Getting The Money
Asking for money is never easy, but it is unfortunately a necessity for many community groups.
However, fundraising can – and should – be a fun and exciting experience. It is also an experience that should be shared.
First, establish a Fund-Raising Committee.
Establish a fundraising strategy or plan where your committee or those interested in fundraising can get together and ‘brainstorm’ around some ideas and establish some goals.
Outline your goals. What do you hope to achieve? (e.g. establish an advocacy and information service, get an office to work from with equipment and staff.
Who are some people or groups that may be good potential supporters of your organization?
Businesses, government departments, individuals, families, philanthropic trusts and foundations.
Conduct market research with members, friends, etc. on their good ideas or what has worked in their groups to raise money.
Research past fundraising activities – what has worked? And just as importantly, what didn’t?
Detail in your plan each step or action needed to achieve the money for each of your fund-raising goals.
Describe And Decide On The Method In Which You Plan To Raise The Money.
What are some of the different ways to get money? (except robbing a bank).
There are a number of sources of funds. These include:
- Grants – Identify Federal, State or local Government, philanthropic and corporate grants program open to your groupSponsorship – identify possible major and minor sponsorships including possible naming rights – Team, building, uniforms, scoreboard, events, players, trips, newsletter, lunches.
- Membership fees – Different levels of membership or association fees
- Bequests – providing general information/personal approaches to long-time benefactors/supporters that they provide an ongoing gift for your club.
- In-kind support – Everything from venue/accommodation, office supplies, printing and photocopying, transport, entertainment, pro bono work (legal, accounting, IT, marketing/Public relations, auditing), gifts, subscriptions, uniforms.
- Donations – including online donations – personal asking, general appeals, direct mail. Special events which can include:
- Sales, fetes.
- Trivia nights, fashion parades, talent contests, art shows with a local retailer or gallery, dances and discos,
- Film nights, restaurant function.
- Raffles, competitions, auctions – major items,
- Sales of goods and services
Your group will need to explore which of these are feasible, achievable, and profitable. The trick is to be creative and make the fundraising initiative work for you.
Set An Estimated Target Amount For Each Goal And A Timeline
Remember, if you are asking for money, it is easier to raise money for a specific project or activity rather than for the organisation as a whole. Most people would
rather know exactly where their money is being spent.
What strategy would you use to get the money to achieve that goal thinking about all the different people or groups you can go to; and the different fundraising activities you can develop.
Other Things To Think About
Always make sure information you make available or distribute has a donation form attached as well as information on how people can join as members.
Legal obligations. When making an appeal for public funds there are certain laws you must abide by. There are different rules for each country applying to different methods of fundraising. These rules are separate from the tax and incorporation laws that you are also obliged to observe.
Finally, ensure your newsletters and communications carry articles featuring your various fundraising activities and one of the main lessons of fundraising is ensuring that you appropriately acknowledge those that have assisted you either as volunteers, donors or sponsors. This should be acknowledged before, during and after any fundraising event. Acknowledgement can be expressed in your newsletters, on your tickets, in advertising, or in a personal letter from the CEO or Chairperson. If the donation/sponsorship is significant
consider providing a plaque, framed certificate or some
form of permanent acknowledgement (signage, dedication).
Networking is a key to establishing support and potential donors;
We are trying to develop a newsletter, do you know of any media or other organizations who may be keen to assist us?
Always try to find potential donors whose mission or area of interest/expertise connects with your project goals.
e.g. a rich blind person, department of community development, Danish Association for the Blind, Vision Australia.
It is also good to have a patron for your organization who is well known and will attract people to contribute to your organization
Don’t just ask for money; provide info about your group and the important work you do, and follow up with an invitation for potential donors to assist you achieve your goals.
Give them some clear choices about how they can assist so they can see what their support will be contributing to.
Acknowledge donors where appropriate.
And give them feedback about where their money has gone and what has been achieved with their contribution.
Now An Important Area Of Potential Fund-Raising And Attracting Donors Is Building Business-Community Partnerships
Business and community groups working in partnership enjoy many advantages. Business gains points for social responsibility and the community group gains through improved access to finances, knowledge, people or skills.
Encouraging business and community organisations to work together fosters a healthy and viable society look into these partnerships. Community organisations
increasingly have to function with less government financial support, and businesses are finding that when they show a commitment to the wider community this has positive results on staff morale. Furthermore, consumers
tend to support businesses that support social/environmental/ethical issues. A partnership can take various forms, including sponsorship, grants, volunteering, donations, in-kind support through products and services, mentoring and expert advice or a combination of methods. It might include employers asking employees to nominate companies they want to support and then encouraging them to donate through regular gifts or payroll deductions to groups at grassroots level. . Many employers often choose to match employee donations, further strengthening relationships between staff and management as well as the relationship between staff and management and the community group.
Funding Submission Writing
Essential Elements of a good submission.
Vision and Mission .
Clear goals you wish to achieve: Align submission to be as good a match between your goal/s and the companyor organization’s interests for funding. Consider talking to someone in that organization about your funding proposal to get some ideas about what to include in your submission, and if you can take a draft to them to look over before the due date that may be really helpful.
Most grant programs have very clear goals that should match your goals in the funding submission. Follow any guidelines provided as closely as possible
Include milestones that show the potential funder the steps that will get to achieving your goal, and when you will achieve each step by
Most funding submissions also require a budget where you detail each expense like staff, materials, travel, catering, accommodation, venue costs, etc.
Ensure you also describe in your submission how you will effectively and safely look after the funds gained and how you will report back about progress and provide evidence of where the money spent. Accountability is really important today. Finally, always get your funding submissions in on time or you won’t succeed.
- Fund Raising Committee,
- Fundraising plan,
- Goals requiring plan,
- Fundraising methods to be used,
- People and organizations to be approached,
- Milestones or steps along the way to each goal,
- Recognition and reporting,
- Always promote membership and opportunities to donate etc.
Material in this document gained from Our Community website:
For more information about fundraising, see Our Community’s fundraising section: it includes a self-evaluation fundraising quiz, prepared with the support of the Department of Family and Community Service’s Can Do Community Project. It includes over 150 tips to help you in your fundraising efforts.
Dr. Kevin Murfitt
Hon. Treasurer, World Blind Union Asia Pacific
Resource Generation Committee.