Fundraising is fun. You don’t believe it? Then see it for yourself and apply for AEGEE’s next Fundraising European School (FRES). It takes place from 27th of September till 5th of October in Barcelona. Katy Sanchez, board member of AEGEE-Barcelona, and Maartje Natrop, former Academy Speaker, told the Golden Times why everyone sould apply: “It will be challenging, exciting, sometimes stressful but always meaningful and fun. The participants will realise what they want to achieve in AEGEE; they figure out their path of both self-development and doing something meaningful in our Network.”

During the FRES you will tackle a lot of challenging exercises in teams – like these paticipants at a FRES in 2003…

Golden Times: What will the participants learn at the FRES? 
During this event they​ will learn how to sell their project, concept, event or any cause they wish they raise funds for. They will learn how to successfully establish mutual beneficial sponsorships and relationships with companies, including negotiating techniques, and they will learn all about grants. They will also learn things, which are not directly FR matters but that will greatly help them in the process of effective fundraising.

Golden Times: For example?
Think of sessions like Persuasive Communication, Personal Branding and Public Speaking. It will be an interesting mix of fund-raising, psychology and communication. After this event, the participants have all the tools and skills needed to create and execute successful fundraising strategies for different types of events and projects.​ They will also be more self-confident in general, they know what they are worth and how to show it!

…the schedule can make you tired sometimes (like at this FRES in 2007)…

Golden Times: Is board experience or experience on European level required in order to apply? What’s the ideal participant?
​Anybody who is highly motivated!​ We are very welcoming towards complete beginners, intermediates and experienced people, as long as you are ready for some hardcore training and a lot of fun. Of course it is great if people bring fundraising experience to the event so that we can learn from each other, but we will not exclude people based on lack of experience. If we have too many applicants, we might have a preference for people with at least a tiny bit of fundraising experience, but we look at the overall motivation to apply as well. And if they are active on local level or European level, does not matter, because on both levels fundraising is being done, and very much needed.

…but at night it will all be forgotten and you party a lot. In fact, all tasks and exercises will create a fantastic team spirit!

Golden Times: In your PR for this event you say “Fundraising is fun”? Can you give some own great examples? 
Fundraising becomes fun when you get what you want in order to make the event better and the participants happier. That’s the greatest satisfaction we have when we do fundraising! I can give you some examples of AEGEE-Barcelona: we always arrange all the parties for free or have very cheap deals with some of the top clubs and bars of the city, which is great, since Barcelona is usually very expensive for tourists. We also have products of Estrella Damm, “The beer of Barcelona”, and, you know, when you have beer, all is even funnier. The only thing they ask us to do for them is PR, like this video that our amazing Lidia Garcia Serra made for Estrella Damm and the Summer University. We could say that is PR and also a present for the participants.

Golden Times: European Schools are a very special type of events – they are very intense and the mixture of theory and practical parts is unique. What can you tell us about the schedule? 
​Well, we have not drafted the training programme yet, but I can tell you it will be intensive for sure! There is just too much cool stuff to learn about FR! Of course there will be time to enjoy Barcelona’s sights as well. But FRES is still a European School, meaning training is priority number 1.

Golden Times: What can you tell us about the famous casework?
Apart from the sessions and exercises, the participants will work in groups on a case-study in which to learn how to implement all the theory about fundraising and other topics that they receive throughout the week. This includes drafting a fundraising strategy, selecting and approaching fictive companies, negotiating rounds and more. And there will even be some real-life, non-simulated fundraising. I cannot tell you more about the exact contents yet, so apply and find out for yourself! What I can tell you is that it will be challenging, exciting, sometimes stressful but always meaningful and fun.

Barcelona Bike Tour
…and you will see the city – on bike!

Golden Times: Most participants of an ES, PRES or FRES say that this was the best AEGEE experience ever. How come? 
​Because it is a very intensive week where you get fulltime training and casework during the day, and enjoy the social programme including parties during the evening. The fact that you are together with your fellow participants 24/7 really makes you feel like a little family; participants and trainers build such a strong bond amongst each other, that it is just really inspiring and motivating. Usually after any kind of ES people realise what they want to achieve in AEGEE; they figure out their path of both self-development and doing something meaningful in and for our Network. It is hard to describe, it is just something to experience!

Golden Times: Who are the trainers at the event?
​Lyda Michopoulou, AEGEE-Leuven: training manager FRES, trainer
​Maartje Natrop, AEGEE-Utrecht: trainer, Academy board responsible for FRES
Bernadett Polya, AEGEE-Budapest: trainer
Bart Vouche, Belgium: external trainer from BEST​

Golden Times: Barcelona is an amazing city. Will the participants have the chance to see it? 
Barcelona is indeed an amazing city, and of course the participants will have the chance to see it even with the tight schedule we have. So many hours of training are worth a proper visit to the city, right? We still have to deal with the trainers how much time we will have, but as far as I can say, three activities that have become a must in every event we have are paella, terror city tour and bike city tour. And of course, being in Barcelona at the end of September and having the weather we have, we will suggest you to bring your swimsuits!

Golden Times: How much is the fee and where can members apply?  
The fee will be 115 Euros. I mean, how can you not be interested in an event in Barcelona that happens to be 115 Euros in a hostel in the city centre, plus two meals a day, transport and social programme included for eight nights? If I got you telling you this, you can apply here until 8th of August, 23:59 CEST.

Golden Times: Where on the Internet can people find further info? 
You can find it in AEGEE-Barcelona’s Facebook, in the Facebook event of the FRES, via mail to, you can ask us via Inbox through AEGEE-Barcelona Facebook – or for even more detailed information or personal inquiries, you can address directly one of the two co-main organizers: Anna Gumbau or me, Katy Sánchez.

More info:
AEGEE-Barcelona’s Facebook page:
FRES Facebook page:
Youtube video: