Lessons Learned

A case study of anti-racism organisations in Brussels

Life is not getting any easier for many non profit organisations in Brussels. Financial problems due to the economic crisis, the change towards more project driven EU funding, increased scrutiny by the media and the general public are among the many challenges facing EU NGO’s.

As a result, non-profit organisations are expected to work more efficiently and more effectively and meet ever higher standards of transparency and accountability. The competition for scarce resources is growing. At the same time, the EU itself is under attack, which reflects negatively on all organisations working in Brussels.

These kinds of problems are even more relevant for CSOs working in the field of migration, refugees, anti-racism and discrimination at EU level, as unfortunately the issues they cover are relatively low on the priority list of politicians and policy makers. As a consequence, they often get little support in terms of public policy and funding. Their beneficiaries are demonstrably unpopular with policy makers and have real and persistent trouble interesting public authorities for their needs or demands.

ODS has worked with quite a number of these organisations and has advised them on how to solve their internal and external challenges. We have supported changes in organisational structure, have guided transitions to greater professionalism of management and have suggested revisions of their governance structure. In addition, external communication and fundraising issues can place a substantial burden on these organisation and our external help has proven very useful in solving these problems.

Read the ODS report on our lessons learned from our work with anti-racism organisations