Devising a funding strategy

trainingFundraising strategies will vary depending on the story of your organisation. A newly-formed organisation can benefit from a broad sweep donor scan of potential funding sources, that can then be refined to a shortlist of potential donors who meet the financial ambitions and capacity of the organisation.

A small well-established NGO that aims to grow already has some contacts, but will need to look at its internal operations, manuals, staffing, legal and financial systems as well as the donor landscape. These organisations often face the greatest challenge. The more they have systems in place, the more insurances and high-profile contacts the less of a risk they will be to first-time funders. Organisations that want to scale up also need a history of projects, evidence and anecdote of their success in past projects, good local partners and access to groups that donors find difficult to access. It helps to have been recognised through an award.These organisations have to invest in a fundraisng team and develop a good tracking system for project proposals. 

Funding strategies for well-established medium-sized organisations often need reframing. Either the organisation has become too reliant on one donor, or one issue at the expense of the direction in which the market has moved. Such reframing can cause internal opposition by departments. The organisation may have suddenly lost one large grant, which has undermined the confidence of the organisation. In these cases, the former structure of the organisation (decision-making processes; staffing structures etc) can work to the detriment of getting new funding. At these times the organisation's structure and its perception of what it is and does needs to be highly flexible, if it wishes to continue. Reinvention is an engaging story, it refreshes the organisation's relationship with donors, but this needs to be confidently communicated internally and externally.


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