The ability to generate and manage funds well is at the backbone of the sustainability of any business venture. But when it comes to charities and NGOs that have finite resources and are competing for the attentions of donors, the need to fundraise effectively is paramount to organizational health, effectiveness, and growth.
Below are four tips that you should think about as you plan for the sustainability of your organization ….
1. Develop a plan –
It is important to outline the types of investors you’d like to pitch to and how you want to approach getting those all-important meetings. When you are devising your strategy, ensure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound).
2. Develop network maps –
This is a way to grow connections and your supporter base. Think of it like a pyramid with you or your team at the top. It is up to you and the team to imbue the same passion into the support base below to ensure that this vision cascades to the bottom with the same vigor as it does at the top. One way of ensuring this is to develop a robust fundraising strategy that include numerous roles. It is important to pair these roles with individuals in the organization that have similar strengths and can get the best out of networking and playing to those strengths. These are:
* Engagers – these are people who are adept at interacting, talking and nurturing relationships.
* Connectors – these are people who can take these networks one stage further by connecting them to other people to valuable introductions.
* Probers – these are people that are good at asking the right questions to solicit funds
* Nurturers: These are people who are about to retain existing relationships with clients and nurture them to ensure relationships are long-term.
3. Transparent and effective communication –
Parting with money is one thing but parting with money and having little idea of where the money is going to is another ball game. It is essential that donors feel confident that the money they are donating can be accounted for and that that work is visible for the public to see. An effective way of doing this is developing an internal rate of return (IRR). This is a financial tool that shows donors how their money is moving he organization towards sustainability. This tool is particularly useful when handling funds from large donors who may be interested in know how their money is being used to support the charitable institution.
It is also a good idea to keep donors updated because this will help strengthen relationships and increase engagement over the long-term. There are various ways of doing this
including, writing project reports, sending out email updates, newsletters and also personal thank you notes. And don’t forget traditional forms of communication – picking up the phone, sending a letter/email – which can very effective.
4. Think partnership, not cash –
There are a number of ways organizations can engage donors without just asking for a lump sum donation. Donors can pledge smaller amounts spread out over a period of time or match fund in line with an amount the organization plans to generate elsewhere. Supporters can offer expertise or volunteer time. Increasingly donors want to be involved in projects, they want to help in design and implementation as a function of their contribution.
For more blogs like this, click Resource Mobilization: A pillar in strategic planning