence P. Taylor, Former U.S. Ambassador to Estonia
- Jane M. Wales, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Northern California
- Michaela L. Walsh, President, Women's Asset Management