(based on Philanthropy University course)
The term fundraising comes from the two English words "fund" and "raising". Thus, fundraising means the multiplication of financial or material resources.
However, there is a problem with understanding the answers to the following questions: "What are donors looking for?", "What do they consider, evaluating an organization?"
In general, there is the following urgent question: "Is your organization ready to raise funds?"
To answers the above-mentioned questions, we ask for advice to the Philanthropy University expert Tom Wolf.
Do you need to prepare your organization for the fundraising process? How to do such training? What questions do you need to ask yourself to unlock the potential of an organization as a grantee?
We begin a short course:
1. The target audience of the donor. Are you appropriate to specific criteria?
Each donor has three target audiences of potential beneficiaries:
- a group of organizations that are willing to support the donor and tend to systematically provide funding for their sustainable development. The following may be appropriate for religious and charitable organizations, including donors, leading non-governmental organizations, socially oriented organizations with close international relations;
- a group of organizations that the donor will not support under any circumstances. This donor is not interested in them, because the activities of the above-mentioned organizations are in no way relevant to the donor's priorities;
- a group of organizations whose activities may be funded. However, there is a need to fulfill certain donor conditions in order not to be in the group of organizations that are denied. Thus, there is a probability to join either the first or the second group of organizations.
What should you do to find yourself in a group of organizations to be more likely supported by donors?
2. The mission of the organization. To what extent is it in line with donor priorities?
At the heart of any organization's mission is the reason for its existence,
Tom Wolf connects each organization mission with the following aspects: “It is rather interesting that in case you create you mission, you may also directly define “your universe”, including potential donors and competitors”
In particular, if you formulate a broad mission, you are creating the basis for many potential donors. However, there are also many potential competitors. For example, there is a problem of hunger in the world. Therefore, a significant number of organizations would like to overcome hunger every year (significant competition). At the same time, there are charitable foundations that are able to offer resources to achieve these goals (a large number of philanthropists).
At the same time, a project aimed at encouraging Bach music is an example of a narrow mission. At first glance, it is impossible to raise funds to implement such an idea. However, a detailed analysis of the problem showed that the implementation of this project is able to meet the needs of about 10,000 potential beneficiaries. Therefore, it may be possible to find a donor who will support such an initiative. In conclusion, the narrow mission means less donors, but less competition.
What should you choose? The decision is up to you. The main thing is to be sustainable.
3. The values of the organization. Why is it worth talking about and acting in accordance with the values of an organization?
Tom Wolf gives an example of two organizations. The first one is open to the community, focused on human rights, open to all, serving the community. The second organization seeks to create a comfortable workplace for its employees, a positive climate in the team, and forms a corporate culture.
The both organizations are different. However, potential donors are also different. Donors value the exclusivity that is reflected in the actions of the grantee.
4. Brand and image. Should “internal” characteristics correspond to “external” ones?
The organization brand is an expression of its beliefs, ideas and attributes that give a certain public impression, including potential donors. What image does your organization have? Is the brand working? You can do an audit, but it is easier - just ask your current and potential stakeholders.
5. The project. What is more important: project or organization?
The project and organization must be consistent with each other. A successful project can only be realized because of a systematic combination of the efforts of the real specialists in their field.
6. The team is the basis for successful financing and further project management.
This is obvious. Therefore, it does not require detailed explanations.
Continue your fundraising with success!
The course is here: https://cutt.ly/ZittgB