EPIM works closely with its grantee organisations through its capacity development activities, which include facilitating joint learning initiatives and organising workshops built around the needs of these organisations.
EPIM has a ‘Funder-Plus’ approach to its relationship with the NGOs it supports. EPIM seeks to do more than just provide financial support. It is also an active partner working closely with its grantees, which is explained in the short video below with EPIM’s former Chair (2009-2010), Juliet Prager from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
Integral to EPIM’s capacity-building programme, are the collective thematic workshops that are spread along the programme timeframe. Organised approximately every 6 months, the workshops themes are identified in conjunction with grantees according to their needs. Through the years, there have thus been workshops on communication strategies, on working with the media, on EU advocacy and messaging, on various themes related to the structural strengthening of the NGO sector (e.g. evaluation, fundraising, networking/partnership development, etc.). The workshops represent an opportunity for grantees to learn, exchange knowledge on issues and strategise.
Another innovative element of EPIM’s capacity development programme concerns the opportunities provided to EPIM grantee by way of Joint Learning Initiatives (JLIs). The JLIs aim to address the challenges that are often faced by NGOs: that they do not have the resources to travel, to learn new techniques and explore new approaches. EPIM makes funding available to grantee organisations to arrange their own tailor-made capacity development according to the needs of their organisation and their partners. JLI funds could be used, for instance, for targeted training on organisational capacity issues, on high-level management and project cycle management, on budget planning, writing grant applications, conflict management, staff appraisal, or even for joint strategy retreats or initiatives to reflect and engage on a collective advocacy strategy or develop joint communication messages.