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Trag foundation :: Visak :: Support to Civil Society Organizations1

Support to Civil Society Organizations1

In accordance with its focus on development of local communities and  empowerment of civil society in Serbia, BCIF pays special attention to development of philanthropy on a local level. Long term goal is to increase capacities of citizens associations for achieving financial sustainability, that is establishing cooperation with larger pool of potential donors within local community.
Funds of international donors (including developmental aid and private funds) still make significant part of annual budgets of Serbian organizations. Although state institutions and local authorities have started to allocate certain funds, they are still inconsiderable in comparison to the scope of activities within this sector. The need to diversify income sources was especially emphasized considering the already visible effects of economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 and decrease in donors' funds. Having in mind the fact that EU funds offering considerable means are available mostly to organizations with already developed capacities, the issue of financial sustainability of small local organizations remains open.
Implementation of Philanthropy Program on a local level aims to resolve some of the above mentioned challenges – support to Serbian organizations in exploring new methods of fund raising in their local communities and instigating their long term cooperation with large pool of potential donors, from local businesses to citizens as individual donors. Our work with civil society organizations in the area of fund raising is organized through three programs: Fund raising from individual donors, Fund raising from local sources and Successful Fund Raising.

Successful Fund Raising

The program Successful Fundraising methodologically supervenes and improves the program Fundraising from local sources and BCIF conducts it in partnership with Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) through Civil Society for the Future program, with financial support from American Agency for International Development (USAID).This program aims to support citizens associations in achieving sustainability through diversifying financing sources, exploring new methodologies of fundraising in local communities and instigating individual and corporate philanthropy.
Application deadline:

The competition is currently closed.
Grant Awarding Procedure:

Twelve organizations successfully passing the selection process have an opportunity to attend three training modules on fundraising from individuals and companies , with special focus on the relation between fundraising and organization’s strategic goals, as well as project and financial management.
What follows is the creation of strategic plans, including the description of activities for which the means are to be collected, as well as the elaboration of concrete fundraising methods and techniques.
Organizations whose plans are evaluated as the most successful will get the funds for technical support, which will enable them to prepare for the fundraising process.
After process of fundraising, BCIF provides another donation – matching grant – equaling the amount of funds raised by the organizations (the amount raised by an organization are doubled).
In the period 2011-2012, seven organizations have been supported through the program Successful Fundraising that Balkan Community Initiative Fund implements in partnership with Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC). They have successfully conducted fundraising in local community and provided additional financial stability for realization of their activities.

Fundraising methods used by these organizations are turned into Stories from Local Communities.

Fundraising from individuals

The program focused on fundraising from individual donors was conducted in partnership with ten civil society organizations and foundations for development of local communities, with financial support from Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF).The goal of the project was to increase the understanding and gain experience in the work with individual donors, to provide financial means so that organizations could explore this area further, and to share gained experience with  as many civil society organizations as possible. Partner organizations were provided training on fundraising from individual donors  as well as the initial funds for realization of their fundraising activities.
Success stories of fundraising from individuals in local communities in Serbia, may be found here:

Individual Philanthropy in Local Communities in Serbia.pdf (english)

Fundraising from local sources


The goal of this program, that was initiated back in 2004, is to refer organizations to local financing sources  by instigating new and broadening the existing cooperation between civil society organizations and companies operating in their communities, and citizens as individual donors.

The program has been modified several times during past seven years, and 51 organization have been supported through it, with the total amount of  141,900.22 Euro.

In 2005 BCIF has started cooperation with VIA Foundation (the funds were provided through donation of  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic),  using the methodology and experiences of Czech civil sector in maintaining long-term partnerships with individual and corporate donors.

The support to organizations was realized in two phases. The first phase was Little School of Fundraising, consisting of three training modules intended to gain knowledge and skills to create strategic plan and fund raising plan, project management knowledge, and skills to fund raise from both corporate and individual donors.

Nine organizations were granted funds by BCIF,for technical support to project idea developed during training process regarding further fund raising activities.. In the second phase of this program (since January 2011) organizations have tested their skills and knowledge gained in Little School of Fundraising through implementation of fundraising activities in their respective communities. During this phase BCIF is also providing donation matching the funds raised from local sources within community.




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