Technical Assistance for
Civil Society Organisations

Fundraising skills

Although essential for your organisation’s sustainability, fundraising is not the only important aspect of your organisations’ capacity. In the interest of sustainability the following components are equally important:

Programme and service delivery capacity including:

  • The ability and commitment to provide high quality programmes and services relevant to the mission;
  • The existence of standards and other quality assurance measures;
  • The ability to inform, educate, research and advocate.

General management capacity includes:

  • The ability to elaborate the strategic or business plan;
  • Sound management practices;
  • A clear organisational structure;
  • An involved board;
  • Well-functioning administrative systems including management information systems, outreach, communication and media skills.

In order to achieve its mission and objectives a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) needs to sustain its activities by covering its expenses with revenue. Fundraising has many different meanings but, most commonly, it refers to the idea of collecting funds from different donors. Raising funds includes numerous different activities; therefore, much wider definition will be used. So, in the widest sense, fundraising is the process through which you access the necessary funds to assure the flow of revenue to sustain an organisation’s activities. Thus defined, fundraising refers to all activities implemented in a CSO in order to assure the revenues necessary to sustain and help your organisation achieve its mission.

Financial management and fundraising capacity includes:

  • Strong financial management and control, including accounting systems;
  • Financial planning capability, including the elaboration of an annual operating budget;
  • A well-crafted and implemented fundraising strategy;
  • The ability to attract and retain a diversity of funding sources.

In order to strengthen fundraising capacity, a CSO needs to be worthy of the trust of its sources of funding be they individuals or organisations. Trust and loyalty will grow from within the organisation. For fundraising activities two aspects are crucial: accountability and transparency.

  • Accountability refers to being responsible to someone for actions taken and being able to explain, clarify and justify these actions. It implies that someone has a right to know and hold your organisation to account, and that your organisation has a duty to explain and account for its actions.
  • Transparency is about being easy to understand, open, frank and honest in all communications, transactions and operations. It is possible to be accountable by providing a lengthy and technical explanation of every detail but, if the audience does not easily understand this information and, if the sheer volume of information hides key facts, then the information is not presented in a transparent form. Accountability and transparency go hand-in-hand and involve being aware of whom you are accountable to, what the important pieces of information are, and how they can be communicated most effectively.

Training on how to write winning proposals and mobilise resources

Manual on Fundraising and Accessing EU Funds

TACSO developed the Manual on Fundraising and Accessing EU Funds with the aim to increase the capacities of CSOs to raise more general, as well as EU funds so that the sustainability of the organisation is sustained.

DownloadManual on Fundraising and Accessing EU Funds

Guide for Trainers: Fundraising and Accessing EU Funds

The aim of the guide is to provide a range of training methodologies and tools that can be used in learning events for CSO managers and staff and by local trainers and consultants who are interested in helping and enabling CSOs improve their knowledge and skills in fundraising activities.

Download: Guide for Trainers - Fundraising and Accessing EU Funds

Download Videos:

Overview of EU financial assistance part 1

Watch: Overview of EU financial assistance part 2