International Fundraising: Looking Through a Positive Lens

The seventh and last offline training of the School of Fundraising was dedicated to international fundraising. Under the guidance of Hanna Baranouskaya, expert from the human rights organization “Human Constanta”, participants once again examined the work with international donors and focused on important aspects of this work, and had a number of effective practical sessions.

Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen, Head of Department for Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Eastern Partnership, German Federal Foreign Office

Before the seminar, the participants heard from Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen, Head of Department for Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Eastern Partnership of the German Federal Foreign Office. He stressed that the German Foreign Ministry wanted to support the activities of civil society in Belarus, including the School of Fundraising programme. “We would like to see Europe become more interested in Belarus and for Belarus to have the opportunity to become present in Europe and realize its potential. Therefore, I am particularly pleased to see that our program is being implemented and realized”.

Every year, the German Foreign Ministry provides 14 million euros to support projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.

Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen noted that many applications came from Russia and Ukraine, while Belarus did not send that many. “I would like to encourage you to find partners in Germany to develop projects together and submit your applications to the German Foreign Ministry. We are ready to work with Belarus more, because we see that there is still a lot of potential that we have only just tapped into”.

The more you write, the likelier you are to succeed

Hanna Baranouskaya, expert of the human rights organization “Human Constanta” Photo by: Alyona Lis

Throughout the training, Hanna Baranouskaya, expert of the human rights organization “Human Constanta”, emphasized how important it was to send multiple applications, because in this business only personal experience can demonstrate the improvement of skill. “If you do not have any experience of writing applications for international projects, at first it will seem like there is too much information. But you need to process it and absorb it in instalments. Attracting resources is not just about the money, it is also about reputation and recognition, community support and real needs. Before setting out to ask for money you need to understand your priorities, as well as the required amount of money and other resources you can also use”.

Hanna also noted to participants of the School of Fundraising that civil society organizations give the donors a chance to do some good. “When you are trying to establish communication with the donors, you need to understand where their interests overlap with your interests. There is a special fundraising scale to analyse potential donors”.

Then followed the practical part of the seminar, when the participants worked in groups on the possible donors for an organization using the following pattern: communication, ability to provide support, thematic / geographical interests.

Aliaksei Halantsou, international organization PACT Photo by: Vitaly Brazousky

What do donors want?

The final part of the training was led by Aliaksei Halantsou, representing the international organization PACT. He gave the participants an insight into the donors’ mind-set, shared requirements typically set by foundations and described how one should present a project for it to get support. “EU is the biggest external donor for Belarus, even though our relationship with the EU has never been sustainably smooth. Financial assistance from the European Union is on the increase, while the aid from the US is constantly going down. Up until a certain point, aid from the European Union only came through state authorities, while now the situation has changed, civil society organizations having come in, so the situation is slowly levelling out”. According to the expert, organizations should take advantage of it to develop their projects.

Text by: Valeriya Nikalaichyk

ODB Brussels