Fundraising in the Times of Crisis for Youth-Led NGOs

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Fundraising in the times of crisis is a sensitive issue. These crises may include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, civil unrest, political uprising, so on and so forth, whereby there are unprecedented economic, social and political impacts.Therefore, it takes a careful hand to fundraise in such times, where the crisis at hand may have adverse effects on organisations and their programmes.

The first thing to note about fundraising in such times is the sensitivities of the cause you are raising for and how you, as a potential fundraiser, will deal with them. As an already established youth-led non-governmental organisation, you should already have a network to whom you will approach for potential partnerships and donations. New supporters need to be cultivated, with existing ones hearing from you about your stand on the crisis.

Find out more about fundraising legalities and acceptable practices in the country you are raising for and from, if you are from another country. This will create a smoother road to fundraising success. There are usually helpful bodies and guidelines which can help you achieve your goal. There are also legal and accounting terms to consider, such as whether these funds are tax-deductible in your country and the country you are raising the funds for.

Create a goal, mission, vision, fundraising tactics and a timeline. Implement a contingency plan to prepare and mobilise your organisation to react and adjust to new economic conditions. In the face of many fundraising scandals, transparency is key. In an effort to encourage more transparency about the usage and allocation of the funds, the second thing is to create a public fundraising plan and timeline as to how you are going to use the funds raised for the cause. Updates should preferably continue in the weeks and months following the initial fundraising phase so as to increase transparency of what the funds are used for. This will ensure donors’ funds are used according to how they were planned for, helping to build trust in your organisation.

There are various fundraising methods, whether online or offline. Things to consider would be how you can do that whether you’re located in the country or raising funds for a cause in another country. Increase your organisation’s social capital: engage the board and discuss any strategic plans. Train all your staff and volunteers on the importance of continuous fundraising and utilise their various expertise to add value to your organisation.

Approaching potential corporate donors and sponsors could be a crucial part of your fundraising efforts; whereby support from such organisations would lend even more legitimacy to your organisation and perhaps even increase your reach. Diversify your donor base and expand your network: professional, alumni, school, so on and so forth. You would be surprised at how much support you can garner with a clear, concrete and viable mission, tactics and timeline.

At the end of the day, donors and sponsors should be thanked and kept updated. Progress on the beneficiaries and the cause should also be updated. This is for donors and partners to have a more active, personal attachment to the beneficiaries of the funds, cultivating a deeper, longer-term relationship. These donors are the key people with the means to give to your organisation now and in the future.

For more information on effective fundraising and building long-term relationships with your donors, sign up for our workshops in 23rd August 2014 at 15:00h GMT+2 and September 2014. We look forward to seeing you then!