Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 6

CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS FUNDRAISING? The goal of fundraising is to secure enough resources to forward your organization’s mission. To develop a good fundraising strategy, you must understand how much money you need, what kinds of resources are available, and which ones you can realistically access. You also need to think about where your organization is going over the next year or longer so you can develop plans to meet future needs as well as your needs today. Fundraising is not something separate from the work you do – raising money is an important way you can build a network of people to support your work. If your supporters think highly enough of your organization to give their money to sustain it, they are endorsing your work and showing their commitment to its success. Building a strong network of donors increases the credibility of your organization because it shows that you can mobilize people and resources toward your goals. This is very powerful! Funding models are often closely related to the type of organization. A network that promotes women in business may rely on membership dues for most of its budget, while a research institution that studies women’s role in the economy may get most of its funding from government grants. It makes sense to raise money from the people and organizations whose interests are most closely aligned with your mission. DEVELOPING A FUNDING STRATEGY Before you start asking people for money, you need to define your organization’s needs and the best places to look for resources. It is important to have a strategy for raising money that makes sense for your organization. What works for another group in your field or region may not work for you. Many organizations, especially in the beginning, rely on one source for all their funding. As they grow, they realize that they need to find other sources to survive. They try to diversify by finding additional supporters. This can mean reaching out to other donors of the same type (such as other foundations) or developing a new source of financial support (such as corporate gifts or membership fees). A second source of funding may provide a small but steady source of support to supplement other funding and help cover basic expenses – or it may boost revenue so that the organization can start a new program. First, ask yourself a few questions:  What is your budget – how much money does your organization need to pay its bills for this year?  Where do you get the money you raise now? How many donors and income sources do you have? Sometimes, community-based organizations (CBOs) or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) believe that if they could just get a grant from a European- or a U.S.-based foundation, their financial problems would be solved. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. Most international funders are reluctant to provide grants that cover an organization’s entire budget, unless they are just starting up. Many foundations will not fund community-based groups unless they can demonstrate a solid base of local support for their work. Others have restrictions that will not allow them to fund more than a certain percentage of the organization’s total budget. Many foundations will not guarantee more than one year of funding at a time and will, after a few years of grants, stop their support altogether, no matter how well the organization performs.  What is the average size contribution you receive?  What will you do with th