Foundations as generators of organizational development and strengthening of the activities of associations
A common question of citizens, our partners and stakeholders is precisely the question: “How are you funded?”.
Most often the first answer is: with different thematic projects that we apply for various local, national and international competitions. However, for the growth and development of the organization, funding focused on organizational development, which contributed to the Association Sunce as it is today, is extremely important. As it is for projects, applications are usually submitted for tenders in order to obtain these supports. However, applications for support are distinguished from projects by the fact that they are aimed at improving different aspects of the organization and ensuring the quality of action.
Among these supports, funding obtained through institutional support from the National Foundation for Civil Society Development is significant for the Association. We have so far received and successfully implemented institutional support from this Foundation on four occasions (2006-2008, 2010-2012, 2014-2016, 2018-2020), and in 2021 we were re-granted three-year support for 2022-2024.
Institutional supports enabled continuous work on the organizational development of the Association and the gradual and stable development of the organization, which, among other things, was reflected in the growth of total revenues and the growth of the number of employees. It is the institutional supports that have enabled continuity in successful and effective action, achieving the expected results and goals, and creating the organization that the Association Sunce is today.
The approval of other organizational supports marked 2021. With the project Preserving Ecosystems of the Adriatic Sea by Active Participation – SEAS (2021-2022), funded by the Active Citizens Fund, we have focused on developing and strengthening the capacity for advocacy and public communications and the development of membership in the Association.
With the support of the MAVA Foundation (June 2021-August 2022), we have focused on achieving even greater diversification of funding, strengthening fundraising capacities and improving the communication of the Association, both internal and external.
One of the more significant organisational supports in 2021 was achieved through the financing of the Sigrid Rausing Trust at the end of 2021. The Sigrid Rausing Trust supports organizations engaged in human rights, fairness and inclusion, and environmental topics. The Trust recognized our work in the field of nature protection and conservation and, after having implemented the support process, in which it is possible to engage only at the invitation of the Trust, we have also obtained one-year support. Like others, besides achievements in the field of work, this Trust pays great attention to ethical standards, ensuring transparency and high standards in labor policies. The support of this Trust confirms our efforts over the course of years to develop the activities of the organization.
The aforementioned financial supports for organizational development have enabled and still enable the achievement of numerous organizational goals of the Association, the development of management and executive structures and the strengthening of management practices based on the principles of good governance, the development of human resources, targeted competences and professional development, improvement of working conditions, development of volunteering and membership in the Association, improvement of visibility and recognition of the Association, development of internal and external communication, establishing partnerships and supporting smaller organizations, raising funds and diversifying funding, developing social entrepreneurship and maintaining the continuity of the Association Sunce’s activities in processes related to the development and operation of civil society.
The organization is a living organism, and we like to think of the Association Sunce as a learning organization that grows with the growth of its members, volunteers and employees, developing its organizational and program activities and persistently and consistently working towards its strategic goals and vision.
It is characteristic that the majority of employees, members and volunteers are women, which indicates the changes that are happening globally – with the rise of women’s rights and roles in society, there is a growing concern for the environment in which we live. If we want to preserve the planet on which we live (the way we run countries, cities, organizations) it is necessary to change and, with the male principle of strength, power and action, integrate the feminine aspect of love, empathy and care more strongly. We believe that our model of managing the growth, development and activities of the organization, which has been enabled by the very foundations mentioned above, contributes to this and we are slowly moving towards a more sustainable and environmentally responsible society.