The Corporate & Institutional Relations Committee (CIRC) is the natural evolution to the former Corporate Relations Committee (CRC) established at the Spring Agora Enschede in 2012. The main goal of this brand new committee is to provide and increase the funding for projects, events and other activities in our network. The AEGEEan met the current CIRC team in order to better understand the aim of this committee and in particular their plans to improve its activity.
The AEGEEan: Thanks for having us. Could you introduce the members of CIRC?
Lyda: CIRC consists of: Ander Guerrero Ruiz (AEGEE-Zaragoza), Francesca Russo (AEGEE-Padova), Francesca Bormioli (AEGEE-Bergamo), Noemi Lowy (AEGEE-Debrecen), Christoph Denker (AEGEE-Osnabruck), Maria Matilde Albanese (AEGEE-Roma), Lyda Michopoulou (AEGEE-Thessaloniki).
The new board of CIRC consists of Lyda Michopoulou, Speaker of CIRC and Maria Matilde Albanese, Vice Speaker.
Tell us in your own words what the CIRC is.
Lyda: CIRC, the Corporate & Institutional Relations Committee, is a supporting committee of AEGEE-Europe and was established at Agora Enschede. Our mission is to support the work of AEGEE-Europe and ensure its financial sustainability providing help in its institutional and corporate relations on the European level, analyzing the needs of the network at the European level, implementing the fundraising strategy and increasing the financial resources of AEGEE-Europe, working on Institutional and Corporate Relations and supporting the Network on fundraising issues.
In your opinion why is it so important to have such a committee in our network?
Lyda: CIRC’s reestablishment will, first of all, improve the financial stability of AEGEE-Europe which means more projects would be funded by the Comité Directeur (CD) and also help the antennae improve their own financial stability, learn how to approach corporate and institutional stakeholders and develop their fundraising skills.
Why did you all decide to be active part of this committee?
Francesca: I attended the Fundraising European School 2014 (FRES) and I was so inspired that I decided to join the just established committee. I thought I could help AEGEE with my knowledge in the field. Moreover I like the continuous challenges that fundraising gives.
Ander: After being fundraiser for Agora Zaragoza and a few more events and participating in FRES last year, I wanted to do something else related with FR in AEGEE. During FRES I was discussing with Lyda and Ola (ed. Aleksandra Kluczka – Comité Directeur) about the missing potential of AEGEE in this field as well as the extreme need to increase FR in our associations… And several months later, here we are!
Noemi: As I became the fundraiser responsible for the project Democracy in Practice, I could gain better insight in the grant writing processes and see how diverse and complex it is. Based on my experiences and AIESECer background, I thought it would be a good opportunity to help the network with fundraising and grant writing activities via this committee.
Francesca: I believe that we noticed that are missing some fundraising guideline and some financial security. We know that we have a big fundraising potential as an association and that we can do a lot for it.
Lyda: I think it was my love for fundraising and negotiations that drew me towards CIRC but FRES was the beginning of the reestablishment of CIRC. I’ve been a fundraiser for the last 9 years and I love it! The thrill, the excitement and satisfaction when you sign an agreement with a new partner is overwhelming!
Lyda, what does it mean for you to be the speaker of CIRC?
Lyda: When I see myself as Speaker of CIRC, I view my role as a facilitator and a leader when needed. I am here to facilitate and promote the work the members of CIRC do, represent CIRC in future Agorae and in the AEGEE network. Together with the rest of CIRC members, I want to start redesigning and organizing the career fair, bring financial stability to AEGEE-Europe, nurture and advise antennae on how to fundraise and further develop in this aspect. All of this cannot be done without CIRC members, together we are gonna take CIRC sky high!
Can you tell us about your plans and projects for this committee?
Lyda: Our plans for this committee are not many, but they are certainly diverse. We are working towards redesigning and improving the career fair, improving the financial stability of AEGEE-Europe and making AEGEE-Europe known to corporate and institutional stakeholders.
According to you what should be done to improve the activity and the visibility of CIRC?
Francesca: We’re already working well: objectives, timeline and clear goals for each person of the team is a good way to improve and have a good working group. Of course we are still too few. We need more members and for this we should work more on the visibility with a marketing strategy for social media where all the members see us and with our presence during Network Meetings and at Agora workshops.
Ander: Restarting a committee is always complicated. We have the passion and the knowledge, we saw it in our live meeting in Brussels. In order to perform correctly, we just need to learn how to work and try to motivate others members to join and see how much they can learn and they can help AEGEE in the CIRC.
Noemi: I think a committee like CIRC is very much needed in our organisation since there are a lot of opportunities out there that support youth initiatives and that are not explored by us yet. It is fundamental that we make it as a well-structured committee that has clear processes and can be served as a useful “platform” for our network that provides knowledge and resources in fundraising.
Francesca: We need a bit of time, commitment and patience. We should find more people interested and show them the potential maybe by making some courses.
Lyda: In order to improve the activity, I would say we need some more people and to improve visibility, continue and expand our promotion campaign though all available AEGEE channels.
Since the team is brand new, are you still looking for motivated people to join your committee?
Lyda: As I said above, we are looking for motivated people to join CIRC. It doesn’t matter if they are experts in fundraising, advanced or beginners, there is always a place for motivated members in CIRC! Just fill in our Join the CIRC form.
How can our readers get in touch with you?
Written by Larisa Smajlagic, AEGEE-Verona