Brussels, 06 May 2010 - Caritas Europa held its Annual Meeting on Communications and Fundraising in Vienna on 26-27 April 2010. The event was co-organised and hosted by Caritas Austria.
Since its first edition in 2004, the popularity of this event has been steadily growing. The gathering offers an excellent opportunity to persons responsible for media and fundraising across the Caritas Europa network to come together and interact with each other.
In line with previous Annual Meetings where initial ideas were gathered and the project was shaping, a Caritas campaign is currently being carried out on the occasion of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. The state of play in its implementation was presented to participants who shared with each other examples of initiatives at national level.
Following this exchange, Wolfgang Machreich, journalist of “Die Furche” (weekly Austrian magazine), explored what Media needs from NGOs like Caritas in order to constructively report on poverty and how to contribute to professional media work on this issue.
Participants in the 2010 edition of the Caritas Europa Annual Meeting on Communications and Fundraising
For the guest speaker NGOs are becoming more and more independent in the ways they report on their activities and negotiate media relations. However, it is still very important to acknowledge the role of the professional journalist and the benefits that NGOs can gain from healthy relationships with the media in terms of strengthening their brands and creating fundraising opportunities.
Indeed, valuable fundraising opportunities can be created through optimising media relations and through accurate fundraising strategies. Key-note speaker, Fundraising Expert Jasna Sonne, took participants on an exciting virtual trip showing profiles, data and stories in the World of the Rich and provoking a reflection on the still unexploited opportunities in the area of Big Donor Fundraising.
In order to maximise chances when approaching potential big donors it is important to correctly apply Major Gift Cycles integrating Relationship Building and adequate communication techniques. According to the guest speakers, nothing can be left to chance: there are, for example, seven types of asking and several techniques to close a gift transfer.
Contributions in the working group sessions presented best practices in the areas of fundraising and press. Secours Catholique-Caritas France has recently launched the Caritas France foundation following a strategy of keeping strictly separated the brand of the organisation from the brand of the foundation. Caritas Spain gave examples of NGO-corporate relations highlighting the importance to respect the integrity of their brand and image when dealing with enterprises.
The working group on press reviewed, among others, the increasingly good experiences in producing and circulating communication materials and tools prepared by Caritas Internationalis for use by member organisations following emergency situations such as the Haiti and China earthquakes this year.
A nice picture with the St. Stephen's Cathedral in the background is the souvenir left by guest speaker Robert Frank who addressed participants about how to take good pictures and encouraged them to act as professional photographers for a day.
The next edition of the Annual Meeting on Communications and Fundraising will be held on 28-29 April 2011.
For more information please contact:
Advocacy and Communication Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 03 94