Many questions I hear from founders and community leaders are related to “we need funding.” This is the goal. To achieve this goal, you need to take some steps. Those steps could be, identifying funding sources relevant to your project, writing a proposal, or pitching the project in person.
In many cases, organisations fail to identify what the exact challenge is. What is stopping you from reaching that goal? The best way to go about your fundraising goals is to keep the capacity of your organisation in mind. Do you have the enough staff to handle your organisation’s fundraising goals. Does the staff have the capacity to reach those goals etc. If your organisation is at a start-up phase with limited capacity, applying for big funds from big donor agencies might not always be the way to go. In this case, the best way would be to raise funds locally.
Start small, start from your own network. An initial funder can be a family member, a local business or an an affluent person from your community. Explore these possibilities. Browse your own network and contacts and see where you can find funding opportunities. If you are an established organisation and need funding for scaling a particular project, then you need to look for funders in corporate or nonprofit sector from that particle topic/issue you are working on. For example, an organisation working on women empowerment through trainings need to look for donors who fund women related trainings.
I hope you found these tips useful. What is your experience with pitching for a new initiative? Please share in the comments section below.
This article is part of “On Fundraising Challenges” series, originally written for Mentoring Women in Business Platform of Cherie Blair Foundation in response to questions posted by community leaders and founders of various start-up initiatives.