Fundraising and resource mobilization are an effective way of gaining support for your organization. You are expected to find an event format and theme that attracts donors, set a realistic event budget and find charitable event sponsors. You can also lean on the community and your alumni to fundraise. You can promote your fundraiser across the web.
For a fundraiser, spreading the word is crucial — it directly affects your ability to hit your goals. Traditional models include mailed invitations, phone banks, and direct mail. There are many digital options you must also use, including:
1.Email marketing: At every stage of your sales lifecycle, you should be tapping into your email database to share an invite, discount, or sneak peek of your event — and make your existing attendees feel special.
2.Social media advertising: Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have powerful tools to let you send targeted promotions to the right audience.
3.Event discovery sites: Most event-goers have go-to event discovery websites they rely on to make plans. And if you use Eventbrite, you can automatically distribute your events on discovery sites across the web.
6.1.1 Sample Steps for Tracking Funders
- Make a list of targets
- Reach out to the targets
- Pitch your funding idea to the once that give you audience
- Follow-up on the targets
- Secure interested funders
6.2 FUNDRAISING INFRASTRUCTURE
A professional staff is essential to an organization’s fundraising infrastructure. While fundraising is a team activity, it is vital to have someone in the organization who is responsible for making fundraising happen, including facilitating the development work of volunteer leadership. With an appropriate level of support, this development professional designs a calendar of strategically driven development activity and keeps it moving.
Infrastructure questions to consider include: Is the size of the organization’s development staff appropriate to its fundraising goals and the program elements needed to reach those goals? Are jobs clearly defined? Are the right people in the right jobs? Do staff members have the necessary skills and resources to carry out their mandate?
Another critical internal element is communication and collaboration between the development staff and other departments in the organization. The Director – the key leader whose strategic plan and vision for the organization attracts philanthropic supporters – commits a significant portion of his or her precious time to interacting with key prospects. Development professionals also need to work collaboratively with their finance officer, program people and other senior organizational leaders, who can help define funding opportunities and needs and serve as important resources for engaging donors.
Fundraising professionals use a variety of tools and resources, including systems that help keep track of gifts and pledges as well as of the information and activity surrounding donors and prospects. Whether using a constituent management database or a simple spreadsheet for timely gift tracking and recording, gift acknowledgement, opportunities for upgrading donors, and cultivation and stewardship efforts, it’s important that the system be able to efficiently and accurately track and report on the information needed to monitor the success of its development work, internally and externally, and convey the evolving relationships between donors and the organization.
Your organizations also need access to prospect research: good information about prospects and donors is critical to effective plans for developing them as donors. The quality of this information is a key indicator of the depth of the relationships critical to donor development.
Communications with donors and prospects are essential to move relationships forward: cultivating, soliciting and stewarding constituents. How compelling are the organization’s publications in engaging prospects and acknowledging donors? What tools are used to provide fundraising reports to donors? Are the most up-to-date electronic media being used to reach people with timely, frequent messages that match their interests instead of depending on one or two printed pieces that go to everyone on the same annual schedule? Does the website make it easy to donate electronically or engage in other ways (e.g., volunteer, use the services)? Are donors’ email addresses captured?
Policies, updated regularly and approved by the Board, exist for both your organization’s benefit and the donor’s. Ideally, your organization’s policies clarify rules about what kinds of gifts can be accepted, how endowment is invested and spent, and what the guidelines are on naming opportunities.
Well-documented procedures should be in place for gift processing, data entry, reporting and other functions to ensure that the development operation can run smoothly despite staff transitions or to provide clarity when unusual circumstances arise. Colleagues in the finance department should be consulted to make sure that proper cash handling practices are observed and that the reports generated by development match up with accounting results.
Accountability refers to an organization being answerable to a third party. It refers to the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It encompasses several issues like organizational management structure, financial procedures, human resource policies etc. Organizations with high accountability and credibility are often preferred by donors and are more likely to get funded.
6.3.1 Importance of accountability
Improved relations with donors and funders: Most donor agencies prefer organizations that have well-built accounting mechanisms.
Financial security: With proper accounting and audits you can ensure that all your transactions are secure and you are able to keep a check on money.
Greater involvement of communities: Local communities tend to get involved with organizations that have shown accountability in the past. Communities will support your cause and will participate in your project implementation.
Facilitates partnerships and collaborations: Proper accountability tools will facilitate in developing partnerships with other organizations and agencies.
Greater employability: Your staff will continue to work with you as they would feel secure to work for an organization that is credible.
Improved performance: Accountability tools help you to keep check on your activities thereby improving your performance. Research reveals that organizations with regulatory mechanisms are more effective in terms of their performance and impact.
Aspects of accountability for your organization include;
Upward Accountability: This refers to the responsibility of your organization towards being accountable to funders, donors and government institutions. As an organization you are answerable to donors and funders about how you will be utilizing their money.
Horizontal Accountability: This refers to being responsible with project partners, peers and related organizations. This also includes enhancing partnerships and collaborations with other organizations and stakeholders.
Downward Accountability: This means that as an organization you are responsible towards your beneficiaries and the target audience. You have received funding from a donor for the upliftment and improvement of lives of these beneficiaries and therefore you are answerable to them. Along with being accountable to them you also should involve them with the project implementation.
Internal Accountability: One of the most important aspects of accountability is to be answerable to your own employees and your organization’s mission. It means that you have ethical standards and governance structures and justify your organization’s core value.
6.3.2 Mechanisms to ensure accountability include;
Registration: Make sure your organization has a legal status and is registered under a relevant legal framework. Registering your organization will not only help you in enhancing your accountability but would also enable you to interact with government agencies and diverse donors. Your chances of getting financial support and assistance will also increase.
Accreditations and certifications: This refers to an external agency certifying that your organization complies with a set of norms and policies. Accreditation ensures that your organization has been evaluated by a third party and fulfills the nationally recommended standards and policies.
Annual Reports: Publishing your annual reports regularly is a great way to ensure that you are fulfilling the required activities responsibly. The annual report provides the readers with details about all the activities that your organization undertook a particular year. Make sure you use images and data to represent important changes and activities that you completed in a particular year.
Financial Reports: Another important tool to enhance accountability is to regularly update and compile your financial reports. This report clearly indicates your income and expenditure on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Donors and supporters always trust organizations that show transparency in their financial transactions.
Third Party Audits and Evaluation: Many organizations rely on evaluation and external audits as accounting tool. The external audits help you to analyze and see if you are complying with the industry standards and norms.
Publicize your activities: You should publicize your organization’s activities. You can use support of press and the internet to showcase your project activities. Publicizing your activities enhances your visibility and promotes public trust.
Develop your own set of self-regulation procedures: This is considered to be one of the most effective ways to enhance accountability. Develop your own policies of keeping records, formats for reports, trip and field reports. You can also start internal auditing every three months to keep a check on all activities.
Stakeholder Feedback Reports: Start taking view points of the beneficiaries you are working with to understand their perceptions about a project. This way you can immediately respond to their issues and develop long term trust.
Contact Information: Make sure that you provide accurate and correct contact details on your webpage, letter head and other communication. In case your office address changes, remember to send the updated address to the donors and relevant authorities.
Improve communication channels: Develop communication channels so that you can share your impact stories with a large audience. You can do this through press releases, blogs, newsletters, magazines and social media updates.
Initiating partnerships with renowned entities: Partnering with well-established organizations help in getting recognition and trust of people.
Get recognized for your work: Send in your organizations entry for various award functions and competitions. Getting awarded for a social cause will make you appear more accountable and will also enhance your public presence.
Conduct due diligence before partnering with a new organization: Conduct in-depth research of a new partner firm before entering in a partnership. This will help you in selecting reliable partners who have a clean background and have not been involved in fraud or an anti-social activity.
Adopt ethical fundraising methods: Ethical fundraising policies should be adopted while accepting funds. Make sure that you adhere to proper guidelines and report everything transparently to the donors.
Clearly defined Membership Procedure: You should have proper guidelines relating to membership fees, member duties and responsibilities etc. Also share important decisions and update the members on a regular basis.
6.4 PAYMENT SOLUTIONS
Collecting donations online allows you to harness the financial power of your organization’s supporters. Easy credit and debit card payment processing can help any institution reach their fundraising goals and more. Below are online payment systems that can work for your organization.
Accept online donations
There are crowdfunding systems that make it easy to raise money online. By using these systems, you can raise more online with less effort and increase donor awareness for your cause along the way. Your supporters can even collect online donations for you and have the funds sent directly to your organization’s bank account.
Sell event tickets and merchandise online
Collecting donations isn’t the only way you can empower your cause and your supporters. Online payment processing systems also allow you to sell event tickets and merchandise, like t-shirts, stickers, or mugs. For your organization, live events are a crucial time to grow your network, engage potential donors, and raise important funds. You’ll want to look for payment solutions that offer ticketing, registration, and other neat features for your potential donor base.
Mobile payment options
More and more, it seems the world is living on the internet. That’s why the best payment solutions offer mobile-optimized giving options that allow donors to easily donate by credit card. This simply means that you’ll be able to collect online donations from any device that your donor may be using at the time. In their office on a desktop, or on the go on an iPhone, the best credit card processing happens where the donor is.
When a payment processing solution works perfectly, payments are simply sent directly to your organization while the processing tool works in the background to power the transfers. The following payment processors include PayPal, PesaPal, WePay and iPay.
6.5 FUNDRAISING TECHNIQUES
6.5.1 Reach Out to Current Donors
The people most likely to give money to your organization are those who have already done so. Figure out a way to go back to them to ask them to give again i.e. hold an event, send out a mailing, make calls. Tell your donors why you need them to be generous once again.
6.5.2 Run a Mini-Campaign
There are major fundraising campaigns but you can hold a mini-campaign. Decide how much you need to raise, then structure it just like a major fundraising campaign. Have a campaign chair and vice chairs, do a small booklet explaining your revenue needs, hold a kick-off, and track your progress during this short-duration quick fundraising campaign.
6.5.3 Pre-Sell Future Events and Activities
This is one of the best quick fundraising tactics. If you’ve got a major fundraising event coming up later in the year, or some other institution-related activities that you know about in advance, pre-sell tickets for a reduced rate or in return for additional recognition as a “charter” or “early” sponsor. Raise money for your current needs using future events and activities.
6.5.4 Hold Viral Fundraising Events
There may not be enough time to pull together a major fundraising event. Instead, talk to your best supporters and ask them to host small viral fundraising event on your behalf. Using this strategy, you hold lots of little fundraising events in supporters’ homes or organizations, with them inviting their networks. Lots of little events can add up quick. If your organization needs to raise a quick KES 1,000,000, all you need using this method is to find 10 people to each host a KES 100,000 event in their home.
6.5.5 Cut Costs on expenses in your institution
Cutting costs around the edges can really add to the bottom line. Every dollar you cut from your expenses is a dollar you don’t have to raise. Many organizations have been able to cut 2-5% from their budgets relatively painlessly, and without laying off staff. Take a good hard look at your expenses and see what you can cut, at least for the short term.
Raising funds is vital for the support of your organization by the help of your alumni. To gain trust of donors and supporters it is necessary to keep financial records and account for every donation. You require a professional staff for your fundraising infrastructure as well as skilled people who can set up donation platforms and raise funds. You are expected to be accountable, keep ethical fundraising methods and adopt current and up to date payment methods efficient for raising funds.