#SportDiplomacyAcademy fundraising insights from AC Milan Foundation

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#SportDiplomacyAcademy online module with fundraising insights from AC Milan Foundation

On 24th of October 2021 a lecture of the online module of Sport Diplomacy Academy was delivered and it was focused on Fundraising in Sport, delivered by Benedetto di Blasi, Fundraiser at Fondazione Milan. The main insight that Mr. di Blasi shared with the diplomats in sport suits was to “show the IMPACT of what they are doing and to do it through EMOTIONS as in sport we are “selling” dreams.” After 10 years as a Marketer in multinational companies, Benedetto “left everything” to go and live with his family in Nairobi (Kenya) for a couple of years. There, he has made an exceptional experience of humanity. Back in Italy, he decided to start a new life as Fundraiser: after some consultancy jobs to local nonprofits, he received the call from his beloved club, AC Milan, in order to be the Fundraiser of the club’s charity. Mr. di Blasi shared with Sport Diplomacy Academy participants valuable information from its wide experience. The online module of #SportDiplomacyAcademy is devoted on working with media and sport for development, originally planned to be implemented in Milan, Italy.

The Sport Diplomacy Academy project is a legacy of the first Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council, which took place in the first half of 2018. The project focus on cooperation with the Western Balkans as a logical continuation of all activities carried out under the #EU2018BG Priority: Perspective of the EU and the Western Balkans connectivity, citing the Sofia Declaration and the Sofia and EU Priority Agenda for the EU and the Western Balkans. The European Union and the Western Balkans must continue to invest in efforts to strengthen cooperation and the exchange of good practices focused  on democracy, security and fundamental human rights.

Project ensures the educational mobility of coaches and other staff of sport organisations (incl. volunteers) linked to professional and grassroots sport. The four mobility modules, which will be implemented in each partner country, will improve the skills and competencies of a total of 80 sports professionals, as well as their qualifications, through learning mobility. Learning mobility is planned as an investment in human capital and a contribution to the capacity building of various sport organisations with clear focus on building a network of well-trained sport diplomats.

After the implemented project mobilities, each of the partner countries will possess with at least 20 well trained “diplomats in sport suits” with great skills and knowledge in the field of sport diplomacy (policy dialogue and international relationship, campaign creation, successful communication (verbal & non-verbal), public speaking, media relationships, protocol and etiquette, EU foreign policy and

The network that project will create (4 countries-20 people each) will focus on supporting
and developing EU integration of the Western Balkans in the field of sport and will be quality provider of EU values in their local environment. For the delivery of the modules will be recruited the best EU experts in each field and non-formal educational methods are going to be used.

Project involves 4 partner countries – Bulgarian sports development association – academy
coordinator and initiator, Rijeka sport association, Croatia, the Italian sport organization “L’ORMA” and BRAVO – Bosnian Youth and sport NGO). Partners have been working together for several years already, implementing different scale of projects and cooperating in different frameworks in the
fields of sport, education and youth policy.


#SportDiplomacyAcademy project is co-funded by the European Union and includes also the
following concrete results:

• 80 “diplomats in sport suits” /20 per country/, focused on delivering EU integration in the
countries of Western Balkan area through sport;
• National, regional and local dissemination events (involving at least 400 people) – multiplying effect
from the acquired skills and knowledge;
• Platform for WB sport development – practical tool for resources and EU sport values with accent
on Sport diplomacy and the good governance in sport.


Learning mobility will be planned as an investment in human capital and a contribution to the
capacity building of various sport organizations with clear focus on building a network of well-
trained sport diplomats.
Module 1 (Bulgaria): Sport diplomacy, EU foreign policy, EU values, Policy dialogue and international relationships;
Module 2 (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Summary and feedback of Module 1, local practice reports, Good governance in sport;
Module 3 (Croatia): Summary and feedback of Module 2, local practice reports, Campaign creation, Successful communication (verbal & non-verbal), Public speaking, Protocol and etiquette;
Module 4 (Italy): Summary and feedback of Module 3, local practice reports, Working with media, Working with specific target groups, Sport diplomacy for development, How to put on practice the knowledge we got.


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