Fundraising and grant acquisition - a balance sheet at the end of 2019

December 2019

Due to rising demand, OEC is filling a new position with a fundraising specialist in 2020. Fundraising projects must increasingly be justified in the context of the UN sustainability goals. However, also in the tendering market, some things are to be seen critically.

In 2019, Open Europe Consulting recorded a sharp increase in enquiries in the business area "Fundraising & Fundraising Acquisition". The development of project concepts and the entire preparation of the application is a varied and certainly costly process, especially when international partner consortia are involved.

Our main task so far has centred on the acquisition of subsidies for our consulting projects and discussing individual inquiries of our clients. However, since there was a real run on the funds at the end of the year and we were unable to accept all requests due to HR capacity constraints, we are looking forward to our new fundraising consultant.

Almost every topic is worthy of support and a suitable fundraising programme can be found. Whether in the non-profit or for-profit sector, projects should contribute to the implementation of the Agenda 2030, i.e. to the UN Sustainability Development Goals. The interface to our business area Corporate Responsibility (CSR & Shared Value) has a positive effect here.

Last year, we submitted applications to international organisations, EU programmes and public tenders, national development cooperation agencies, private foundations and the German employment agency on a variety of topics, e.g.: entrepreneurship, robotics and artificial intelligence, prevention of addiction, working with Roma communities and female genital mutilation. For each application we scan the available funding options and if there is no suitable programme yet, we continue to monitor the tender market. If necessary, we assist in the formation of consortia, especially for partner organisations (non-governmental organisations, companies, universities and research institutions).

For the first time, we have compiled statistics for this business field. With approved grants amounting 1.301 million Euro and an additional volume of 1.1 million Euro for applied for funds in the pipeline, the balance sheet is impressive.

We take this opportunity at the turn of the year to call those responsible in politics and administration to reflect critically on two thoughts:

Firstly, we view with concern the development of a state-administered and in some cases, controlled market that is being created by subsidies in the economic sector. Subsidies for companies are of course justified and we are more than happy to support them, especially when it comes to innovation, digitalisation, investments and the promotion of start-ups. Too many public programmes, however, are already distorting competition and interfering with the free market economy. Further, they are also creating more bureaucracy, which we are opposed to.

Secondly, in the area of public support for non-profit organisations, the approval procedure gives much greater weight to quantitative measurements. Project proposals are now expected to address more participants and conduct more activities, for instance, but the budget remains unchanged, which impacts negatively the quality and sustainability of project results. It also jeopardizes the financial stability of the project partners and stakeholders.

Last but not least, we would like to thank you for your trust and wish all our clients and readers a merry Christmas 2019 and a healthy and successful New Year.


Andrea Mewaldt and the OEC Team

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