On October 4-5, 2016, Eurasia Partnership Foundation in cooperation with the Goris Press Club implemented a CSO Management School in Goris, Syunik region within the framework of CSO DePo. The theme of the school was “How to find resources and write successful proposals.” The participants of the school were 28 representatives from 16 CSOs located in Syunik, Vayots Dzor and Ararat regions, which, in addition to new knowledge and skills, helped to build a network of cooperation between NGOs from these three regions. Over the two days of the school, the experts representing EPF and GPC introduced to the participants some essential experience-based topics related to fundraising. This included types of donors and their priorities; communication with potential donors; reading and understanding requests for proposals; organization of fundraising, proposal writing and submission process; development of log-frames and budgets. The tools that the experts used during the school included introduction to the theme, discussion, and interactive group work.
The school is only one element in the chain of CSO support instruments made available to CSOs by the CSO DePo. The participating CSOs also learned about the CSO DePo Portal (www.hkdepo.am), Capacity Enhancement Tool (CET), and technical resources offered by the DePo Consortium members, e.g. multimedia products of the Media Initiatives Center (MIC) and media literacy trainings of the GPC.
An ongoing reflection from participants indicated the important immediate results of the school: participants realized that to succeed in fundraising they should a) work within their organizational teams in a complimentary manner; b) do strategic prioritization; c) improve their own systems and capacities; and c) improve their service delivery and programming. One of the participants noted: “Usually, we would blame donors for regretting our ‘good’ proposals. Now, we understand how much effort we need to invest in fundraising, and how much attention we need to pay to each minor detail in the process.”
The post-training evaluation shows that 100% of participants would recommend their peers to attend a similar school, while some 80% indicated they are willing to pay for participation.
This was the 5th school in the course of CSO DePo, and the 3rd school that heavily focused on fundraising: EPF conducted two similar schools in Yerevan and Martuni in spring and summer 2016. EPF will deliver the next school in Gyumri in early December 2016.