Are you a new NGO looking to raise funds for your cause? Follow these tips for instant donations!
By: Shreevidhya Ravi
Published On: July 27, 2018
Working for a social cause is always challenging as it is usually larger than life. It is one thing harnessing the power of the cause and it is another to raise funds to sustain the organization. We give you tips on how to do the latter effectively.
NGO fundraising has definitely garnered attention and momentum in the last few years. Collectively, the Indian crowdfunding platforms have raised over 500 crore rupees, mostly towards medical and social causes. The beauty of crowdfunding is that it comes along with a lot of diversity meaning one can support anything from funding a kidney transplant to contributing to make a child’s dream of going to school come true.Raising funds for an NGO is truly challenging in the sense that it takes a lot of planning, organizing, collecting, tracking and reporting. It is an integral part of any organization that’s looking to make a mark. Fundraising has always been a predominant part of any NGOs set of tasks.
Recently there has been a new dimension to it. Online fundraising has definitely evolved to become inextricably linked to any NGOs sustenance. With fundraising consuming a lot of time in any NGO’s agenda, it is imperative to be able to optimize the process and think of ways to gain a lot of momentum with regard to fundraising.
1: Evaluate your needs and breakdown your expenses
It is essential to have a good understanding of what your organization needs. It is important to evaluate the parameters of need, based on the size of your organization, geographical coverage required, operational costs, promotional costs etc. It really helps to have an expense breakdown, for that enables your organization to view things clearer. It also makes your attempts at fundraising more legitimate as the people contributing actually know where their funds are going. That increases the transparency involved and people are usually happy to contribute once they feel like they can trust an organization’s motives.
The next time you drop in to an office or appeal to an individual, put up an expense breakdown and see how that impacts their decision making. Depending on the scale of your expenses, it is important to understand what organizations work in that space and what kind of grants are available for that particular cause. It can range anywhere from approaching a local community club to a governmental organization that can grant you funds.
2: Build an online/offline presence
For brands that are starting out, it is vital to build a presence for your organization. Be it offline methods or online avenues, it is very important to create momentum. For offline methods that can help with fundraising, ideas can include creating events centered around the social cause, having a rally or a marathon, putting up a stall in a local community event like a flea market or a regional celebration etc.
Building an online presence can be very exciting as it can involve a lot of things. Right from creating a Facebook or an Instagram page to handling various social media accounts, it can be exhaustive. With online avenues, there can be a lot of ways to approach and draft a strategy that can help you build a presence. It is important to consider your target audience, their preference when it comes to social platforms, your content and engagement methods, managing and responding to your online community and having a call-to- action button etc.
3: Look to partner with other organizations
When you’re a small organization that’s starting out, it is common for people to not know you. It is essential to build a brand name and collaborating with other organizations will help you to drive your presence towards just that.
Find organizations that will be happy to collaborate with you and understand their model before you approach them for an opportunity. It will help to find organizations that are working for the same cause as you, as it will immediately help build relatability. Once you build a relationship with them, it will be easier to get credibility.
A lot of the times, starting fundraisers together or supporting each other’s fundraiser can collectively drive a lot of traffic towards your organization(s). NGOs are usually happy to support each other as it is a win win for everyone involved, the visibility for their respective cause(s) goes up, thereby incentivizing them to partner together and collectively achieve goals faster.
4: Find a way to communicate the impact of the funds raised
It always helps to visualize the end outcome. The same enables one to plan in advance and reflect on what it might take for the campaign to actually get funds. This is essentially called the rewards. Rewards is a way for the contributors to feel and realize the impact that they have made way for. The tenacity here is to explore how to use rewards to propel the movement instead of using them as an assigned end outcome. Some popular forms of NGO rewards can revolve around volunteering, thank you cards and an activity day etc.
These rewards motivate people to contribute to the cause in itself and also helps in people being able to connect to your cause better. An e-newsletter is a great way to appeal to your base. It really helps in communicating the impact of the funds raised. Additionally, there are features available to make these e-newsletters trackable. It’s a great way to stay engaged while enabling your contributors to always stay in touch with your organization.
One should not forget that it takes a lot of persistence and efforts to raise funds. Organizations must not forget to work with the same level of persistence and efforts when it comes to utilizing the funds that were raised.
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