Today, we continue with the Leverage Impact Program (LIP), so far we have been able to share 3 major steps for NGOs and non profits to meet their set objectives.
In the step one of the leverage impact program we talked about the strategy development for non profits and NGOs. In step two, we looked at how NGOs and non profits can build and facilitate a community. And in step 3, we talked about social media positioning for non profits and NGOs.
We are continuing with the step 4 of the Leverage Impact Program (LIP), where we will be looking at Fund raising, advocacy and pledges campaign for non profits and social enterprises.
When should NGOs and social enterprises start fundraising?
As a NGO or a social enterprise, particularly for the NGOs, fund raising is the critical life blood if they want to sustain the wonderful things they are doing. Typically, it is easy to say the best time to be raising fund is when there is need to get financial resources for a particular project. But as much as you can fundraise anytime there is a need for cash to carry out a particular project, the bigger question is this; will it achieve optimum result?
Realistically, the question should be when should NGOs and social enterprises commence fundraising that will enable them achieve optimum results? So it is important to note that fund raising for NGOs should not be done by accident, rather non profits need to consciously plan fundraising into the activities of that NGOs.
There are some key elements you need to put in place before you start a fund raising exercise. On a general level, one can say ‘what will be your leverage if you want to fund raise’, essentially; where best do you anchor your fund raising drive? Where are you positioned at the time of fundraising?
Ideally as an NGOs, one would expect that you have a clear strategy into how you are carrying out your activities. You should have been able to build a community around you as a NGO because the community are the people who give momentum to your fund raising exercise. You will recall we noted the importance of community building in the sustainability process. (Step 2)
For you to have an optimal fundraising you need have gotten a thriving community. It is also very important that you have a well positioned social media audience. It will help to strengthen your fundraising drive.
If you are not well positioned on social media, it will weaken your ability to fund raise. Especially when you want to do a crowd-funding or if you are looking at targeting people you can class as ‘elite or big donors’, you will be helping your course when they know that you have an existing community through your social media engagements. This gives your process a major validation as a NGO.
So, really you must have these in place before thinking of raising funds. If you want to jump start the fundraising while building your community and social media audience, there are ways to go about it. Firstly, is to determine an anchor point for your NGO, understand the problem you are trying to solve with your NGOs and identify organisations or individuals whose problem you might be solving.
Let’s take for instance, if you run a NGO whose goal is to manage plastic waste, you will likely get fund faster when you approach a brand that uses plastic in packaging their products. A beverage company in Nigeria will largely support your cause because you are helping them manage a problem which is proper disposal and recycling of plastic waste. The success here is relative, all depending on how you share your objective.
The same goes for organisations like World Health Organisation, you will need to anchor your fundraising on health as this is their major interest.
However, in order to achieve an optimum fundraising you need to go through the process that have been listed in the Leverage Impact Program (LIP). First is build your audience/community, and have a good digital footprint.
What should the growing NGOs share on their social platforms since it is one of the process they must go through for optimum fundraising if they don’t have funds to do any impact project?
From a start up angle, what you want to do should resonate with a particular target audience. Whether is the beneficiary of what you do or the people who you impact directly or the people you impact indirectly. These are the people that would be interested in checking out what you are all about because your message resonates with them.
Even before sharing any major impact project on your social media, the fact that you are sharing the goal or the objective of the organisation, you will already have their interest. The interest can be because of the impact your objective can have on them or they just want to keep track of what you are doing because of a genuine interest in that area.
Why is fundraising critical to the sustainability of NGOs and social enterprises?
There are two broad ways non profits can become sustainable; the first is funding, without funding the NGOs won’t survive. Recall that NGOs are not setup to make money in the first place, they are setup to meet a specific need or solve a local problem.
Automatically the primary means of running NGOs is through fundraising.
The other way to raising funds for NGOs is setting up a social enterprise from your non-profit. i.e finding a way to monetize something or a process whereby you are also getting monetary value from your impact.
For instance, do you run children’s home; do you run a school for the challenge people? Are you able to teach them some technical handcraft and from the handcraft you sell those handcrafts to get money for the organisation. Essentially, you can create a product which can be monetised, that way your NGO will not have to depend on donations and fundraising events.
To be Continued….
Join us again next week for the publication of the second part of this Step 4 of the Leverage Impact Programme.