EFB Alumni Network (beeEFB), was branded and established under the new framework in the first half of 2021, is represented by its Assembly and Board members, and agreed on key strategic goals and outcomes it wants to contribute to through its activities. This agreement was made during the Strategy Development Event (SDE) organized in June 2021 and reflected in beeEFB Development Strategy 2021 - 2024.
Within the strategic goal which looks at strengthening ties between existing members, the members decided to focus their attention on creating fluid small communities within which they can engage more actively and intensively, while some of those interactions emerge into concrete initiatives that may be to some extent supported, including financially, by the EFB. Members are also encouraged to meet in different formats, even when not tied to a theme/skill-based interests.
As of summer 2021, there are three main ways the members of EFB Alumni Network engage and connect with each other:
themebased groups (mini hives)
I. National meet-ups
Term and definition of a national meet-up
National meet-up is in-person or online gathering of beeEFB members from the same country, which is organised with a clear purpose for members to connect, and to promote activities of beeEFB and EFB when possible and necessary (mini hives, joint initiatives). National meet-ups are organized with an aim to contribute to increasing the number of active members while boosting the EFB spirit and strengthening the relations between beeEFB members.
About national meet-ups
- What are the types of national meet-ups?
Considering the number of participants, we distinguish two types of the national-meet ups:
- Field Flowers informal type of gatherings that do not require any kind of support from the EFB, but are still used as a channel to promote beeEFB activities
- Grazing Bees formal type of gatherings that require EFB financial and/or logistics support
What is the minimum requirement for the Field Flowers meet-up and who can organise it?
There is no minimum requirement for this kind of informal national meet-up. Any Network member is encouraged to initiate and organise Field Flower meet-up to exchange opinions on different topics related to the present and the future of the Network, and to promote initiatives, including possibility of funding activities of mini hives or joint initiatives. There are no obligations regarding reporting to the EFB Alumni Network Board. Members are encouraged to take photos, respecting privacy, and post their meet-up on the platform or social media channels, so that others can see the buzzing of the hive.
What is the minimum requirement for the Grazing Bees meet-up and who can organise it?
Grazing Bees national meet up requires a minimum of 15 Network members for the meet-ups in the Western Balkan countries (WBC)/ 5 for non WBC and a clear agenda of the gathering aligned with the draft EFB Alumni Network Development Strategy.
Any Network member or a team of Network members can initiate organisation of the formal national meet-up. Assembly member - Network coordinator for national meet-ups could be at the same time the initiator and organiser of the Grazing Bees in their countries, in which case their role as a coordinator is adjusted accordingly.
What is the application procedure for Grazing Bees meet -up organisation?
If the minimum requirements are met, the initiative is made through the platform using the provided application form or via other means.
The application form includes the agenda and its justification, expected number of the participants, provisional budget, and logistics support expected from the EFB, if needed.
The Board will review the applications and will advise the EFB on the final decision.
What are the responsibilities of the initiator(s) of the national meet-up?
developing the agenda with the justified reason of the gathering
proposing the budget
applying for the EFB support in terms of the logistics and funding
coordinating with EFB regarding logistics support, if needed
keeping coordinators updated all the time
submitting the short report to the Board about the event.
What are the responsibilities of the EFB?
deciding on the financial and logistics support aspect of the application together with the designated Board representative and the national coordinator. If the national coordinator is the initiator of the meet-up, he/she does not participate in the decision making process.
covering costs and providing logistics support if the application is approved.
What costs could be covered by the EFB and to what extent?
EFB will cover costs according to the approved budget and related to the accommodation and transportation if justified, the venue, food, drinks.
2021 goals and modality of implementation
II. Theme-based groups/Mini Hives
Term and definition of theme-based groups
The original term for the theme-based groups was cluster (seen at the Bosch Alumni Network - BAN), but the term was replaced to relate more concretely to the work the beeEFB does and to avoid confusion with clusters of the wider BAN beeEFB members also belong to.
Distinguishing difference between BAN clusters and beeEFB mini hives lies in the fact that members of hives all aim to be contributors and content creators, whereas with BAN clusters most members are followers/readers of the information of BAN activities in a specific theme area.
Theme-based groups are therefore called mini hives. Mini hives are thematic groups where EFB alumni gather around the same topic of interest and engage in knowledge sharing and exchange.
Mini hives can be founded around any topic/theme which falls under EFB Alumni Development Strategy and is aligned with EFB values. Mini hives are visible and managed at the beeEFB part of the BAN.
About mini hives
Who can start a mini hive?
Any network member of beeEFB can start a mini hive.
Mini hives are started following instructions for setting up a hive, and the initiator of the hive has up to 2 months to gather other people interested to be with them in the hive.
Although members can use different tools to gather the necessary number of members and check the interest for the hive prior to starting the setup of the hive - they are not required to do so.
A member can start a mini hive whenever during the year.
What are the minimum requirements for a functional hive?
A mini hive has a minimum number of 5 active members, and their members conduct at least one initiative as a hive annually.
The initiative can be done online or offline, and there are different types of activities the mini hive can organize, any of which is accepted:
- implement a project/campaign/specific activity
- publish and promote content created by the hive members
- organize knowledge sharing events
Outreach and reporting around the activities happening in the mini hive are not considered initiatives.
Mini hives initiatives can be aimed at other EFB alumni or external audiences.
Mini hives initiatives should always be open for other EFB alumni.
Key information about each hive and its activities need to be visible at the mini hive site on the beeEFB platform (announcements, promotion of activities, annual progress ).
How does a mini hive function?
Mini hives function in the way its members decide they should. It’s on the members of the mini hive to decide on how often to meet, what to discuss or do together and how to keep track of their work.
Mini hives choose who is responsible for the communication on the platform - which is visible to other members, alumni and EFB; as well as a person in charge for reporting to beeEFB.
Not all members of the mini hive are required to participate in all activities of the mini hive, but should be engaged in at least one activity annually.
It’s recommended, but not required that they meet regularly, but each meet-up should be announced on the platform and key discussion/decision points shared with the hive on its platform.
Members of the mini hive can apply for project/campaign funding with EFB, but are not required to. If some members want to apply for EFB funding - that should be agreed on the level of the hive. Mini hives or its members can also apply for other funding at BAN (Bosch Alumni Network) or others.
What does an active mini hive look like?
In an active mini hive - people meet (online/offline) more or less regularly (e.g quarterly), and implement activities together. Different members are taking charge of different activities. While some might want to organize knowledge sharing events or context/focused topics discussion, others might implement activities with EFB funding.
What kind of membership is possible in a mini hive?
The membership in the hive can be two-fold:
- contributors active members are members who both contribute and create content
- followers/subscribers members who follow the posts/content created by the hive on the platform and who may or may not participate in hive’s activities.
Can non EFB alumni join hives or their activities?
All hive’s activities are open to the beeEFB members.
A hive can also organize and implement activities which are open to the broader public/audiences, in which case they should be promoted outside of the beeEFB platform as well.
Engaging audiences who are not beeEFB is encouraged, but their engagement doesn’t turn them into members of beeEFB.
How are BAN clusters and beeEFB mini hives connected?
BeeEFB members can choose if they want to be on the BAN website as well.
Clusters from the BAN are not replicated in the beeEFB platform space, although mini hives of the same name can exist.
When does a hive stop being a hive and what happens to it?
Since the mini hives have a minimum requirement of 5 active members and one annual initiative, the annual feedback forms on the hive’s activity will be the basis for archiving an inactive hive.
Even though a hive can be started at any time during the year and reports are submitted annually, there are specific quarterly times when the feedback forms are submitted and the work of hives reviewed (February, May, August, November). E.g if one starts a hive in October, feedback on its work is due on the November deadline of next year.
In such cases, the hive will not be deleted from the platform, but considered inactive and visible as such.
How can one restart a hibernating/inactive hive?
In case another member wants to restart the hive, it can only do it upon gathering 5 active members and coming up with basic content for its first year of work.
What are the requirements of the hive towards the beeEFB?
All official communication of the hive’s work should be on the beeEFB platform: announcements, meeting conclusions, promotion of activities conducted/implemented.
One member of the hive (the initiator or the designated members as agreed with other members) reports on the work of the hive at an annual level by filling out a short report form (one page with resume of key activities and outcomes, number of active members, number of subscribers, gatherings held, etc).
Do mini hives have a budget for their work?
Mini hives function primarily online, but if there are activities the hive wants to implement in person or which require a budget, it should apply for funding with EFB, as part of its regular Calls.
Setting up mini hives
A member can start a mini hive on the beeEFB platform throughout the entire year.
A member starts the hive by filling out the short form on the platform. The managers of the platform approve the request, and the hive becomes visible to all of beeEFB members.
The initiator of the mini hive has two months to gather at least 4 other active members in order for the hive to be considered active. If this is not achieved the hive will no longer be visible on the platform.
Coordination of mini hives
- Upon the start of the hive’s work, members of the hive designate a member of the mini hive which is required to report annually on the work of the hive, using a simple one page form on the platform.
- Members of the mini hive can post content on the mini hive on the platform, non members of the hive can write posts but they need to be approved by the mini hive members.
- The mini hive may have a moderator for the content published on the platform, but is not required.
- Activity of the hive should be transparent to others, but the hive members can also have content and correspondence visible only to them.
- Activities of the mini hives which are open to broader audiences need to contain a disclaimer:
“The EFB support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the content which reflects the views only of the authors, and the EFB cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”
BeeEFB management of mini hives
One of beeEFB Board members is a designated person for moderation/monitoring of mini hives activities. This member does the following:
- Approves new hives upon submitting of a form to start a hive (within a week)
- Provides responses on questions from the hive coordinators (within a week)
- Approves mini hives materials that goes out to the public (within a week)
- Reviews feedback forms of mini hives (quarterly)
- Drafts annual report on all mini hives work and their activities for the overall annual report of beeEFB (annually)
2021 goals and modality of implementation
III. Joint initiatives
Term and definition of joint initiatives
By definition, joint initiatives are activities/projects/campaigns/etc which are designed and implemented by beeEFB members, which are supported by the EFB.
Joint initiatives need to be aligned with the goals and strategic direction of EFB Alumni Network, EFB itself and reflective of its values.
Objective of supporting member-driven and led initiatives is to contribute to a stronger and more productive Network, more engaged and connected members (across program generations, borders and themes) and a more connected and progressive region.
BeeEFB aims to organize at least one Call for proposals annually.
- should be designed and implemented by members of the Network
- may or may not come from mini-hives
- should ideally engage and include external audiences, not only members of the Network
- cross-country / cross-sector / cross-programme activities
- are aligned with beeEFB Development Strategy and EFB Strategy 2020 - 2024 and EFB values
- are nonprofit in nature
Calls for proposals are published on the beeEFB platform, and communication around the selection process, results, as well as implementation of the initiatives is also done on the platform and promoted on EFB and beeEFB social media channels.
Budget for the initiatives is agreed on an annual level and provided by EFB.
Depending on the changes in the regional context, beeEFB may decide to have priority themes for a Call, but all ideas from the members are always eligible for funding, provided that they are aligned with its mission, vision and strategic direction.
Is there a minimum number of members needed to apply for a joint initiative?
Yes, at least two members should work together and submit a proposal for the joint initiative. The initiative can be done by members from the same generation or country, but cross-country initiatives are encouraged.
Is there a minimum number of members I should engage in the joint initiative?
Yes, at least 10 members should be targeted and engaged in the activities of the initiative.
Is there a minimum of non-members I should engage in the joint initiative?
No, the initiative can be aimed only at the Network members, but ideally would engage and/or be shared with wider audiences.
Are there requirements on how to brand and promote joint initiatives (on the platform and publicly)?
Yes. beeEFB visibility should be used to promote activities.
What type of activities are eligible for the joint initiatives?
Different types of activities are eligible and they depend on the authors of the initiative. They can be campaigns (grassroot, advocacy, etc), mini projects, knowledge sharing events, conferences, analysis and publication of research, voluntary work, etc.
Is there a minimum or maximum duration of the initiatives?
The initiatives can last up to 10 months, depending on the specific Call limitations.
What are the criteria for selection of joint initiatives?
- proposal is aligned with general eligibility criteria
- proposal is relevant to the beeEFB work and scope of work is realistic
- proposal creates new value and positive impact in the region
- potential for initiative to grow into a theme based mini-hive or to extend and maximize the work of an existing mini hive
Who selects the joint initiatives?
Joint initiatives are selected by a majority vote of the committee consisting of 2 members of EFB, beeEFB Board and BeeEFB Assembly. Assembly and Board propose members for the Committee.
To prevent conflict of interest, all Board members and Assembly members who are part of the Selection Committee cannot apply for joint initiatives in order to prevent conflict of interest.
What is the eligible funding per initiative?
There is no minimum sum for the initiative, but the maximum is 10,000EUR. Maximum limits may differ in specific Calls, based on the total amount available for a Call.
Can activities be co-funded by other donors?
Yes. Other potential co-funders should be listed in the proposal. EFB and Network reserve the right to refuse a co-funder.
Proposals should be able to be fully implemented with EFB funds, or the co-funding should already be secured before the remaining funds are asked from EFB in the proposal.
2021 goals and modality of implementation