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Sustainability Academy

Together with VIA from the Czech Republic, SIGN partners created the Sustainability Academy. The Academy was designed to help local CSOs become more sustainable by providing CSOs with techniques to fundraise in their own communities, and how to effectively involve local citizens in their activities.  As a training program, the Sustainability Academy continues ongoing work by all the SIGN partners to educate local CSOs about the importance of strategic planning and sustainable funding. Over 175 organizations applied to become a part of the Academy and a total of 57 were chosen to participate. By January 2014 all partners completed three training modules in Strategic and project planning, Basics in fundraising and Applied fundraising. These trainings explained basic principles of fundraising, described the skills necessary to achieve their fundraising goals, as well as different methods and techniques of fundraising.

Below you can find the list of Sustainability Academy participants per country:

Please note that the Call for Applications for Sustainability Academy is currently closed. 


Matching grants   

Upon completion of the third module and CSOs finalized their fundraising plans and project proposals, partners awarded technical grants to 55 CSOs and they begun the fundraising process. In their fundraising campaigns, selected CSOs used a number of techniques ranging from mailing and social media campaigns, online crowd-funding platforms and fundraising events but the most effective, as expected, was establishing personal contacts with individual and corporate donors thus fostering long-term relationships and support. Several organizations managed to significantly exceed the amount they targeted and most continued to fundraise even after their campaign ended.

At the end, 55 CSOs managed to raise more than 92.000 EUR in the process and 35 of them that reached their fundraising target first, received 77.420 EUR in matching grants from SIGN partners. These funds were used for the implementation of project initiatives that they fundraised for and for the continuation of their fundraising efforts. Upon completion of the fundraising process, four partners held the final module of the training where participants exchanged experiences, good practices and lessons learned. Participants also had the chance to finish developing their sustainability plans hence developing long term strategies for ensuring their sustainability.