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Stronger Roots Program will support 35 organizations

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Altogether 35 organizations will receive support from the Stronger Roots program which is implemented by a consortium of Open Society Fund Prague (CZ), Open Society Foundation Bratislava (SK), Glopolis (CZ) and the NIOK Foundation (HU). The goal of the program is to increase organizational and sectoral resilience of civil society organizations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary and embed them in the societies and communities in which they operate. The 35 organizations will thus receive a grant amounting up to 30 000 Euros and intensive mentoring and consultancy support in a two-year long constituency building program.

We would like to thank all the applying organizations for submitting their projects. The evaluation was a challenging task as there were 47 applications received in Slovakia, 75 in Hungary and 144 in the Czech Republic. Due to the amount of received applications, the evaluation process had several rounds – first, all projects were evaluated by two independent evaluators who then sent a shortlist of 40 projects (HU and CZ) and 25 in Slovakia to the Selection Committees. The Committee in each country then invited 20 best applications for a personal interview that narrowed down the field to 11 – 12 winning grants.

The main selection criteria were: constituency building focus and commitment of the organization, overall quality of the project, defined target groups, appropriate tools and methods to reach the target groups, adequate budget and project location (as announced in the call for proposals – local and regional organisations were slightly advantageous). Motivation and overall readiness of the organization to strengthen the circle of supporters played a role in personal interviews.

Feedback for unsuccessful applicants

Due to the high number of applications, we are not able to send individual feedback. However, the following points are the most common characteristics that led to the project moving to the next round of the selection process:

  • The project focused on constituency building in its full scope, not just fundraising. Better rated were the organizations that want to engage their supporters in other ways (and with other goals) than just pure fundraising.
  • The project reflected the needs of supporters. In particular, projects were advanced when they not only defined what they wanted to gain from their supporters, but also reflected their needs, opinions or interests. For local projects, we also investigated whether the projects sought to develop and take root in the local community.
  • The project had a thoughtful plan to reach out to the supporters. Some projects did not advance to the next round because they had the main activity of hiring a fundraiser or a PR employee, which would not matter in itself, but lacked a more detailed plan of what new employees would do to strengthen the circle of supporters.
  • Milestones led the project step by step to success. In particular, projects have advanced with a rather smaller number of clear and understandable milestones that have moved the project forward. On the other hand, projects that presented a large number of milestones and activities, but which overlapped and did not follow each other, received lower ratings.
  • The project reflected the overall strategy of the organization. In particular, projects that explained how the project fits into the overall strategy of the organization, moves the organization forward and builds its sustainability were evaluated positively.

We hope that this feedback will help unsuccessful applicants in shaping their further strategies to reach out to their supporters and strengthen their relationship with them. Throughout the Stronger Roots program, we will also try to publish specific case studies on how to successfully build a circle of supporters so that even unsupported organizations get more inspiration and motivation for their work.

Supported organisations:
Here you will find a list of supported organizations in each of the countries:

Czech Republic

Agentura pro rozvoj Broumovska, z.s.
Centrum paliativní péče, z.ú.
Fokus Labe, z.ú.
Hnutí Brontosaurus, z.s.
INEX – Sdružení dobrovolných aktivit, z.s.
IQ Roma servis, z.s.
Magdaléna, o.p.s.
Otevřeno, z. s.
Pražské matky, z. s.
PROTEBE live, z.s.
Rodina v centru, z.u.
ZO ČSOP Vlašim (Český svaz ochránců přírody)

Slovakia

Amnesty International Slovensko
Humánny pokrok o.z.
Islamic Foundation in Slovakia (INS)
KASPIAN
Liga za duševné zdravie o.z.
Nadácia DEDO
Nadácia Milana Šimečku
Nadácia pre deti Slovenska
NepocujuceDieta.sk
Transparency International Slovakia
VIA IURIS

Hungary

A Matematika Összeköt Egyesület
Amnesty International Magyarország
Debreceni Regionális Közlekedési Egyesület (DERKE)
Haver Informal Jewish Educational Foundation
KórházSuli Alapítvány a Beteg Gyerekek Tanulásának Támogatásáért
Közélet Iskolája Alapítvány
Lépjünk, hogy léphessenek! Közhasznú Egyesület (Step by Step! Association)
Pecs CommunityFoundation
SUHANJ! Foundation
Transparency International Hungary Foundation
Tudatos Vásárlók Közhasznú Egyesülete
Uccu Roma Informal Educational Foundation