Fundraising in the concern and responsibility of every association. No association can really function without adequate funds. the health and dynamic of an association depends on its financial capacity. Having funds available strengthens the capacity of members to manage their associations and enables them to meet their strategic priorities and participate effectively in the development of their community.

  1. Fundraising strategy
  2. Fundraising solutions

Fundraising strategy

An association needs money and funding to develop and finance a project. It is a common mistake to embark on fundraising activities without first planning out a clear strategy. The point of a strategy is to be able to manage and operate in a more wisely manner. Associations will be able to solicit funds that are more adequate for the real needs of the association. A developed and concise strategy will allow the association to contact the right people and be more effective. The Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) should clearly define the key objectives and outcomes it aims to achieve and how fundraising will contribute to the achievement of these objectives.

Based on the NGO and the analysis the organizers have done on it, it is important to choose and prioritise fundraising methods in accordance with the types of donors available and the timeframe for fundraising. Organizers shall remain practical and rational and assess the amount of time invested in fundraising as to not disrupt the balance and neglecting the core activities of the NGO.

Based on the needs of the association and the analysis that has been done, it is important to identify the objectives of the fundraising. This is the time where the NGO starts defining itself more, it is important to clearly delineate which are the priorities of the NGO, as, at some point, NGO's might accept fundings for activities that are not priorities, and therefore, disrupt the primary objectives of the NGO.  Once the primary priorities of the NGO have been delineated, organisers shall draw up a budget, estimating the costs of the fundraising activity and potential income, while always keeping in mind plausible risks.

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Fundraising solutions

There are many ways by which an association or an NGO can acquire funding. The first one and most common one is through one-off regular donations. These funda are easy to organise, the association just has to send a form.

Organising events is another way to acquire funding, the event, either big or small, is an interesting way of raising funds. Associations are creative and try to find the most triggering ideas to entice individuals. It is important to adapt to the environment you are in, if you are in a school, then associations can organise open days or tombolas. If the NGO is a sport association, then consider organising a game or tournament.

Crowdfunding is another way to raise funds for an NGO through crowdfunding platforms. This method is a source of funding in which money is raised through small individual contributions. In order to attract such donations, the NGO or association must explain directly the project to the general public, explaining the goal, the project, the deadline and the rewards that may be given away.

Patronnage and sponsorship are other ways to acquire funds. This methods aims to establish fundraising with local companies, for this purpose, companies enter into an agreement with the NGO or association and agree on a donation amount. In return, the association allows the company to deduct its donation from its taxes and undertakings to promote the company in its communications as a partner. This is a very common way of fundraising and it presents a win-win situation by which the NGO or association gains funding, and the selected company will gain visibility and a good reputation. When thinking of undergoing such method, it is important for the NGO to be well prepared before approaching the company, to have a clear plan of their functioning, goals and projects, always remember to include how this partnership will benefit the company in question. And vice versa, sometimes, companies approach NGO's in order to start such collaboration.

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Fundraising takes time, and in particular, finding major donors, whether they are individuals or organisations. It may take a long time before a major donor develops sufficient trust in an association and is convinced of the need to donate their money.  If the NGO is new, and it manages to break even in the first year, that is a very good sign and symbolizes how well the process is going. 

There are many ways to raise funds for an NGO, but in order to maximise donations, it is always important to have a creative eye and try standing out to the public. Fundraising activities not only raise money but also contribute to raising the profile of the organization.

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