In Practice

Article excerpt

Fundraising is a key element to allow non-profit organisations to operate efficiently and to maximise and achieve their charitable and organisational objectives. In times when budgets are tight, it has never been more important to maximise and broaden the different ways in which funds can be raised.

There are a number of fundraising options to consider when an organisation is seeking to fund a new project including trusts and foundations, corporate companies, individual donors, events and campaigns, and community fundraising. Choosing which of these options are suitable will depend on the particular project and the type of beneficiaries. John Baguley, Director of the International Fundraising Consultancy says, "Think if there is a natural group of people to support your work. For example, a cancer charity naturally calls on those who have experience of relatives with cancer, but also look at the charitable trusts set up to give help to your beneficiaries and check government funds including the lottery." It is important to do ample research in order to indentify the individuals, companies, or Trusts that are most likely to respond to an appeal for funds. This in turn will mean that for each appeal made, there will be a higher chance of a positive response. He adds, "Ask yourself 'who would cry if you die?' i.e. who cares passionately about your cause or that particular project."

Since the economic downturn, corporate companies seem to be a less promising option when seeking funds. Body and Soul, a UK charity supporting children, young people, and famines living with or cioseiy affected by HIV, was established in 1996 and fundraised for five years to build its centre in London which opened two years ago. A spokesperson from the charity says, "Corporate companies are obviously not the most lucrative funding option currently. In previous years companies who have been making massive profits have been keen to engage in corporate social responsibility programmes and align themselves with charities. Now it is not so easy to engage with them, but working on alternative partnership projects such as volunteering is still an important part of building relationships for the future".

John Baguley stresses the importance of not giving up on charitable trusts. "Some companies have taken big hits and most sponsorship from marketing budgets have been cut, but charitable trusts have usually invested cautiously and whilst grants tend to be made for one year not three these days, 2009 is the time to appiy because discretionary grants will be cut next year as dividend income falls. …