The training was the first activity to be organized within the framework of the new capacity-building programme and aimed at making participants more confident in their ability to mobilize resources for their own organization. The training was deliver by Opportunity Associates Romania, based on a specially prepared manual. The event was attended by 15 participants, representatives from 6 BCSDN members – Diakonia Agapes, ACSF (Albania); WAD, Pokrov Foundation (Bulgaria); MCIC (Macedonia); and EHO (SCG). Children on the Edge, the World that Builds and Hospice Casa Speranta representatives joined the training as local partners of AIDRom and OAR, BCSDN members from Romania.
The five-day training agenda covered three important issues in resource mobilization. The first two days were devoted to theory. This included topics such as differences between resources mobilization and fundraising, resources providers, mechanisms and resources, appropriate resource mobilization strategy for organizations. The discussion showed that participants and their organizations have primarily experience with foreign donors and less with business sector and support by individual donations, to which resources mobilization is primarily targeted. The third day of the training was devoted to field visits to Pro Vita Association and Hospice Casa Speranta, two local CSOs. The case studies were thoroughly analyzed in the training to learn from best practices in resource mobilization. The last two days were devoted to different funding techniques and approach to business sector. Topics such as financial crisis, mobilization in Central and Eastern Europe, new technologies were also raised in the training. The training brought together a very diverse group of representatives from BCSDN members, from newcomers on the topic to professional fundraisers. Based on their feedback most were satisfied with the training by taking home their own organizational and personal lessons. Among them were: clearer idea on resource mobilization concepts, concrete techniques (direct mailing, special events) and the importance of communication in resource mobilization.
…and on the field
The field visit was an important step for the participants to see first hand example of the use of resource mobilization in practice and to learn from successful practitioners. The first organization visited was Pro Vita Association, which successfully mobilizes local resources for 216 children from disadvantaged families, handicapped and other abandoned children. A Part of these children are put in foster care with local families and part are accommodate in homes build by the support from local communities. Pro Vita provides comprehensive care to the children in terms of their social, educational and social needs. The organization is wholly or to great extent based on the local priest. The second organization visited was Hospice Casa Speranta, a care center for terminally ill persons. The facility provides care and daily center for adults and children with terminal illnesses with the aim to provide full medical care, support and warm home in their final days. The center has been successful in mobilizing resources from local business and communities with more than up to 20% of its support, fore mostly through support of special resource mobilization unit, 92 employees and volunteer staff. In analyzing the case studies, participants found that both organization are very successful in resource mobilization, Pro Vita especially in real visibility on the field and Hospice Casa Speranta as a well-structured organization with an international impact. To participants, the two visits were extraordinary experiences which gave them very practical and real dimension of the training.
“I think that I will pay more attention on the motivation after this training. I saw that is very important to find out the motivation of those who I address to. That is the key issue if I want to make a better message statement. Direct marketing and communication with the business sector will also be very useful in my future work in MCIC. Not only the training as training, but the experiences that we exchanged in Busteni were excellent. Now I recognise resources mobilization in every important segment of my life, in work and private.”
Gonce Jakolevska, MCIC
Results and future plans
Participants took not only new knowledge about resource mobilization, but also concrete outcomes when going home. During the training, each organization developed a direct mailing letter and case statement for special events such as raffle and fair, to help participants develop practical ideas and project for resource mobilization in their organizations. As a result of the training, participants identified further concrete actions that they could take in improving their own organizations. Among them were: establishment of resource mobilization strategy, identification of new resource mechanisms and new donors, improve visibility of their organization, create programmes for income-generation and individual fundraising. Other needs of organizations such as the need to hold more such training, organize further trainings on this and other related topics arose during the training. Initiative to develop a joint grant proposal was also put forward. In order to respond to the expressed needs of the organizations, a new mailing list has been established on Yahoo groups to enable participants stay in touch for further exchange of ideas and possible joint fundraising activities. A list of potential fundraising institutions and resources and most frequent Q & A on fundraising have been develop by OAR to assist organizations in successful mobilization of resources. The BCSDN has published of a Fundraising Database and is planning further trainings and exchange activities to assist organizations in the Balkan region to respond to contentious funding situation in their countries.