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Support of Strategic Planning and Financial Sustainability of Serbian NGOs, 2011


Nadace VIA

In December 2011 the Via Foundation, together with its Serbian partner, the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund (BCIF), finished implementing the project „Support of strategic planning and financial sustainability of Serbian NGOs”. We have planned the project together in response to the needs of Serbian civil society organizations as a continuation of our long-term cooperation.

Project goals:

  1. Design and pilot a complex development program for Serbian NGOs focused on strategic planning and fundraising
  2. Create a pool of fundraising consultants who will be later available for all NGOs in Serbia
  3. Disseminate essential know-how through the translation of a fundraising handbook adapted to the needs of Serbian NGOs.

The development program helped organizations to clarify their development priorities, taught them to develop strategic plans, to work with them in their day-to-day operation and to use them as a tool for both developing core programs and creating new ones in fulfilment of their mission. Participating organizations simultaneously worked on a long-term fundraising strategy that would help them to overcome the dependence on international institutional donors by focusing on local sources (corporate and individual donors). The program was designed to help recipient NGOs make first steps towards long-term sustainability and future financial independence.

In addition, we focused on disseminating information and know-how among other Serbian NGOs, provided support for networking and skill sharing between both organizations and individuals with the aim of contributing to their professional and personal growth.

The 15 participating organizations were chosen by BCIF from its pool of grantees. The NGOs came from various regions of Serbia and their activities covered a wide range of topics including youth work, environment protection, human rights and watchdog activities. Our work with Serbian NGOs was complemented by training of 3 fundraising and development consultants, who were also chosen by BCIF among experienced managers of NGOs.

Three 2-3 day long workshops took place in Belgrade in 2010. We focused on strategic planning, project and financial management as well as on fundraising. The workshops were conducted by Serbian lecturers as well as the Via Foundation and BCIF staff. A separate training of consultants took place in spring 2010. Between the workshops, participants worked on assignments with the support of our consultants and BCIF staff. Results of the first phase (2010) were strategic and fundraising plans, submitted in November 2010. Upon their evaluation, 9 out of the 15 participating organization entered the second phase and worked on fulfilling the fundraising goals they have set for themselves. By the end of the second phase, each organization managed to fundraise more than 3000 EUR on average. 2011 also saw the publishing of a translated fundraising handbook, originally released by Directory of Social Change.

Response to the project was very positive. It was the first complex development program offered by BCIF to Serbian NGOs and its results make BCIF determined to continue developing programs along similar lines. The recipient NGOs took their participation very seriously. The workshops had a strong turnout and the organizations dedicated great capacity to drafting their strategic and fundraising plans as well as to implementing them.

Supported by 1 750 000 CZK