Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:10

Regional workshop on fundraising, 22 – 24 June 2011, Bialystok, Poland

The workshop was organised in response to fundraising skills gaps identified during a series of meetings and consultations with partner organisations during last year. All sessions during workshop were lead by Robert Kowalko, vice president of the European Fundraising Association and president of the Polish Fundraising Association.

The workshop was organised in response to fundraising skills gaps identified during a series of meetings and consultations with partner organisations during last year. All sessions during workshop were lead by Robert Kowalko, vice president of the European Fundraising Association and president of the Polish Fundraising Association.

The overall aims of the workshop were to give the participants:

  • An understanding of a broad range of fundraising approaches/techniques.
  • An understanding of good practice in making a good grant application.
  • Greater familiarity with what funders are looking for and their priorities.
  • Increased knowledge of where to look to find funding opportunities.
  • Increased knowledge of how to develop an effective fundraising plan and to design successful fundraising strategies.

On the first day, participants were introduced with the principles of conducting of the fundraising activity and effective gathering of external funds for the charitable statutory activity. They also have been informed about ethical code of fundraising, 24 methods of financing the organization and tools to diversify, stabilize and increase budget year by year.

The second day, started with acquainting participants with principles of creating public relations, branding and external communication in NGOs life. The facilitator also provided information on principles of recruiting sponsors and building the long-lasting and ethical relations based on the double-sided commitment. During sessions participants were able to create a list of potential sponsors and to write the sponsor offer for them.

In the third day, participants acquired knowledge on good practices in planning regular fundraising activities as an element of managing the organization. Participants also have been informed about managerial techniques applied in fundraising and development departments; got to know schemes and tools deciding about success of investment in the professional dialogue with donors.

The workshop was highly interactive with enthusiastic participants raising questions and concerns about their challenges and bad experiences faced during past application processes. The quality of answers and solutions proffered by the funders provided an eye-opener to most participants on how the ‘process works’ and some simple mistakes often made while filling the forms.

Feedback received from facilitator confirmed that the workshop was successful and met the needs of the organisations present. The facilitator ended the sessions by recommending that small organisations develop diverse funding streams and not rely too much on only one funder or financing source. Some other finance sources, he highlighted are: contracts, entering into service level agreements, tendering and commissioning projects.

Participants of workshop understand, how complex the change of the organizational culture is, when opinions and expectations of donors are becoming an everyday element of relation of the organization with surroundings.

They learned how to implement this change and to hold for the financial stabilization of organization. They are able to create fundraising campaigns which are bringing permanent and repeatable financial effects.

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