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It all began in 1997…

…There are times when a story has a dramatic beginning, and the story of the Foundation was no different. Everything began in the summer of 1997 when a group of friends wanted to help a young girl who found herself in a difficult life situation. Together they managed to fund the first scholarship that made it possible for the girl to continue her education. This spontaneous initiative was quickly shaped into something very formal – the main role was taken by the NIDA Foundation, and in September 1997, thanks to support of local entrepreneurs, it launched a scholarship program. The first 12 scholarships were granted for the second academic term of 1997/1998, and were directed to students from the Nidzica county. It is unclear what would happen to the scholarship fund if it weren’t for the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland. In 1998, the organization launched a program “Every penny counts” – its goal was to create in Poland, and known in the USA, a form of non-governmental organizations – community foundations. In Nidzica, an initiative group was constituted which comprised of representatives of business, NGO and local government (Andrzej Zawieska, Tadeusz Miecznikowski and Krzysztof Margol). The group was taken care of by the Academy which provided substantive, organizational, financial and instructional help. At the same time, in different places in Poland, community foundations chose different areas of activity. In Nidzica, the main objective was clear from the very beginning – scholarships.

Created in 1997, the scholarship fund was still running within the framework of the NIDA Foundation. However, the cooperation with the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy involved launching a separate organization (the very community foundation) and amassing endowment – indefeasible basis to distribute funds – in imitation of American foundations. The challenge for the group from Nidzica was ambitious – collect 100,000 PLN for the endowment within one year (from April 1999 to April 2000), which was the condition to receive financial support in the amount of another 100,000 PLN. In a small town like Nidzica the task seemed impossible, however, from the very beginning, the support for the newly created organization was given by more than 60 local entrepreneurs. Good offices was offered by the Cooperative Bank, which actively supports the Community Foundation from the start. The funds were raised during charity events (including II Charity Ball held in May 1999). At the same time, the development of a formal creation of the new organization was in progress. On 5 August 1999 there was a founding meeting – the founding committee was comprised of Barbara Płoska, Józef Kiliś and Krzysztof Margol. On 18 October an association called the Nidzicia Community Foundation was registered at court. As a result of actions in progress, a new organization was created, and by April 2000 it collected 107,000 PLN, which was a bit more than a required minimum. The mission was completed, and equipped with the endowment, the Nidzica Community Foundation began to work…


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