Preparation for raising money: steps to know before fundraising

While preparing for raising money fundraising prepare yourself and your organization to succeed in your fundraising! Develop consistent fundraising plans and key messages about your work that you want to share with potential donors. As you prepare your plans, you would certainly also want to reflect on the following questions as well as the general principles of fundraising.

• Get involved for your cause. What drives the work of your organization? What inspires you with passion to bring about change in your community? Successful fundraising requires you to convince donors that this is a cause that must be supported by them. Know and be able to formulate clearly why you are championing this cause is crucial.

• Get donors to get involved for your cause. Succeeding in fundraising goes beyond simply raising money. While seeking funding, you educate others about your cause and you involve them in your mission. How can you share information about the issues you are working on so that what do they also educate your donors?

• Ask. If you want an individual or an agency to give you money, ask for it! Very rarely donors donate without their support having been requested in first place. If they donate, have the presence of mind to thank them as soon as possible and let them know the impact their donation will have on your work. 

And here are the major stages of raising money to start a business:

  1. Know your environment
  2. Identify resources in your community
  3. Develop a plan for fundraising
  4. Best Practice Narration
  5. Mobilize volunteers
  6. Fundraising strategy

Get to know your environment

Research and understand the tax and legal structures as well as the culture of your community will determine the typology of fundraising activities that will have more of success in your local environment. You may encounter the following cases:

• The laws of your country may restrict certain fundraising practices in this regard. that concerns your organization. Familiarize yourself with any special permission required for your activities.

• Tax exemptions for individual donors or corporate donors could be incentive policies for making donations. Be familiar with the tax regulations of your country.

• Some information technologies may or may not be used by an large number of people in your country. As an illustration, the Internet can be a tool effective for fundraising in some countries while in other countries it can be very difficult to raise money electronically. 

After conducting environmental fundraising surveys, you will be better equipped to determine the most effective ways to raise funds.

Identify resources in your community 

Resources are available in all communities, however small and poor they may be. Each community has a set of capital on which to build its future. As you prepare to raise funds, start by identifying and developing a list of the various financial and material resources of community members and local institutions. Financial or in-kind resources may include donations of office supplies, food for an event, and volunteer staff. It is particularly important to recognize the talents of groups that are still marginalized and disadvantaged in order to involve them in your work so that all members of the community have the chance to contribute to the work of your organization.

Develop a plan for raising money

A fundraising plan provides guidelines for raising money and includes the following:

• A general objective and the amount targeted;

• Potential sources of funding and objectives for each source (membership fees, income-generating activities, foundations, businesses, government);

• Specific fundraising activities (submit a project, send a solicitation letter, make phone calls, make in-person visits);

• The names of the personnel who will carry out the fundraising activities as well as the tasks assigned to each of them;

• A timeline for completing each activity and the final deadline for the entire fundraising project.

Best Practice Narration

When developing a fundraising plan, it is essential to know how to present your organization: Make your narration as powerful as possible. The most effective story is that of a participant or beneficiary of your program: 

  • How has his life been improved by the work of your organization? 
  • Know your audience: who are you telling your story to? 
  • Understand how you can effectively communicate your message based on who is listening to you. 
  • Understand the purpose of your narrative: is the goal fundraising? 
  • Awareness? The defense of your organization? 

There must be a main goal that you want to achieve by telling your story. 

Make sure the audience responds: the most captivating stories are the ones that arouse emotions strong – an individual’s story will be most effective for that particular purpose. Give context to your idea, but in a concise way: what are the geographic factors, cultural, economic or social that impact this story? Avoid giving a comprehensive list of all components – the context is to reinforce your story, not to confuse your audience. 

Visuals are the quickest way to reach your audience: images should be clear and simple. Two key rules with regard to portraits in particular are: center the photos – the top of the individual should be on top of, so as not to leave negative space, and respect the rule of three.