Organizations need money to run, which is why fundraising is one of the foremost challenges and priorities they face.
While there isn’t a simple solution to fundraising – unfortunately, it’s always going to be a challenging part of the job – there are ways to approach it to be more effective, efficient, and successful.
We believe it’s about the 3 R’s.
To generate Resources, an organization needs to focus on Results, Relationships and Reputation.
- Results. Effective fundraising depends on having a great product to ‘sell’ to funders. That product is defined by an organization’s results – its impact, achievements, and outcomes in terms of bringing about change in the world. Ensure that fundraising efforts, whether proposals, presentations, or broader communications, focus on your organization’s results and achievements, as those are the basis for attracting interest and support from funders.
- Relationships. The key to getting access to funders is through your relationships: your colleagues, partners, collaborators, and existing funders. These are the individuals who will enable you to connect with funding opportunities, gain trust with new funders, and get your work (your Results) noticed by new funders. The key to maintaining existing funders is building strong relationships based on shared interests, trust, and transparent communications.
- Reputation. Establishing a strong reputation, based on your Results and your Relationships, is key to effective fundraising. Reputation is strongly shaped by how you communicate your impacts and achievements and how you conduct yourself as an organization.
In summary, to build a strong foundation for effective fundraising your organization needs to: focus on communicating clearly about your results, achievements and track record; build strong partnerships and networks that will open doors to new funders; and establish a strong reputation for delivery, performance, and transparency.
Here is a printer-friendly one-pager on the Foundations of Fundraising.