Year in Review


As 2018 comes to a close we want to share our major milestones and achievements with our partners and followers.

The second year of the BRIDGE4CSOs project advanced Vertical Trainings component having held ten trainings on topics ranging from Education and ICT, Branding Innovation for Culture NGOs, Social Entrepreunership, Crowdfunding all the way to Idea Validation mini-incubation benefitting in total 122 representatives of 92 NGOs.

Another component of the project, Pro-bono consultancy, created important links between local CSOs and over 35 experienced professionals from the global Diaspora offered consultancy covering such topics as Strategy development and Organizational Management, Product Marketing, Public Health, Project Management and M&E, Budget Planning and many others. In addition to one-time valuable expertise provision, some of such links developed into long-term engagements.  An illustrative example of such development was on-boarding contract-signing between the team of Orion Worldwide Innovations and EIVA Art Foundation, according to which EIVA’s product (ARVEST board game) would be taken to the US market leading to the expansion of their social entreprise to a global scale.

Another achievement of the second project year was the launch of sustainable and comprehensive Non-Profit Management Certificate Programme implemented in partnership with American University of Armenia. As a result, 18 representatives of Armenian CSOs are attending this certified programme in Yerevan, whereas the regional prototype will start in Spring of 2019, providing free education to yet another 15 representatives. it is anticipated that AUA will include this programme in its list of regularly offered short courses thus ensuring sustainability.  

An important progress has been made in terms of sub-granting. We have announced four grant calls selecting in total 49 projects, 38 of which have started implementation and 11 NGOs will enter the implementation phase in January 2019.

The Goodwill Ambassador (GWA) enrolment component got enriched with 5 exciting cases – a French pastry chef linked with Miassine Foundation’s social bakery; a start-up owner from Silicon Valley supporting Start-up Armenia Foundation; an ultra-runner from Marseille promoting Arm Marathon Foundation; a prominent Canadian architect mentoring ARDIScope initiative of young Armenian architects among others. The Ambassadorship concept proved to be beneficial not only for local CSOs receiving international attention but also for the Goodwill Ambassadors themselves. As our Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Azad Chichmanian put it, “Bridge for CSOs programme has a uniquely constructive dimension to it, since it facilitates first contact in disciplines where dialogue is key, and allows a lasting exchange to take place.  If we see ourselves as a global nation, this type of relationship from diaspora to motherland is essential to the growth and evolution of our culture.  The opportunity to serve as Goodwill Ambassador is an honor that any member of the diaspora should see as a privileged venue to contribute to that growth in a meaningful way”.

Redesigning and upgrading the innovative Together for Armenia skill share platform is successfully completed. The revamped platform was launched in June 2018 and at the moment has 75 projects and 82 experts from 18 countries. User experience shows that the software update did make the platform’s operation more efficient and the overall experience more productive. Given the growing number of users that the platform is attracting, further software development and monthly maintenance is ongoing in order to correspond to the larger scale engagement.