November – EPF Supporting Patient Organisations in Europe

EPF continued helping patient organisations growing in 2017 with again a very fruitful year for the EPF Capacity Building Programme, with training modules in Poland and Bulgaria and the first edition of the EPF National Coalitions meeting!

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.

Kicked-off in April 2017, the third module for Bulgaria aims to contribute in building fundraising skills of 15 Bulgarian patient organisations through training 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 of 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.

On the 19th and 20th of June, EPF organised the first face-to-face training of the Capacity Building Programme in Poland. Over two days and under the guidance of a team of trainers, 18 Polish patient organisations took the first steps towards developing their own long-term strategy. The training also aims at fostering a collaborative culture between patient organisations and health stakeholders.

18 Polish patient organisations representing different chronic diseases had the possibility to learn more about the key elements that should be taken into consideration during the development of a strategic plan. The training also gave the possibility to local participants to explore fundraising opportunities and practice strategic communication techniques.

But crucially, the workshop offered a valuable opportunity for representatives to get to know each other better and deepen their network, creating strong bonds within the patient community!

The objective of the first phase of the Capacity Building Programme in Poland is that by the end of 2017, each organisation will have defined, for themselves;

    • a clear vision and mission statement;
    • their guiding principles and values;
    • their long-term goals;
    • their main areas of operations.

Finally, on 16-17 October, more than 30 representatives of national patient coalitions from 28 countries across Europe gathered together in Brussels for the first EPF National Coalitions Meeting. The aim was to grow synergies between national coalitions and to learn how to advocate effectively at all levels, for better outcomes for patients in Europe.

A national coalition of patient organisations is an umbrella organisation grouping national or regional patient organisations representing individual chronic conditions (Alzheimer's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis ...) or groupings of conditions (rare diseases, cancers, mental health conditions etc.). These organisations come together and form an umbrella that should be representative of the collective interests of all patients of one country.

Shaped around a very interactive progamme, the EPF National Coalitions Meeting focused on three main objectives:

    1. building and developing the participants’ knowledge of the European Union;
    2. learning how to get involved in a European advocacy campaign;
    3. designing a roadmap for a coordinated and common advocacy framework for EPF and the national coalitions.

National coalitions of patient organisations play a crucial role in the national context; they are the eyes and ears of the patient community and that’s why their presence is vital for EPF,” said Radu Costin Ganescu, EPF Board member.


Contact: Elena Balestra, Membership and Capacity Building Officer.