Interview with Aris Suras, coordinator of the Accelerator programs @ HIGGS.
Which is the concept that lies behind HIGGS?
HIGGS is an NGO founded in 2015 with the aim to reinforce non-profit organizations in Greece, through capacity building, in particular training, mentoring, networking and events.
Our philosophy and the way we plan and implement all our initiatives and programs are driven by the principles of philanthropy, solidarity, cooperation, and trust.
Our vision is that HIGGS evolves into a hub of creativity and open dialogue aimed at promoting collaboration and innovation in the NGO sector as well as a meeting place of all interested parties, both literally and symbolically.
Please, detail the services and opportunities offered by HIGGS to various NGOs?
HIGGS runs 3 flagship programs:
a) Incubator (12-24 months): addressed to NGOs with up to 2 years of operation, or that haven’t been officially founded yet. It aims at helping them organize and operate efficiently and secure their first funding.
b) Accelerator (4 months): addressed to NGOs with operation over 2 years with up to 40 administrative staff. It aims at helping them design and submit a successful funding application as well as accelerate their growth.
c) Recharge (6-8 months): addressed to operating NGOs with an outdated organizational structure that supports beneficiaries unable to turn to other entities for help and are facing viability issues.
NGOs entering the Incubator & Accelerator go through HIGGS BOOTCAMP, an 80-hour extensive training specifically designed for NGOs, based on their needs. It lasts for 1 month, covering 16 thematic areas, including (indicatively) NGO Management, Project Design, Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation of projects, Budgeting, Legal Issues, Fundraising, Networking, and Communication.
Can you please summarize the impact of HIGGS to the local NGO ecosystem?
In the first 2 years of operation, 60 NGOs across Greece have participated in HIGGS’ programs, which, consequently, affect more than 100,000 beneficiaries, coming from a variety of vulnerable groups. Indicatively: homeless, refugees, imprisoned, drug addicts, blind, mentally disabled, with mobile disabilities, heart and cancer patients, people in danger, children, the elderly, animals, sea life.