Eugenia Mazurenko, CEO of Zaguriy Foundation in Ukraine, has issued an urgent appeal to the international NGO community.
Last week, prompted by the attrocities being perpetrated in Ukraine, we hosted humanitarian, global leader, and changemaker Amanda Seller for a session on fundraising for humanitarian crises.
During the session, Eugenia Mazurenko asked to speak. Eugenia is the CEO of the Zagoriy Foundation, a nonprofit in Ukraine that “acts as a role model for implementing sustainable charitable activities in Ukraine.”
Eugenia’s message was clear: Grassroots organisations in Ukraine are running out of money, and donations from international organisations have been too slow to come in.
These are her words.
“Before the war, Zagoriy Foundation aimed to develop a culture of giving. We conducted research on giving, developed institutional philanthropy and trust in foundations, and provided them with grants to improve efficiency. With the advent of war, the priorities of each of us changed, and most of our projects had to be cancelled. But we kept loyalty to our mission and decided to stick to it in the new conditions.
Every nonprofit organisation in Ukraine has now faced the new realities of war. Most will continue to work despite all the difficulties, help their wards, or solve current wartime problems. Therefore, we strive to support Ukrainian organisations, identify current needs, and promote coordination and partnership within the sector.
In the early days of the war, organisations could quickly cover rapidly growing needs in the wake of a general increase in requests and a desire to help. However, after a while, including due to frequent fraud cases, there was a request to check the transparency of foundations and initiatives. Thus, our team took part in the reporting check and verification of bona fide funds.
However, accountability is not all it takes to make the sector work effectively in times of war. Civil society should work in advance and strengthen their positions in fundraising and relationships with donors to build connections and keep the workflow stable.
Zagoriy Foundation has more than 498 grassroots organizations in the CRM system and 556 organisations on the map of good on Giving Tuesday’s website in Ukraine.
We would be thankful to international community help us to continue supporting civil society in Ukraine.“
We believe this moment in time has the potential to be a tangible step forward in the move toward localisation of support, to advance the #ShiftThePower and decolonisation debates, and to change humanitarian support models for the better.
If your organisation can support Eugenia’s appeal please reach out to us and we will connect you, or contact Zagoriy Foundation directly.