Fundraising and Proposal Writing - Handbook for CBOs IDASA (2005)
Most community-based organisations (CBOs) and other non-profit organisations depend on donors to provide money to run their organisations and projects. Unfortunately, there is lots of competition for donor money and in many cases the survival of an organization depends on how well it can compete with other organisations to raise funds and on how good it is at finding other ways to make money. Fundraising can be done in many ways, from collecting and selling cans, to cake sales to requesting large amounts of money from governments, individuals and other donor organisations.
The list below gives a summary of the most important sources of large-scale funding:
- Local businesses, companies and corporations;
- Special government funds, such as the Independent Development Trust (IDT);
- Provincial and local government departments;
- Local trusts and foundations;
- Foreign governments;
- Foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs); and
- Foreign trusts and foundations.
To succeed in any fundraising activity, an organization must do its homework. This means that the organization must know who it will be approaching for funding. It is useful to have some background information on the funder and its way of working.
The organisation must know exactly what it wants to do with the funding. It must prepare a funding proposal for the donor that clearly states what it is planning, how much money it needs, how it will be managed, who will be involved and what the outcomes will be.
Finally, the organisation must realise that fundraising is not a once-off activity that ends when the funds are received. The manner in which a project is implemented, its success and the way in which this information is conveyed to the donor are also extremely important steps in the process. All of these steps have a direct impact on the current and future relationship between a donor and an organisation.
To a large extent, fundraising is a relationship-building activity. The stronger the relationship between an organisation and its potential donors, the better chance the organisation has of raising the necessary funds. The foundations of this relationship are mutual trust and respect. The best way for an organisation to gain the trust and respect of its donors is by acting professionally and honestly, and by achieving its stated goals. Download PDF (39p, 1.12MB) here