Receiving funding from the European Commission (EC) would be a dream come true for many NGOs. But while it would be a total game-changer, the application process also has the reputation of being incredibly complicated and difficult. Understanding what it is exactly that the Commission wants is often challenging.  

The new funding period from 2021 will have many good opportunities for organizations to apply to. You should not be discouraged from applying by the highly competitive and complicated process, but instead, use the time to prepare yourself and learn about how to score with the evaluators and how to design your concept note in a way that will convince them to support your project.

In this online course, we give you a comprehensive overview of the process of writing a concept note for the European Commission and the things you should look out for. We talk about the process of applying, common reasons why concept notes fail, and the factors that are particularly important for the evaluators.



How do I apply?

The call for proposals process

How is the concept note evaluated?

The Concept Note

How do concept notes fail?

Success Criteria


Wrap Up and review



After finishing the course, you will:

  • Understand how to accurately read and interpret the call for proposals guidelines
  • Understand the criteria on which basis the European Commission will assess your proposal and how you can best respond to them
  • Understand how to adapt your own project to the guidelines of the call for proposals
  • Get new hints on how to draft an attractive and highly competitive concept note following the EC format
  • Obtain answers to the questions you always wanted to know

This course is designed for fundraisers, board members, project managers, and executive managers who have some degree of knowledge about fundraising. This course is not for total beginners.


Erik Detiger is an international fundraiser with three decades of experience in the field of international philanthropy and fundraising. He has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States working with the UN, civil society, as well as the private sector, leading large-scale projects in health, education, humanitarian relief, and human rights. During that time he has raised 100s of millions of dollars from many types of donors, including government, development agencies, foundations, multilateral organizations, companies, and major donors.
He has advised scores of organizations of all shapes and sizes on fundraising and is also the founder of a number of online platforms that connect millions of non-profit professionals to information, tools, and resources.
In the past, Erik has led dozens of classroom training programs on four continents. But to increase impact and reach, he has shifted a lot of his training focus on using technology to connect and build capacity on-line. Over the past years, he has launched a wide range of online fundraising webinars and courses reaching nearly 10,000 professionals in over 190 countries.
He is also a board member and advisor to several charitable organizations and family foundations and for the past 10 years has been a lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

We are very excited to have you as a student and to start learning with you!