Brigitta Jaksa, Project Coordinator for the Swedish Fundraising Council, interviews Eduard Marcek of the Slovak Fundraising Centre about joining EFA.

 

Imagine that you work as a fundraiser in a community (often as large as a country), without knowing how much and how often people give of their time and money. Imagine that you do not have an organised digital way of encountering your potential supporters, or you do not even get the chance to get to know who they are (by law it is prohibited).
 
Imagine that your function as a fundraiser is only the 10th on your to-do list, because you are planning and implementing your projects. Imagine that you are a part-time accountant and a part-time coordinator at the same time, and if you are not the executive director as well, you still need to convince your boss that finding a professional full-time fundraiser is a smarter idea than writing one more begging letter for another foreign grant.
 
It may sound like real chaos, and it feels like a nightmare for most fundraisers in Central and Eastern Europe. It is with these challenges in mind, that I interview Eduard Marcek of the Slovak Fundraising Centre about his desicision to bring his nation’s fundraisers together with others across Europe, joining EFA.

 

SLOVAK FUNDRAISING CENTRE

Contact: Eduard Marcek

Mission: To develop professional fundraising and financing of NGOs, public and private institutions and civic initiatives in Slovakia and internationally.

 
BACKGROUND

The Slovak Fundraising Centre was established in 2009 by the initiative of experts from these organisations: PANETPDCSGreenpeace SlovakiaWellGiving and Center for Philanthropy.

 

INTERVIEW
 
What is the mission of the Slovak Fundraising Centre?

It is to develop professional level fundraising and financing of publicly and privately beneficial activities, non-governmental organizations, public and private institutions, and civic initiatives in Slovakia and internationally.


Why did the Slovak Fundraising Centre decide to join EFA?

We wanted to be a part of the European family of fundraisers, to be in touch with the latest information from other member associations, to get to know what is going on at a European level and to learn about fundraising trends in other European countries.

 

We aim to enhance the importance and recognition of the fundraising profession in Slovakia. We also wanted to develop and promote professional education for our fundraisers and the expertise of other EFA members is invaluable in this.


What would you need from EFA to help you and the organisation?

Sharing best practice and inspiration from other member associations, what works in other countries and how we could satisfy the needs of our fundraisers, of which they may not even be aware of at the moment.

 

EFA could help us develop and certify the educational program and share the best of fundraising across Europe, especially from countries comparable to Slovakia in terms of size and historic and economic development.

 

Discounts to the IFC and other events are already very encouraging. EFA could also stimulate and coordinate the creation and exchange of fundraising market intelligence - we lack a lot of data on philanthropy and fundraising.


What can you and your organisation offer to EFA?

I hope we could bring new energy and determination, and experience of mobilising funds in a challenging environment where philanthropy is yet developing, traditional fundraising methods might be too expensive or not known of as yet.

 

I hope the example of the Slovak Fundraising Centre could be inspirational to other emerging national associations, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. We would like to get engaged in developing the European activities of EFA too, providing that we have the capacity and resource to do so.