16 November 2017
by Catherine MALLET

EU Funding conference, Brussels, November 2017

Last week The EU Affairs Office of The Salvation Army held an EU Funding conference, with 23 delegates from across Europe. The aim of the event was to encourage regional leaders, directors of social services and other staff involved in the business; project or financial administration within the Army structures to be more confident to go out and apply for EU funding. The event started with a representative from the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion who gave an overview of some of the available funding streams that could be relevant for The Salvation Army social services. She also confirmed that The Salvation Army is equally entitled to access funding as any other as any other civil society organization. Participants also shared their experiences from past successes and failures of funding applications, both national and multinational applications (with examples from the Czech Republic, France and the Netherlands).

The second day was led by external trainers from ECAS (European Citizens Advice Service) on the ‘how to’ of EU funding and applications, including a practical exercise on how to make an EU funding concept note. The third day looked at potential partnerships with Eurodiaconia Secretary General Heather Roy who encouraged Salvation Army delegates to consider not only their members as potential partners but also to look wider afield  to other service providers, local municipalities and other churches for example. She also warned against ‘chasing the money’ but rather looking for common values and goals, then looking for the funding. And finally the delegates made several proposals as to what could be the next steps, these included employing a national coordinator for EU funding, seeking out local training courses in the local language, eligibility of local TSA to have relevant accreditation and a number of suggestions for potential projects and partnerships for EU funding applications. More details will be included in a full report in due course. 

Tags: Europe