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Fundraising & Resource Development

One of the main issues of CSOs is maintaining financial sustainability to be able to sustain their operations. It is even identified as the priority area most of the time.

Resource seeking of CSOs may vary from paying office rent to affording staff salaries, from fund seeking for project implementation to meeting the expense of a single item of a single activity.

Establishing and running commercial enterprises can be considered as another method of fundraising activities for CSOs. More information about commercial enterprises can be found at "Economic Enterprise" subject heading.

For "aid collection", the organization should take an active role and make a request. In other words, a CSO who aims to collect aid should apply for a permission from public authority. But donations can be realized by a person’s own will and it’s not compulsory for a CSO to apply for a permit. Besides, "aid collection" can be performed to achieve a designated goal, however, it’s not necessary to set a specific goal for donations.

For this reason, it's recommended to avoid such actions like advertising, making a call, directing people to donate, which may be perceived as "aid collection" until the application for permission to collect aid is finalized.

It’s recommended to create different bank accounts for aid collection and donations. Please be noted that the bank accounts for aid collection are inspected at the end of the permit period. 

More details on this regard can be found at primary legislation below;

For more information on aid collection can be found at the website of DG of Relations with Civil Society.

One of the main issues of CSOs is financial sustainability and regular access to finance. However, it’s worth to underline that the sustainability of CSOs does not only depend on accessing financial resources. Since its establishment, a CSO forms a whole of resources with members, volunteers, target audience, other stakeholders, local and international networks, organizational structure, legal status. For this reason, the concept of resource development is actually a development and management of above-mentioned integrated approach and securing its sustainability.

Access to finance and securing financial sustainability, is considered as the need and requirement of CSOs all over the world. It’s recommended that A CSO enables a financial sustainability which can be generated a predictable capital flow from different sources for carrying out its programmes and activities.

Project-based grants or donations can be seen as the first alternatives of CSOs However, the available resources for civil society actors are more than these and they are very diverse. Resources can be categorized as:

  • In-kind supports,
  • membership fees,
  • Sponsorships,
  • Grants, project-based supports,
  • Donations,
  • Crowdfunding mechanisms,
  • Corporate social responsibility supports,
  • Micro-credit or similar support loans,
  • Solution partnerships,
  • Commercial/economic activities, commercial enterprises of CSOs
  • Social investments (impact investments, entrepreneurial philanthropy, etc.),
  • Circular economy mechanisms.[i]

For more information, we recommend you to check out following resources. Please note that below resources are in Turkish.

Preview image for the video "Fongogo Kitlesel Fonlama Platformu".
Preview image for the video "Açık Açık: Gönlün Rahat Aklın Rahat".

[1] Kaynak Geliştirme ve Yenilikçi Uygulamalar: Yerel STÖ, Ağ / Platform / İnisiyatif ve Aktivistler için Rehber, Eliş Berivan, Avrupa Birliği Sivil Düşün Programı, Aralık 2019 -

STGM regularly searches for funding opportunities for civil society to contribute to the sustainability of CSOs in Turkey and support their resource development efforts. Specific Calls for grants, targeted to CSOs can be found on the STGM website under the “Open Calls” heading.

Besides, STGM created a database, called "Funds Database". The database consists of information regarding several funding institutions and organizations for CSOs in both national and international channels  The database and its content can be accessed at the "Funds Database" page on the STGM website.

Crowdfunding can be defined as one of the new generation fundraising methods which is a funding system based on financial and in-kind donations/contributions from a large number of individuals.  Individuals are able to provide financial or in-kind contributions by making donations via online platforms.

Some examples of online crowdfunding tools in Turkey can be seen in alphabetical order; Açık AçıkAdım Adımdestkle.orgFongogoİhtiyaç Haritası.

The fundraising and resource development concept can be considered by CSOs in a broader perspective. In addition to financial resources, infrastructure, equipment, information and technology are also resources for CSO that are expected to be managed efficiently. Therefore, CSOs should not consider resources only in terms of money, and to plan them in a broader context. Here, volunteers should also be recognized as one of the significant resources in CSOs. Volunteers can take an active role in different areas, from accessing in-kind and financial resources to supporting the operations of the organizations.

Volunteers contribute to several different functions of CSOs in a wider range of areas, such as promoting community engagement and participation in the society and to popularize the success and operations of the organization. Besides, working with volunteers enhances the recognition of the organization, ensures that its operations and works are acknowledged by the society. They also serve as a bridge between CSOs and society and contribute to increase effectiveness of CSOs operations. Moreover, the support of volunteers enables a CSO to run activities easier and in a more effective way. All of these provide an advantage to CSOs in fundraising and resource development processes as well.

You can find more information about fundraising and resource development and volunteer management on Volunteer Management Guide, 501 Commons. For further information (in Turkish), please check out the Turkish version of this page.