Muzaffer Baca “We are always with our partners on the field!”
Various disasters, including earthquakes and floods, persistently occur across different regions of the globe. The IBC, drawing upon over two decades of expertise, serves as a valuable resource during significant humanitarian emergencies. Muzaffer Baca, Vice President of the IBC, recently imparted his insightful experiences on this matter during the "Fundraising During the Crisis: Lessons Learned and Best Practices" webinar hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation on October 24.
In our current era, the evolution of communication tools has revolutionized the way we respond to global disasters like floods and earthquakes. Two decades ago, instantaneous news relied on traditional mediums such as television, radio, or newspapers. Today, the landscape has transformed with the integration of social media platforms, facilitating rapid information dissemination and even providing visual content for enhanced support.
Throughout its more than two decades of operation, the IBC has consistently been a reliable presence on the front lines, extending a helping hand in the face of diverse disasters leading to humanitarian crises, including hunger, earthquakes, floods, and more, both domestically and internationally. The organization has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing relief and actively engaging in the field, collaborating with local and international partners as well as NGOs. The IBC's exceptional efforts and the wealth of experiences it has accumulated worldwide have garnered global recognition. Muzaffer Baca, the Vice President of the IBC, shared the foundation's extensive experiences in the online webinar titled "Fundraising During the Crisis: Lessons Learned and Best Practices," organized by the King Baudouin Foundation on October 24.
The webinar, which was held with the participation of Muzaffer Baca, Private Fundraising People in Need President Tomas Vyhnalek and in2action Director Norma Galafassi, focused on the points to consider in fundraising during the crisis, how to turn initial donors to on-going supporters, methods of working with US donors and communication channels. Baca answered many questions about how it should be used actively.
Operating in the field is the biggest step...
Pointing out the importance of making a needs assessment at the first moment of a crisis, Baca added that it is extremely important to be present in the field in order to keep the media's attention in the region where the disaster occurs and to provide material to news sources. He stated that sharing written and visual materials that instantly reveal the gravity of the situation from the field with donors has a great impact on fundraising.
Muzaffer Baca emphasized the critical role of immediate on-the-ground response in challenging situations like earthquakes and floods, highlighting the pivotal need for shelter, hygiene, and food. He underscored the importance of assessing various humanitarian needs and emphasized that visually conveying the field reality through photographs plays a crucial role in building an international core donor group.
Baca noted that collaborating with international donors in disaster-affected regions is key for shaping future programs. Despite initial hesitancy from state officials to cooperate during crises, Baca highlighted the inevitability of collaboration with NGOs in such situations. Drawing on the IBC's recent active involvement in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Morocco and the subsequent flood disaster in Libya, Baca revealed that similar challenges were faced in coordinating with the state. However, he stressed that the IBC, working alongside local partners, continues to provide support to affected communities in these regions.
Muzaffer Baca stated that having a continuity of donations is also a very important factor in order to immediately respond to any disaster anywhere in the world. He added that the way for national and international aid organizations to create a successful and active aid campaign is to establish strong communication with donors and local NGOs. He also underlined the necessity of knowing the interests of the institutions they will work with and what kind of projects they support. He explained the success of the IBC in this regard with the following words: “Establishing partnerships with major NGOs immediately after laying the foundations of our organization further expanded our relief capacity and scope of activity. One of the most important things we did to strengthen the bond between us and our donors and to work continuously was to share our success in the field with them. When we work together in the field, we can clearly see how long we can exist and how much funding they can provide. In order to ensure the continuity of the projects we have prepared with great care for the regions where basic humanitarian needs are needed, we are matching the funds of our other donors with the relevant projects."
Muzaffer Baca continued his words as follows: “Since our establishment, our main donors have been US-based. We benefited from their experiences and learned what their working systems were like. They can often have strict policies that conflict with the realities in the field, and there can be cultural challenges.”
The impact of social media is undeniable
Baca highlighted the significant impact of technological advancements in shaping the perspectives and behaviors of the upcoming generation. The current era, marked by innovation and technology, has particularly influenced Generation Z, making social media a crucial platform for collective actions, news consumption, and raising awareness. Recognizing this, Baca emphasized the importance of staying attuned to the trends of the digital age, stating that utilizing these channels is key to engaging young donors.
In line with this strategy, Baca revealed that the IBC leverages the influence of renowned athletes and influencers to promote campaigns and connect with younger audiences. Combining relief efforts with the endorsement of opinion leaders on social media, according to Baca, proves to be a potent approach. This not only effectively communicates ongoing activities but also mobilizes and engages the younger demographic in a meaningful way.
In the current period, there is a system in which there are a number of political, economic and social crises that are perhaps thought to remain only in the dusty pages of history. Is it possible to prevent humanitarian crises that may occur with the abundance of communication resources and the great advantage brought by the internet? When looking for an answer to
the question, Baca stated that the points that need to be focused on in order to intervene in advance should be determined well in cases where it is clear that any problem will arise, and underlined that it is very important to create an environment of balance and equality in sharing resources in the world. While stating that people in Yemen, Bangladesh and Sub-Saharan Africa cannot access food and this situation is unacceptable; He added that action should be taken to meet the needs of people living in these regions and increase their capacity to care for themselves, and that the IBC is always there to provide support in the field.