We all love AEGEE, because it’s a multidisciplinary organization, which allows each and every one of us to bring up an idea, create a project and bring it on with the help of AEGEE members from all over the Network, with the aim to get AEGEE involved in a new field and increase the internal knowledge. However, every project has to deal with finances. How do you deal with the budget when your project got a grant, but you won’t get the money until the project is over?
That’s why we have FATF! Let’s ask the current Secretary, Anita Kalmane, to give us more information about it.
The AEGEEan: What does the acronym FATF stand for? Faith Trough AEGEE Fighters?
Anita: Nope, FATF is the acronym for “Foundation AEGEE Trust Fund”.
The AEGEEan: How is it connected with AEGEE? Where and how was the idea born?
Anita: FATF was founded by the Project Managers of “Europe and the Euro” back in 2003 with two main aims. The first one is to prevent liquidity problems in case AEGEE doesn’t get General Subvention and due to possibly not getting other grants needs to go bankrupt. In case this unfortunate situation happens, the money in the FATF bank account can be used to start AEGEE from scratch with the first start-capital. The second one is to provide more certainty and guarantees for carrying out European Projects and Events successfully and as originally intended – in other words, if a local has applied for a grant and has got accepted for it, but hasn’t got it yet and the event is about to start, FATF can lend the necessary money to the local which should be paid back as soon as the grant has been received. That ensures that good ideas and projects can be realized even if financial grants arrive late.
The AEGEEan: What are the differences between FATF and the AEGEE Social Responsibility Fund granted from the Comité Directeur to members for attending the Statutory Events?
Anita: Actually both funds have no similarities as FATF is lending money to locals to organize events, while AEGEE Social Responsibility Fund gives money to individual AEGEE members to attend statutory events. However, as discussed in the last FATF board meeting in March 2014, as of now, FATF will be more involved in AEGEE Social Responsibility Fund in two different ways. Donations will be going through the FATF bank account to ensure both transparency and the possibility for a donor to receive a tax deduction. And the FATF board will be involved in selecting people who will receive the funding to ensure more objectivity as FATF board members are not holding any other positions in AEGEE (except two members who are also members of AEGEE-Europe’s board).
The AEGEEan: Who is representing FATF?
Anita: FATF is represented and taken care of by four board members – two of them are appointed CD members (Treasurer and Board Member), while the President and Secretary are elected every two years by the previous board and should have either CD experience or former European management experience with large international projects. The current board is composed by Theijs Van Welij as President, me as Secretary, Anna Gots as Treasurer and Pavel Zbornik as Board Member.
The AEGEEan: Who can be a member of FATF?
Anita: FATF doesn’t have any members per se, you can see the structure here. However, if you have experience in project management, in AEGEE or in any other International Non-Governmental organization, and you wish to support FATF and its work, you can contact the board to become a member of our “Commissions of Experts”, a team which support and helps project teams and event organizers in any way needed.
The AEGEEan: Some numbers: how many projects/activities have been granted last year? And how many since FATF has been created?
Anita: In the last two years there weren’t a lot of applications, so obviously there weren’t a lot of events supported. Most of them were rejected as there were different possible funding solutions found. Only one event was supported – lending money to AEGEE-Chișinău for organizing their Summer University.
You can see the total numbers from the previous years here.
The AEGEEan: Who and how can contact FATF?
Anita: Anybody can contact FATF. We can be contacted by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wrapping up: if you have an idea for realising a project, and you need a valid support for writing grant applications, if you need a loan, or need help in managing and reporting a project, you can count on FATF. Now it’s up to you!
Written by Alfredo Sellitti, AEGEE-Salerno