In the framework of the project SOCIETIES – Support of CSOs and empowering technical skills, Inclusion of people with disabilities and EU standards in South East Europe, Association “Nasa kuca“ and Caritas Serbia organized a training on Fundraising, which was held on 12 and 13 December in Belgrade. The training was intended for civil society organizations dealing with people with mental health problems or gathering people with disabilities who want to improve their fundraising strategies, establish cooperation with the business sector and provide support to the wider community in which they work.

The aim of the training was to familiarize participants with potential traditional and alternative sources of funding, successful fundraising mechanisms and possibilities for diversifying sources of financing. The idea was to strengthen the capacities of participants in understanding the importance and successful establishment of cross-sectoral partnerships, as well as to ensure support from the local community.

Participants to the training were representatives of civil society organizations: Educational Center “TIM” from Knjazevac, Humanitarian Association “HERC” from Belgrade, COCI Child Care, Association “Evo ruka” from Zemun polje, Association of citizens “Mir” from Pirot, Association “Cep za hendikep” and Association of Citizens for Development and Improvement of Therapeutic, Pedagogical and Recreational horse riding “GRIVA”.

During the training the participants discussed examples, mechanisms and challenges of cooperation with the business sector, elements that make a successful fundraising strategy and through group work, they had the opportunity to develop their fundraising strategies. The training provided them with the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge about the concepts that will be necessary for them to successfully secure their organization with different sources of funding, access to new resources, greater visibility of topics they deal with, through the establishment of new partnerships and access to new public.

Some of the conclusions of the training are that in order to successfully solve the current problems, cooperation between all three sectors is needed: public, business and civil, that the partnership with the company is a two-way relationship, which is much more than the financial support of the company, and that visibility, communication and inclusion have a key role in ensuring support of the local community.