The guests were welcomed by Joanna Lempart Winnicka, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s Program Director and Paweł Łukasiak, President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland.
The opening lecture was given by Eugenie Harvey who presented TFN activities and one of the crowdfunding methods, namely the donor circle model. The method is based on the idea of holding meetings of local community members who, being the potential donors, can decide if a given initiative presented to them at that meeting deserves their financial support. The lecturer noted that the method turns out effective and is very popular in United Kingdom. She also presented examples of various events that were carried out using that method all over the world. “Thanks to it we can directly encourage the donors to support our initiative,” Eugenie Harvey said.
In turn Sylwia Kobayashi of Sentio Coaching & Fundraising spoke about how important it is to maintain relations with people and institutions subsidizing the activities of a given NGO. The workshop conducted by Kobayashi allowed the participants to share their experiences and discover new ideas that help build NGO relations with donors.
Next Maria Rogaczewska, Ph.D, of the Institute for Social Studies at the Warsaw University conducted a workshop seminar on activities aimed at promoting social sport and encouraged the Act Locally Centers to have a dialogue with local governments in that area. The subject captured the participant’s attention, especially in the context of sports thematic path which is one of several thematic paths started within the “Act Locally” Program. Working in groups, the participants developed several solutions, using, among other things, a sports thematic path to make a plan of winning new partners.
The next guest of the training seminar was Magdalena Szymczak of the Polish Humanitarian Action, who presented the offer of joining PHU activities by Act Locally Centers at the local level and spoke about possibilities to raise funds for feeding poor and neglected children.
In turn, Paweł Łukasiak, spoke about organization management through mission and value. The subject turned out to be very interesting for participants and the lecture was followed by discussion about values within the organization and those communicated to local communities.
The last workshop session on that day was conducted by representatives of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland. Dorota Stronkowska, the “We can do more and do it better. JST-NGO Academy of Financial Cooperation” Project Coordinator presented opportunities of NGOs’ cooperation with the local government based on the re-granting mechanism. Next Justyna Matusiak, the “Act Locally” Program Coordinator, spoke about important issues related to the implementation of the program.
The second day of the training course started with the lecture given by Piotr Pawłowski, the President of the “Integration” Association, the winner of the “Civic Leader of the Year 2015” title awarded by Newsweek Polska weekly. Telling about his life and achievements, he showed the listeners a way to find motivation to act. He also showed how one can change the world by not giving up. “It is difficult to complain that you are climbing up, if you are heading to the summit of a mountain,” Piotr Pawłowski said.
Next the participants in the training were divided into two groups and attended two thematic sessions. One of them, conducted by Eugenie Harvey, let the participants test the effectiveness of the “donor circle” method that was presented during the inaugural lecture. The Act Locally Centers interested in this initiative will obtain small grants (GBP 1,000 each) from the Funding Network for organization of an event using the “donor circle” model. The other session, conducted by Tomasz Schimanek, the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland expert, concerned legal aspects of re-granting.
In the afternoon, the participants had an information meeting about the possibilities of international cooperation under the “Region in Transition – (RITA)” Program, conducted by Anna Kertyczak of the Education for Democracy Foundation and the workshop session with Justyna Matusiak on “Networking as a tool for working with local communities” presenting good practices and examples of ALC activities undertaken in that area.
The “Act Locally” Program has been supporting and encouraging local communities in villages and small towns for 15 years, by lending support to civil initiatives that foster developmental aspirations, improve the quality of life and contribute to building social capital. So far almost 3 million people, including almost 150,000 volunteers, have been participating in implementation of almost 8,000 initiatives.