TEA BREAK WITH

BART ROMIJN

What kicks you off on Monday morning?

To hear feedback and ideas from our members. Partos is an association of development organizations and it is important for us to serve our members. Every Monday morning, our core team meets to discuss the feedback from them and try to transform it into direct activities and actions. And I find it very inspiring and rewarding.

What inspires you in fundraising?

People. Creative dedicated people, that just keep coming up with new ideas, propositions, and innovative processes in fundraising.

What trends do you foresee in fundraising?

Trends are in fact one of my main interests. I have always been trying to identify new trends and to anticipate on them. Therefore, I could give a long list, but I will try to pick the most important ones.

Firstly, there is a trend in funding that fundraisers have to cope with. And that is the tendency of donors, particularly institutional donors, to narrow the scope of funding windows, be it through stringent project-oriented earmarking or through requiring robust measurable impact. This leads to fragmented interventions. Many issues in international development are complex and wicked problems that you can’t solve by pulling only one rope. You need integrated approaches and multi-partner solutions. But that is not easy and straightforward to measure. Some donors start to realize this shortcoming, and I think that organizations should take a strong stand to convince donors to rethink this tendency.

While before the private sector was looked at mainly as a financial sponsor, it now increasingly becomes a solution partner.

Connections are a new currency. Mobilizing competencies and joining forces of complementary partners will not only increase impact, but often also decrease the amount of funds needed. For example, while before the private sector was looked at mainly as a financial sponsor, it now increasingly becomes a solution partner.

Another global trend, that derives from the War against terrorism, is that in many countries it is prohibited to receive money from foreign countries, because then they become “agents of foreign powers”. The number of countries passing such a law is increasing and many organizations are under much more scrutiny because of it. In response to this trend, it is important to explore new means, such as through bitcoins and blockchain enabled money transfer mechanisms, that make it more difficult to restrict international transfers of money.

Finally, there is an emergence of many new organizational forms, such as hybrid NGOs, that combine their work as a charity with a social enterprise, and fluid thematic networks, pop-up organizations without formal legal structure but with an active and influential impact.

Finally, there is an emergence of many new organizational forms, such as hybrid NGOs, that combine their work as a charity with a social enterprise, and fluid thematic networks, pop-up organizations without formal legal structure but with an active and influential impact. We can see this trend internationally, such as the Arab Spring but also on a national level, such as a wave of people organizing themselves to help refugees coming to the Netherlands. It goes beyond voluntarism and I think these networks will influence the future of traditional NGOs. It will be interesting to see whether and how will they cooperate with each other. These changes pose new challenges for fundraisers.

What do you consider the most important quality of a good fundraiser?

I will have to come back to the answer I already mentioned, talking about inspiration in fundraising. What I consider very important is a creative passionate and persistent approach and the ability to articulate the key message of how you are going to make the difference

Bart Romijn

Director of PARTOS

About the series

Have you ever wondered whether you had more in common with your peers than just your passion for making a difference? Through informal interviews, we explore the ultimate drives of fundraising professionals, donors and association’s leaders, as well as their secrets for successful Mondays and their insights about the NGO and fundraising sector. Grab a cup and read on!

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