Strengthening philanthropic response to building families where children can thrive in Bulgaria

Case Study

Strengthening philanthropic response to building families where children can thrive in Bulgaria

We are working to strengthen Bulgarian and European philanthropy’s response to children at risk and in emergency situations, by better connecting Tanya’s Dream Fund within a wider ecosystem in Bulgaria and beyond; and to inspire coordinated giving around this issue by working closely with other funders and co-creating an emergency response fund.


Tanya’s Dream Fund is a time-bound, grant-making special initiative in memory of Tanya Kovacheva. Created by Oak Foundation, Tanya’s Dream Fund is sheltered by Swiss Philanthropy Foundation. Tanya’s dream was for “institutions for children” to be consigned to history; something that future generations could not imagine a need for. The foundation aims to be a catalyst for the change needed to keep families in adversity together and at the centre of the Bulgarian child protection system, policy making and service delivery.

In 2022 and 2023, SIX has been learning more about the case for collaborative funding and emergency response. In January 2023, SIX began working with Tanya’s Dream Fund to co-create an emergency response funding mechanism for prevention of child-family separation.

Our two main objectives were to map the funding landscape of donors interested in investing in Bulgaria and incentivise collaboration around prevention of child-family separation and to create momentum and inspire coordinated giving around prevention. Through a range of activities including desk research, interviews, online and offline workshops, as well as reflection sessions, we engaged a broad and diverse range of stakeholders from philanthropic, public and corporate backgrounds, as well as from those working in grassroots or NGOs in Bulgaria and beyond.

Our approach

Some of the items we produced include a visual map of relevant donors and their investments in Bulgaria; a 5-10 page document with European and global examples and case studies of existing collaborative funding to inspire donor collaboration and action for coordinated giving; and an extended list of organisations and companies that are interested or have contributed already, with whom we are able to engage in further co-creation sessions.


More than ‘what’ we did, our ways of working ensured this project resulted in:

  • Donors feel aligned in their perception of how the system currently functions in support of keeping children in families;
  • Stakeholders are able to spot any gaps, blockers or missed opportunities for better impact;
  • Solutions are rooted in local context and a culture of ownership of outcomes is fostered;
  • Community voice is strengthened and centred in true co-creation and donor collaboration;
  • Results are shared widely and interest/buy-in from the wider ecosystem is built
  • All learning from the co-creation process is captured and reflected on, in terms of what worked well and what can be done to continue to build the legacy going forwards