Capacity Building in Bulgaria: Fundraising 101

In August EPF concluded the third module of its Capacity Building Programme in Bulgaria. 15 organisations, including 7 newcomers to the programme, developed their fundraising strategy and shared best practices.

Launched in 2012, the EPF Capacity Building Programme is designed to develop the capacity of both national and European level patient organisations through various training modules. The programme is for the moment deployed in Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland.

Kicked-off in April 2017, the third module for Bulgaria aims to contribute in building fundraising skills of 15 Bulgarian patient organisations through trainings and coaching, with the view for these organisations to achieve long-term financial sustainability and transparency.

Thanks to the capacity building module, the participating organisations were able to:

-          acquire knowledge on fundraising;

-          design their fundraising strategies and plans and debate them with their peers and experts;

-          formulate and submit a funding request to a wide range of donors and funding programmes;

The module proved to be highly important for all participating organisations and in particular for organisations from rural and remote regions where opportunities to share experiences with other fellow patient organisations are scarce.

Fostering a collaborative culture

For most organisations the module also provided opportunities to improve their competences in other areas such as strategic communications (public image and reputation, logos, websites) and to revise their mission and vision.

During the course of this very practical module, organisations had to engage in a large number of fundraising activities: this contributed to enhance the organisations’ entrepreneurial spirit. Beyond the intended outcomes of the training, the module also improved the collaborative culture of the community: “through the various face-to-face meetings, a trust-building process was initiated among patient organisations”, said Elena Balestra, EPF Membership & Capacity-Building Officer. Working together within the module also led them to the realisation of the great potential and added value of implementing joint projects and partnerships.

A detailed view on the progress made by each participating organisation can be found here.

As for the next steps, we are currently planning the next phase of the programme in Bulgaria consisting of a new thematic training module with the invaluable help of our partner on the ground and EPF member NPO.

If you would like to know more about what is happening in each country, have a look at our website: (

Contact: Elena Balestra, Membership and Capacity Building Officer