Dalia, meaning “grapevine” in Arabic, is a community foundation which promotes an endemic and independent development and resource allocation infrastructure within Palestinian civil society. The Dalia Association seeks to build a long-term development ecosystem independent of international aid through a process they call “community-controlled grantmaking” (where small unrestricted grants are distributed to communities which in turn decide how the money should best be allocated) as well as by encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism within Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora. Multivalent in its funding model, the Dalia Association has sought numerous unique modes of support. Among other initiatives, they have opened a community store, organized educational paid travel programs drawing from the Palestinian diaspora, and constructed a guesthouse and community space, Beit Al Karmeh, which is regularly rented out.
Theory of Change
Participatory grantmaking and community philanthropy creates a vibrant, accountable, and independent civil society, as well as leads to improvements in gender equality, empowers the youth, and increases equitable resource allocation.
Dalia’s community grantmaking program is split into multiple branches, with much of its focus on youth empowerment and on female economic participation. Channeled through its IBDA’ Youth Program and its Women Supporting Women Program respectively. Guided by the principle of Al Ouneh, or informal community giving, Dalia also organizes regular volunteer days where informal associations can partner with Dalia, which has an established volunteer network, to complete a small project of their choosing.
In 2022, the Dalia Association provided over $120,000 in grants across 43 initiatives in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. These grants have helped to establish, among other things, a women led-agricultural cooperative utilizing organic farming methods, a children's library providing age-specific reading materials, and an organization seeking fair educational opportunities for Palestinians with visual impairments. They also annually sponsor the Community Giving Camp, a training program which provides crowdfunding techniques and collaborative thinking methodologies to community leaders and activists.