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December 07, 2007

As International Funds Wane, Ukraine’s NGOs Leverage Local Support

December 7, 2007

As part of its civil society capacity-building work, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) recently conducted a three-day training workshop on local fundraising for Ukrainian NGOs.  Thirteen representatives from ABA ROLI’s network of partner organizations participated in this training, which was developed to help local partners gain the skills necessary to recruit local donors—one of the main components of organization sustainability.

International donor organizations have been working in Ukraine since the decline of the Soviet Union. But as the volume of international financial support steadily decreases, local donations have come to play a much larger role in the life of Ukrainian NGOs.  Unfortunately, fundraising is not a smooth process.  While NGOs rely increasingly on local funding, prospective local donors lack confidence in the trustworthiness and value of NGOs as partners—when they think about charity at all.

That is why Yana Naralskaya, Ukraine Institution Building Advisor at ABA ROLI, invited Ruslan Kraplych, president of the board of directors of the Fund of the Philanthropist Counts of Ostroh, to lead the training. The fund is one of Ukraine’s most successful modern-day charities, working with businesses, local authorities, citizens, and international donors to raise funds. During the training, participants also visited the chair of the Rotary Club in Rivne City—where the Fund is located—to talk to the stakeholders engaged in charitable giving.

The workshop participants are now poised to begin seeking relationships with local donors. The more successful these NGOs become, the stronger their influence will be in raising the vital concerns of their communities and making citizens more responsible and socially oriented, thereby promoting the rule of law in Ukraine.

The Institution Building Program in Ukraine is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).