NGO Management: A Project for Belarus

For International Visitor Leadership Program participants, a visit to Washington, DC often sets the scene by giving introductions to U.S. government representatives and national perspectives on the program topic. For six non-profit professionals from Belarus on an “NGO Management” IVLP project, their time in DC gave context and connections to this sector of American civil society, and an orientation to the nation’s capital.  

Conversations began with Georgetown University's Dr. Luisa Boyarski whose presentation on non-governmental management provided visitors with a clear definition of non-profits, legal framework, history of the U.S. non-profit sector, and approaches to creating social change.







Visitors next engaged in a staple of IVLP itineraries: a federalism briefing lecture to discuss the history and structure of the U.S. federal system. Dr. Clarence Lusane led this engaging session, covering major points including the principles of separation and balance of powers, system of checks and balances, states' rights, creation and amendment of the U.S. constitution, and presidential elections.  






For many non-profit professionals, how to finance their operations frequently emerges as a shared challenge. A session with the National Academy of Public Administration’s Mr. Tony Spearman-Leach led a fundraising workshop to share practical recommendations for building a case for support among donors.  






Visitors also met with Mr. Sam Worthington, former President & CEO of InterAction, who shared his long experience of leading various NGOs and gave several interesting examples of both successful collaboration and disagreements with the U.S. government. The visitors had a chance to ask for his advice on several challenges that they are currently facing back home, such as a lack of resources for civil society support, and a struggle to bring global attention to Belarus. By exchanging contact details, visitors and speakers aim to build off the connections made at this meeting for opportunities of future collaboration.  




Heading downtown, visitors made several stops at the U.S. Department of State and AmeriCorps to better understand federal government efforts to support a strong civil society through grants, volunteerism and civic engagement. When it comes to mobilizing people, early engagement and strong communication are key tactics to creating sustained community impact. Despite the smokey weather, there was also some time to check-out the beautiful view from the rooftop at AmeriCorps. 

Energized by a productive several days of meetings in the nation’s capital, visitors now embark on the next leg of their IVLP project to meet with community-based non-profits, state government offices, and volunteer groups across the United States.



Project summary

NGO Management: A Project for Belarus
Number of Visitors: 6
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Belarus
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Volunteerism
Program Areas: Global Leadership