For over 20 years I have worked in and supported NGOs to improve their effectiveness and sustainability. I have and continue to work with clients to improve their fundraising readiness, identify suitable funders and develop funding applications and proposals that respond directly to the donor’s criteria.
Shireen Motara, CEO, Tara Transform
We know that to be successful with fundraising, NGOs must first be able to assess how ready they are to take on this task. The reason why fundraising efforts fail is because its never anyone’s job, it’s treated as an “as and when” activity and/or “it’s too difficult”. However, if the team understands what the organisation needs to have in place, and have the required information and documentation/templates, it could help significantly. By now you should know that the following are critical if you want to fundraise successfully. Here are some useful tips from Joanne Fritz :
- Have you met the legal requirements for nonprofit status? Are you legally registered as a non-profit organisation? Most funders insist on this as a starting point.
- Where is your nonprofit in the lifecycle of a nonprofit? Fully functioning nonprofits don’t just appear full grown. They go through typical stages, such as the idea state, startup stage, growth stage and mature stage. Funders are looking for nonprofits that are already up and running well. Grants are meant to supplement a nonprofit’s resources, not to fully fund it.
- Are you clear about your purpose? Do you have a compelling mission statement? Your mission should be unique and specify what you plan to accomplish. Donors will not fund organisations that duplicate or overlap similar services in their particular geographic area. Your mission must also be doable. Just saving the world won’t work.
- Do you have capable leadership? You need qualified staff and an active board. An experienced CEO/Executive Director and a supportive board that is willing to fundraise are hallmarks of strong nonprofits.
- Do you have relevant programmes with a good reputation for service delivery? How are your programs different than other non-profits working in the same area? Can you demonstrate that your programmes make a difference for those you serve? Are your clients satisfied?
- Do you have an efficient operation and good support systems, such as enthusiastic volunteers, transportation if needed, and enough staff to handle your work? Can you deliver on your promises?
- Does your non-profit plan and evaluate on a regular basis? Do you have a long-term plan? Do you evaluate your programmes to see if they are working?
- Do you have adequate facilities? This includes basic physical facilities but also technical ones. Do you have an updated computer system? Financial tracking abilities? A donor management system? You need to have the tools to function well.
- Are your finances stable and do you have diverse revenue streams? Foundations want to be reassured that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket…especially theirs. A foundation grant is not a solution for bailing your organization out of a financial mess.
- Do you have a track record? Measure the results of your programs so that you can point to verifiable results. Seek out other nonprofits to collaborate on the project you propose to a foundation. This is especially useful if you are a newer nonprofit. Collect letters of support from community leaders and organizations.
Bearing this in mind, we have developed Fundraising offerings which are the building blocks to success. In this way, NGOs can focus on what they need and can afford now, before moving to the next step. The fundraising offerings include:
- Understand Your Organisation’s Current Readiness for Fundraising
- Donor Scan – List of Donors that you can approach immediately
- Fundraising Toolkit -All the Templates you need to fundraise
- Building Visibility: Fundraising success is dependent on a visible organisational profile online and on social media.
- Ready, Set, Go! We help you to co-develop your key fundraising documents
- DIY Fundraising Kit: Use this workbook to assess, develop and plan your fundraising activities
Should your organisation need further support with fundraising and sustainability, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org