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Critical Ingredients for Fundraising Success
Submitted by Stewert Crocker on October 30, 2002 - 1:00am.
All of us involved in resourcing the work of voluntary sector organisations have an amazing opportunity to contribute to a better world. As catalysts in the process of raising awareness, and then converting our supporters' compassion into action, we have an enormous responsibility as well.
I am thinking here of our individual responsibility to optimise the net income raised for the cause, or causes, for which we are fighting. But, I am thinking beyond this too. My experience over the last five years as Chief Executive of the Resource Alliance has brought into sharp relief for me the critical importance of our shared responsibility to nurture the trust and confidence of existing and prospective supporters. Throughout the world, enlightened leaders of NGO's are facing the challenge of creating this critical ingredient for fundraising success.
In most countries the culture of philanthropy is alive and well, but this is very often devoted to traditional, personal and religious causes, rather than to the work of non-profit organisations. This means that the leadership must transform organisations in these countries from ones which are seen by many as foreign inspired anomalies, to organisations which are seen as worthy recipients of philanthropic support. This is easier said than done. It requires long-term thinking, planning and investment in many aspects of organisational development. These include:
We would all acknowledge that investment in this latter capacity is vital. And yet, all too often, in voluntary organisations operating in developed markets the emphasis is placed on expecting the fundraising function to achieve more without at least an equal emphasis on building all these other critically important capacities.
In the absence of enlightened staff and board leadership, the responsibility for fundraising is conveniently delegated exclusively to the fundraising team. An organisation-wide attention to building these other capacities would have the potential to enhance fundraising and organisational performance.
I believe that the following is of fundamental importance for fundraising
In summary, quick fixes, including undue reliance on statutory donors and one off fundraising activities are simply not a sustainable option. The only root to lasting success is one guided by long term thinking and planning which needs to become the touchstone of way in which the senior team and board alike operates.
This article first appeared in "Global Connections", an ezine publication of the Resource Alliance. You can subscribe free of charge by logging on: www.resource-alliance.org The Resource Alliance offers training and other support, as well as opportunities for the exchange of information, experience and ideas on local resource mobilisation, through its regional and international events and its web site. The author is Stewart Crocker, who is Director of Cascaid Consulting which offers NGOs and voluntary organisations worldwide, tailored fundraising / local resource mobilisation training, advice and other services. www.cascaid.com
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