The Foundation of Fundraising
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My placement as negotiated with my supervisor was attending a course in fundraising, as from my perspective this knowledge is very essential in the field of development. In my opinion studying development from the theoretical aspect is very important but in order to apply what we learnt in the real world we need at least a minimum knowledge of management techniques. Working in the development field, as to implement any project or initiative in our community, require funding which will cover the expenses of the work and since many ofthe work of development come through the non governmental organisations so learning some of the techniques of fundraising is very important in order to achieve what we aspire in the development of our society.
Working in a non-governmental organisation in Egypt helped me in understanding the problems of my community and thus addressing it. I had many ideas for projects to be implemented in my community but one of my major problems was obtaining a fund to apply these projects. So understanding the fundraising practice will help me in improving the opportunities in implementing my ideas.
In this report I will present the fundraising techniques that are essential to any fundraiser in order to help raising the fund needed to support the charity and projects, and therefore developing the community. I will present what were the component and what I learnt from attending the foundation course of fundraising practice and what kind of techniques that is important to fulfil the job.
The third sector
The first thing I learnt in this course was the different between the three sectors providing services to people, First the private sector such as cooperates and companies and they are aiming for a profit. Second the public sector, as the statutory that aim to provide services. And the last one is what is called the third sector, the Government defines the third sector "as non-governmental organisations that are value driven and which principally reinvest their surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives, their role is to fill the gap and provide the service that is lost between the two sectors"(NAO, 2009). It includes voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprisesand cooperatives. These organisations help in providing voice for marginalize groups, campaigning for change, creating strong, active and connected communities, promoting enterprising solutions to social and environmental challenges and also help in transforming the design and delivery of public services.
Community-based organizations provide a unique role in the community they serve. As they play this role through the provision of certain services that are part of their mission statement which be done through fundraising. Fundraiser became a key element in supporting school, sports, and other community groups in each of the small towns and major urban areas.Fundraising in the past was a way to provide supplementary or support programs or activities, but today's fund-raising is the cornerstone for the survival and continuation of many activities and events and programs.This importance of fundraising in today's market, created the need for stronger and more successful programs to collect donations which can generate impact and good results. Fundraising is no longer just a fun activity, but abusiness (Institute of fundraising, 2006).
"Funding can be described as the financial resources available to make a project or initiative possible. Fundraising, however, is an organized activity to solicit money to conduct activities for an organization" (Institute of fundraising, 2006). Funding can be either core, long term, or project-based. Core or long term funding is consistent over a period of time and is not related to one project. Project-based funding means an organization is funded to deliver a particular project or event. Fundraising on the other hand is usually the result of a distinct project or campaign that collects money from the public(Institute of fundraising, 2006).
To conclude, Fundraising is the process of soliciting and gathering contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. Although fundraising typically refers to efforts to gather money for non-profit organizations, it is sometimes used to refer to the identification and solicitation of investors or other sources of capital for-profit enterprises.
Working in teams
One of the important stages in the course for me was working with a team. As most of the course attendance worked before in fundraising and have some experience in this field and I was afraid of affecting the dynamics of the team I am in, but my expectations were not true as the power of the team depend on the variety of knowledge and personality of the members of the team. That was the first lesson I learnt, team work is a group effort and each member in this group contribute by his own knowledge and experience in improving the work of the whole team.
According to the SheronFerguson theinstructor of the course, "the team is a group of individuals who have a common aim and have a regular and frequent interaction with each other". The course indicates that experts in team development agree that teams will go through five different stages. How fast a team moves through each stage will depend on the team members, their individual skills, the work they are expected to do, and the type of leadership available to the team.
Bruce Tuckman deemed the five main stages of team development in order as Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Mourning. The first stages of team building which isthe forming stage is important for any team because, in this stage, the members of the team get to know each other and exchange some information about their personalities. Which is consider a good opportunity to see how each member of the team works as an individual and how they respond to pressure.
After that every group will enter the storming stage as"different ideas compete for consideration" (Tuckman, 1965). The team addresses issues such as what problems they are really supposed to solve, how they will work independently and together and who will lead the whole operation. Team members open up to each other and confront each other's ideas and perspectives. The storming stagecan be contentious, unpleasant and even painful to members of the team who are averse to conflict but it consider necessary to the growth of the team. In this stage I was able to build a connection with my teams members as I found out that thinking and sharing ideas with a group helped me in strengthen these connections, Moreover, it shows me how each member can contributes in improving any idea.
In the norming stage the team manages to have a mutual plan to achieve its goal. During this stage some may have to give up their own ideas and agree with others in order to make the teamwork,as all the team members have the ambition to work for the success of the goals of the team. One of my teams was consisting of a fundraiser working with women rights charity, a manger of a soldiers care charity and my self, our project was to persuade a businessmanto donate for our charity which was a Bay watch life boats, we discussed each one idea about how we will reach our goal and my idea was using the media such as television interviews with one of the survivors who was saved by our life boats, and after discussing suggestions and ideas we decided to reach our goal by using different kinds of visual mean, we used a PowerPoint presentation to show the numbers and figures of how our charity contributes in helping and saving people, we used television interviews with two survivors who were saved by our charity. All that was through discussing the possible ideas that will work for the success of the goals of the team.
The performing stagehappen when a teams are able to work as a unit as they find ways to get the job done effectively without conflict or the need for external supervision. In this stage the team members become interdependent, motivated and knowledgeable.
The mourning is considering the last stage when teams break up when the work is over; they celebrate and recognize group achievement. Then some mourning over the dissolving of the team as the project ended. According to Ferguson for "continuous work teams, there may be a higher performance level as they develop and transform as individuals and reform into revised teams". It is important to note that continuous work teams may revert to prior stages when new people are added to the team.
It was very interesting to learn all these information on the team development, as I didn't experienced working in a teams before as I learnt in this course, I worked during the period of the course with four different teams in order to reach different levels of communication and to experience what are the advantages of being a member of a team, what kind of contribution I may add to the work of the team to raise the level and the quality of the outcome.
Regulations and Law
In the United Kingdom, there are laws and codes of practice covering public events, collections, lotteries and others. These laws and codes of practice include the frame that legalise the acceptance or refusal of donation, accountability and transparency in fundraising, best practice for fundraising contracts, charities working with business, data protection and many others(Ciconte, 2008).
The only problem I faced in learning this section was the limitation and the focusing on the British laws and regulation of any charity work. But in spite of that I learnt a very important information that the laws and regulation is set to control the relationship between the benefactors and the trustees and protect the benefactors during the funding process, which was a very valuable information to me because I always thought about how to benefit the people who in need without considering the benefactors and what kind of benefit they will have in exchange of their funding. And thatled me to think more about the donors motivations to donate in order to understand how to use this motivation to benefit the project or the purpose I work to achieve.
Also knowing about the internal regulation of each charity helped me understand the importance of knowing the internal regulation and mission of the NGO I am working with. There was an activity, which I found very interesting as the instructor told us a funding opportunity case which was a big amount of donation from some employees in a cigarette factory to a lung cancer charity. The case was whether the charity can accept this donation or not. Some of my colleagues in the course thought that the charity can accept this donation because the donors are the employees and not the cigarette factory while others argued that these employees may be a form of representation to the factory which will affect the lung cancer cause, a small group couldn't decide whether the charity could accept the donation or not because they thought that this is a difficult situation and more research is needed. This activity opened my eyes on seeing problems from different angels also the understanding the need for studying and knowing the internal regulation of the charity as well as the external.
Funding sources and motivation
Funding of not-for-profit, Non Government Organisations, or CharitableOrganisations comes through a number of streams. According to Ferguson the sources of fund come from:
National Government funding which comprises multiple strands through various departments including: Health, Education, Tourism etc
Local Government funding which also comprises multiple strands through various departments
Charitable Trusts and Foundations
Churches and similar institutions
Corporations, which gives fund in a wide variety of ways such as sponsorship, secondment through which staff work for the charity but paid by the corporate, and many other ways.
The National lottery, which have a grant programs.
Each of these hastheir own criteria with their respective application and reporting oraccountability requirements and varying levels of engagement with the fundapplicant. There is no consistency in criteria or uniformity of application across any ofthese funding sources.
As Mixer argued that "fundraisers must understand the fundamental question of why people giveâ€¦more systematic analysis of donor motivation and conceptual frameworks are needed so fundraisers can carry out their tasks more effectively" (Mixer, 1993).Here are some of the donor's motivations we discussed during the course, which gives an image about what kind of donors we will deal with and what are there motives to donate; belief in mission, institutional need, publicity, change image, good reputation, religious Beliefs, establish a legacy, joy of giving, tradition in family, make a difference in society, building community relationship, memorialize someone, tax benefits, capital campaign, knowing other supporters, solicitation by peer, recognition of gift, expand social network, access to charity events.These motivations shape the ways and methods that will be used in order to deal with the donors. Knowing these motivations helps in designing the wining project and get the fund needed, and the key knowledge to these motivations is through research, which consider on of the most important element in the fundraising techniques that I learned in this course.
Another concept related to funders motivationthat I learned was the donors development pyramid, which explain how to take donors to the next level of giving. The pyramid illustrates many methods by which the donors first know about the charity and choose to give them their support. Using this pyramid is to achieve a goal of ensuring these new funders will donate again and will move up in the pyramid. The donor development tool is a pyramid shape because as I continue to engage donors up the numbers of donors decreases, though the value of the donation increases. The main lesson in this section that I need to focus attention on every level of the pyramid I build to ensure that there will be a sustainable income to my NGO.
Volunteers Contented Clients Donors Magazine Inserts
Board/Committee Friends Visitors Press/Adverts
(Institute of Fundraising course book, 2010)
Fundraising is a valuable part of the strengthening ofNGOs;any kind of contributions is needed by them to carry out their planned activities. Marketing is considering the commercial name for fundraising as many of the techniques and skills of fundraising was adapted from it. While marketing and sales skills can be valuable, they must always be applied in an ethical manner. Every fundraiser must first be completely convinced of the value, integrity and benefits of the organization, and the activities for which the raised funds will be used. When we reached this section I was surprised with knowing that there are some fundraisers who don't believe in this methods as they can marketing any project even if they don't convinced by its value to society.
The success of any fundraising program depends on the ability of staff to attract the participation of new potential donors. Goals are a strong motivator in any sales effort and consider the essence of fundraising. The fundraising team leadershould set the right types of goals in order to motivate his team. When a goal of fundraising campaign is set, it is important to be aware that the goal is high enough to motivatethe team to put extra effort, but it shouldn't be very high so it will be difficult to reach. However, if participants see the goal as realistic, they'll push themselves harder than you may have even dreamed possible, just to make sure they meet or exceed what is expected of them.
One of the key skills of fundraising how to tell a donors and potential supporter about the work of the organisation, this skill is fundamental to fundraising.A good fundraiser should be able to show donors how their donation will transform the ability of the charity to meet the needs of its beneficiaries, and make a positive change. Before thinking about fundraising, the trustees and staff should put together a plan.And they should be clear about the key objectives and outcomes that neededto be achieved, and how fundraising will help achieve those goals.
The fundraising cycle
The Case for Support, explains in detail why a donor should give to the charity and therefore it should be clear, concise and motivating.It must contain enough information to enable a donor to make an informed decision.The case for support presents the rationale for supporting a fund-raising campaign or project. It is consider one of the most powerful tools that the organization can have in communicating its fundraising objective and in persuading potential donors to donate(Institute of fundraising, 2006). Therefore, it should articulate the organization's reason for being, its history, the integrity of its mission, vision, and programs, the good it does, the good it aspires to do, an assessment of need for the campaign, and the specifics of the campaign's objectives. The case should state the organization's unique ability to fill the demonstrated need of an identified constituency, affirm the efficiency of campaign planning, instil a feeling of intrinsic personal reward to the donor, and, very importantly, convey a sense of urgency ((Institute of fundraising, 2006).
During this section the instructor ask us to prepare a case for support in five minutes, and then present it in front of others. It was a hard task as it was difficult to create a case for support in that few minutes but I tried to create a case for supporting a project based on forum theatre. I couldn't make a perfect case but it was not bad. The instructor explained why she needed us to finish this task in five minutes as we may meet a potential donor any where even in an elevator and we must to be prepared all the time.
Also, research is essential to inform the charity about which donors might respond to the case for support. It will help identify the individuals, companies or trusts whom most likely to respond.Take into account any relevant internal and external factors that may influence the success of raising the fund.
Organising activities ensure that the potential donors are adequately resourced. Finally,It is essential to monitor and evaluate the successes and failures of these activities, as it is consider a great mean of meeting and discussing potential donations.
(Institute of Fundraising course book, 2010)
One of the major techniques in fundraising is writing a grant proposal to donors or agencies. During the course I had to work on writing a grant proposal to understand in a practical way the weak points and how to improve it to achieve my goal and obtain the requested fund. The good proposal should contain some important elements to strengthen the project and make it accepted from the donors.
Cover letter introduces the organization, its mission, and specifically states what the organizationis asking for from the donor. The cover letter includes the amount of requested fund. It is consider being a chance to let the funder know up front that the organization understandthe funding agency's goals, and thus fulfills their requirements.
Executive Summary. The executive summary is considering one of the most challenging parts of the grant proposal because it should be concise and comprehensive. The summary should briefly showthe name of the project, services, procedures, targets group, objectives and expected outcome.The importance of the summary that funding agencies receive several funding proposals and may not be able to read it all, and therefore the summary need to describe the briefly and clearly the project.
Statement of Need. In your statement of need, you must clearly articulate the need your grant proposal is addressing, and you must do it in a reader-friendly manner. â€¨The need statement, or problem statement, explains why the issue is important, and why your nonprofit is the right organization to provide a solution. Include background research, such as historical data, as well as stories that illustrate the need your proposal addresses.
Goals and objectives. In this section, capture the grant reviewer's attention with powerful, persuasive language. State what your nonprofit hopes to achieve, including specific results and/or outcomes, using key words like: Increase, reduce, provide, protect, improve and others. Your goals will be broad statements, and may be abstract. But it's critical that your proposal's objectives be concrete, precise and measurable. Objectives are explicit statements as to how you will work toward reaching your overarching goal.In preparing a project design, and when writing a proposal, the goals of the project are stated. The goal is easily defined as the solution to the problem that has been identified. The problem with such a "goal" is that it is too general; it is not easy to obtain consensus as to when it has been reached. That is why, when preparing project documents, a distinction is made between a "goal" and an "objective." An objective is derived from a goal, has the same intention as a goal, but it is more specific, quantifiable and verifiable than the goal.
When identifying objectives as part of an exercise in preparing a project design or proposal, use the SMART acronym as a checklist, to see if the objective is a good objective. The objectives must be derived from, and consistent with, the intention of the identified goals. "SMART." stands for "Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound."
Methodology. The methods section of your grant proposal tells the reviewer how your nonprofit will accomplish its stated objectives. Your methods must be clear and concise, and leave no doubts in a reviewer's mind. Write the methods section with the assumption the reader knows nothing about your nonprofit or your project. In addition to tying your program design to your objectives, this section should reference your statement of need and your budget. All methods and activities must be feasible and logical.
Evaluation. The evaluation section is where many nonprofit grant proposals fall short. It is also one of the most important sections for grant reviewers. The evaluation section is where you explicitly state how you will measure your project's results. Granting agencies want to know your accomplishments will be objectively measurable, and that there will be hard evidence that their dollars did some good. Clearly state what records you will keep and/or what data you will collect. Data may be quantitative, qualitative, or a combination.
Project Sustainability. Grant agencies want their funds to both produce results and facilitate future results through project sustainability-either with or without their additional help. Indeed, if you've written a strong grant proposal so far, the reviewer will care deeply about seeing that your services continue over the long term. In the sustainability section, state your future plans for the project, after the grant money requested has been used. In other words, tell the grantor how your organization will raise money to continue its programs in the future. Your future-funding plan can include a mix of strategies and sources
Organizational Information. The organizational information section is where you provide detailed information about your nonprofit organization. This is also where you write to impress the reviewer. Spin a compelling narrative about the uniqueness of your nonprofit and include a brief summary of your statement of need. Using persuasive dialogue, let funders know that your organization is the best qualified to carry out the projects you have outlined. Explain your nonprofit's history and background, provide its mission statement, describe its programs, state the recipients of its services, and give its track record to date. Offer a compelling overview of your nonprofit's role in the community, and its important accomplishments.
Budget. The budget section must be professionally done in order to create confidence in the organization. In this section, the project cost must be shown with providing an explanation of each expense. This is called a detailed budget that include project expenses, administrative, and every other expanse. Also it must include any expected income.
The last task of the course
Our last task in this course was creating a fundraising plan for a small local heritage preservation charity, which was elected the best charity of the year from a local supermarket chain. A workhouse in the local community was about to be demolished as it was very old and needs renovations. Our mission was to convince the board of members of the local charity of the importance of buying this workhouseas heritage representative, as well as planning a whole fundraising plans to buy, renovate and use this workhouse. It was a very useful activity in this course because it rape up what we learnt in the course and put it in a practical shape, which benefit the whole group.
The experience I got from this course will help me in my career, as I needed this knowledge to complete my study in theatre and development. This course was beneficial to me in many aspects; first I learnt the basic of being a successful fundraiser, second it gave me the opportunity to meet other people who work in the field of fund raising which I benefit from there various experiences, finally this course introduce me to a available knowledge which I think I need in my career, for this I decided to learn more about NGO management to help improving the NGO I am working with.
Attending this course benefit me in understanding the foundation of fundraising practice, which can be concluded in relationship building between fundraisers and the donors.As in order to get people on your side you need to foster a relationship with them. Reaching out to people bypreparing acase for supporting your cause or project, which they can relate to and sympathize with, is essential. Also understanding the motives of donors help you in strengthen you relationship with them depending on their motives in donating to your NGO. Teamwork benefit improving the relation between the fundraisers and donors as the members of the teamwork together to achieve one goal which is convincing donors to donate to their NGO of supporting their project.
Understanding fundraising techniques help in improving the status of the charity as by using the case for support technique a fundraiser can raise fund and donation almost anytime and anywhere. Also organising different activities helps in building a good environment to meet new potential donors. Finally using a good application or project proposal helps the donor in understanding the value of the proposed project also allow him to trust the NGO who ask for this donation. The main elements strengthen the application are writing a cover letter which is consider a very important element as it present the NGO, its mission statement and what this NGO needs from the donor. The next step is writing the executive summary that gives an overview of the idea of the project. It is consider the most challenging parts of the proposal, as it should be both comprehensive and concise. Using SMART objectives helps the donors in understanding the project as it show, summaries and frame the objectives of the project. Preparing a reasonable budget helps in building confidence in the organization. This budget must show and clarify the whole expenses of the project whether it was major or minor expenses. Finally the planning of sustainability of the project strengthen the proposal as donors' want their funds to both produce results and facilitate future results through project sustainability either with or without their additional help. Using all these elements in the grant proposal raise the opportunity in persuading the donors to donate to this project.