As the public and donors place increasing demands on charitable and supportive non-governmental organizations (NGOs), their transparency, and the effectiveness of support raising, there is a growing need to attract professional employees to NGOs. The processes that are provided by sales or marketing specialists in a business company, in NGOs have an equivalent that is fundraising. Unfortunately, the professional field of NGO fundraising in Lithuania has developed chaotically so far, and many employees in the sector are self-taught, who developed themselves using a costly and resource-intensive method based on tests and lessons.
Fundraising.lt initiative is launched in Lithuania, the aim of it is to lay the foundations for the fundraising profession, professionals’ community and to help every non-governmental organization, even the smallest, to find its donor.
According to the data of the survey of NGOs conducted by Aukok.lt at the beginning of 2020, even 75 percent of organizations raise less than 10 thousand euros support from natural persons during a year, therefore, they do not have sufficient independent funding for their activity. 79 percent of NGOs do not have dedicated fundraising staff, and 9 percent have only 1 employee each. More than half of the NGOs representatives’ have admitted that they did not participate in any event related to NGO communication and fundraising in the last 6 months.
According to the initiators of Fundraising.lt project, this survey data shows that opportunities for improvement for the NGO sector’s representatives in Lithuania have not yet been discovered. “During the 11 years of Aukok.lt portal activity, we see that donors and their behaviour are changing. The pandemic has shown that Lithuanians are willing and can contribute financial support to the help provided by non-governmental organizations to those who are in need. Now is the time for the organizations to increase their professionalism to meet all the expectations of donors”, states the head of Aukok.lt portal Giedrė Šopaitė-Šilinskienė.
Within 27 months, the project implementing organizations – donation portal Aukok.lt, Slovak NGO “Slovenské centrum fundraisingu” and the Lithuanian management consulting and training company “OVC Consulting” – together with the strongest NGOs in the country will lay the foundations for fundraising specialist’s profession. The development of the description of the fundraising specialist profession has already started, next year the information platform Fundraising.lt and the continuous competency development program will be launched, which will be accompanied by the conferences Fundraising.lt for NGOs and the informal activity of the fundraising practitioners club.
“OVC Consulting” activity development director and partner Inga Radzevičienė believes that the strength of Fundraising.lt project lies in a long-term perspective. “We rely not only on a strong desire to seek knowledge and improve professionally. We are valuably interested and see the meaning of participating in such projects, helping proactive people to achieve long-term goals, creating and improving their activity in the context of the community, society or the whole of Lithuania.” According to the project expert, “OVC Consulting” consultant and partner Diana Palivonienė, people are the foundation of NGOs: “We ensure smooth processes and achieve great results when we have people who can achieve results, have the energy and the will to act. And there are as many people as we need. Therefore, the three most important things are to attract these people, to raise them, because usually there are no trained specialists or they are not available to NGOs, and to keep them.”
Fundraising.lt project is a part of the “Active Citizens Fund” funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism.