The struggle to effectively communicate your work is something that NGOs of all sizes suffer from. It is crucial for both raising funds and awareness, as well as instilling donor confidence in an organisation’s work. Yet, there is not much training available on it, especially for smaller, frontline NGOs. ARISE’s mission is to build up frontline networks to effectively do their job; so I was delighted when the Albanian country group invited me to provide some training on this exact topic.
My training was unfortunately brief, and could only provide guidance for the process of creating better communications and PR, rather than providing an in-depth solution. It is my hope, however, that it will have provided each attendee with a better sense of how they might – for not much cost – produce better PR and communications materials. Each of the organisations do fantastic work and hopefully the training will give them some better tools to be able to inform donors and others of what they do.
Each of these smaller organisations, by themselves, could not have afforded such a training. This is where RENATE as a network can offer such value by convening the training for all the country members, thus lowering the cost for each. It is one area where being in a network can add immense value to frontline organisations. I would encourage RENATE and other country groups within international networks to invest in more of these solid trainings for its frontline members. Hopefully, they will result in impactful change far outside what each organisation can afford alone.
Luke de Pulford, Director at the ARISE Foundation is quick to add his support, stating “Unfortunately, fundraising is now so highly specialised that success feels out of reach for so many smaller NGOs. We cannot turn a blind eye to this if we care about frontline anti-trafficking work. Training is a part of it. But this is a two-way street. We need the funding community to change and learn, too, discovering new ways of appreciating the impact of smaller, local NGOs and civil society efforts rather than defaulting to large charity bureaucracies.”
Ana Stakaj, co-ordinator of the RENATE members in Albania, was delighted with the attendance of 25 members, which included a member from Kosovo, (CARITAS Kosovo) who travelled especially for the meeting. The evaluations indicated the training was excellent and most professional. People left very satisfied and glad of the opportunity now to take time to absorb all that had been presented and discussed.
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