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Civil Society Accelerator

14 June 2023

New and old Civil Society Organisations in Europe are at the heart of European Development.  Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) recognises civil society’s role in European good governance. While activists in Europe are determined to promote innovation and social justice on various causes, they need to also devote time and energy to the governance of their organisation and the effective management of their movement. This can prove a challenging task.

ECAS has been successfully leading advocacy and social innovation projects in the EU for more than 30 years. Its dynamic network of Civil Society stakeholders in Brussels and Europe results in vast expertise in tools, processes, and contacts that small NGOs may use to achieve their mission.

We dispose state of the art legislation analysis skills and a strong understanding of the European Civil Society best practices.

In our efforts to be present and support the uptake of local civil society all over Europe we developed the Civil Society Accelerator (CSA). CSA is a community service provided by ECAS in an effort to support citizens and small Civil Society Organisations (CSO) maximize their impact and achieve their EU related mission!


After 20 years of experience in responding to thousands of citizens’ enquiries, under the Your Europe Advice service, on cross-border obstacles they encounter, ECAS has accumulated vast expertise on the institutional shortcomings concerning EU citizens’ freedom of movement.

During this period there have been several cases where we had to use the official institutional procedures to defend the Rights of citizens all over Europe. And not without result. Our intervention has led to legislation shifts that improved citizens’ experience in EU Member States.

Is there any institutional misconduct you noticed in your country? EU Institutions have the procedures at place to make real change happen.

Indicative questions:

How to reach advocacy objectives protecting EU Rights?

How to make the most out of the institutional mechanisms: Super complaint to Commission – Petitions to the parliament – Ombudsman?

Success stories – Obstacles – Best Practice.

Tailor made advice to the challenges your target audience faces.

What are the challenges EU citizens face in my country in regards with their Entry, Residence and Voting Rights? How to better advocate for these cases?


Our experience with supporting European Citizens’ Initiative Organisers achieve their goals and reach 1 million signatures, has helped us concentrate vast knowledge and resources on effective campaigning.

You want to engage citizens with your mission?

You need to formulate your message, gather and organise your volunteers, and receive recommendations from citizens. Although this may seem a lot, we know how to help you!

Indicative questions:

How to organise your volunteers?

How to reach a wide audience and activate citizens for your mission?

How to collect citizens’ concerns and recommendation to promote your EU related mission?


Smear campaigns against CSOs is the most common reported type of threat/attack from Civil Society in 2021 (FRA, 2022). ECAS’ Disinformation Experts can provide you with creative ideas to establish your CSO as a credible source of information.

Indicative questions:

How to battle disinformation narratives against your organisation and its mission?

How to counter conspiracy theories and fake news circulating in the communities you are addressing?

How to build coalitions fighting disinformation?


Launching and maintaining a financially sustainable NGO can seem an overwhelming task. Luckily there are concrete steps you can take to ensure sound financial management.

Indicative questions:

What internal rules and procedures may guarantee sound financial management?

How to outsource service such as accounting/ Comms consultancy, etc?

What provisions you should consider including in your tender?

How to identify the most advantageous offer?

How to ensure smooth transition?


Holding a General Assembly with your Board to agree on a four-year Programme Strategy is a high-stakes task. If you need advice on how to ensure an effective Work Programme, our experts are here to provide you with tailor-made advice.

Indicative questions:

What should you take into account when developing a Programme Strategy?

How to break down 4-year programmes into concrete annual Action Plans – the budgetary implications?

What is the role of the Board, and how can one engage their Board for the development of an insightful strategy?

How to develop milestones and indicators to measure progress and success?


How can your NGO develop an efficient and driven team? There are well-defined steps, leadership can take to ensure your team runs like a clock. ECAS’ leadership is happy to share advice!

Indicative questions:

How to increase motivation in your team?

How to ensure fair and transparent treatment?

How to streamline capacity-building activities for your team for the increase of internal expertise (thematic and functional)?


Do you want to develop a strategy for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in your organisation? Have you already taken steps towards it, and do you wish to enhance and broaden your practices?

We can support you on this journey of developing and preserving a culture of inclusivity in your organisation.

Indicative questions:

How can you make your events more accessible?

Are you engaging marginalised and underrepresented communities in an effective way?

How to ensure gender equality and non-discrimination in projects?


Are you planning to implement a training activity? Do you want your activity to have a strong impact and a multiplier effect? The Civil Society Accelerator is here to support you!

Indicative questions:

How to map the training needs of your target audience?

Face to face, hybrid or online?

How to ensure effective evaluation of your training activities?

Send us your request here and we will allocate your enquiry to the suitable ECAS expert and they will set up a meeting with you!