Fundraising is key to the success of any nonprofit organization. There are many ways to raise money to support charitable efforts, but there is also a lot of competition for donor rupees. Choosing the right methods and techniques is an important key to effectively raising money.
Raising Funds for NGO in India
Non-profit sector is increasingly feeling a need to have professional fund-raisers in order to maintain the functions smoothly, attain financial stability and sustainability. The problem lies in a lack or shortage of such professional fund-raisers. Earlier, most of the NGOs have been receiving foreign funds. However, with more stringent monitoring, FCRA regulations (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act), western economic downturn and a shift in India’s international standpoint regarding foreign funding agencies, there has been a sharp decline in the amount and frequency of foreign funding.
On the other hand, the most useful and dynamic platform of fundraising is taking the centre stage, which is ‘Internet and Social Media’. The lessons for the NGO sector in India are very clear in the current context.
How to Raise Funds for NGO in India
Here are 12 several ways NGOs can fundraise for social causes:
Organising an event is a proven method to mobilise funds and support for a cause. Many organisations who engage in fundraising for the first time, choose to run an event. The range of event types is sheer endless and new, creative events are invented every day. One can raise a lot of funds with an event that is well organised, but should balance the resources invested versus the expected gains. It is wise not to choose a one-off event, but to select or develop one that can become a recurring activity (e.g. annually). Thus, the experience of the organisers and public awareness can grow by repetition and very often profits will grow as well.
• Walkathon – walking or running where participants are sponsored by their network of families, friends and co-workers
• Charity dinner, lunch – either low cost for community members or high-price or exclusive for wealthy individuals
• Cultural evening – music, dance, theatre, storytelling
• School rally
2. Personal solicitation
Meeting potential individual donors face to face offers excellent opportunities to mobilise support and funding. After all, personal contact has a stronger impact than any other form of communication. Personal solicitation is a time-intensive way of mobilising support, which, depending on the size of the gift you are planning to ask, can take some time before the relationship and trust have developed to the stage where you can make the ask.
• Inviting a donor to visit your organisation or project
• Having a meeting with the donor at his or her home
• Presenting a case with direct personal follow-up at a meeting
3. Network Fundraising
Network fundraising or Friendraising means that you approach new donors through your own networks and contacts. A ‘friend-to-friend’ approach works like an inkblot and can be used almost everywhere. This method is especially effective if you cooperate with so called ‘connectors’, meaning people who know a lot of other people and people who are well known and respected in their community and who are prepared to spread the message amongst their network. But any existing donor or other well-wisher can also be a good source to bring in new donors. You can also involve the own staff and board members of an organisation to promote the cause. People are more easily inclined to give when directly asked by a person they know and respect rather than when asked by a stranger.
Network fundraising can be done through social media such as Facebook, through e-mailing or through personal contact. This way of fundraising can be done by any organisation but works especially well when an organisation has good contacts with journalists, the media and/or a large group of followers.
• Organise an e-mailing campaign for staff members: prepare an e-mail, which can easily be adapted and forwarded by staff to friends and relatives, which shortly describes what the organisation is doing and how people can get involved
• When organising an event, encourage existing donors to bring some friends to the event. The more attractive your event, the more easy it is for others to convince friends to come along.
4. Online Fundraising
Over the past ten years, fundraising via online media has literally exploded. However, we know that some continents and countries have a much stronger access to the internet than others. But it is undeniable that almost everywhere in the world the situation is changing quite rapidly. This technological transformation creates a vast potential for fundraising via online giving platforms (e.g. Social For Action), mobile phones (via InstantMessaging (I)) and social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). The evident advantages of e-giving are the speed, flexibility, low cost, wide outreach and online help that this type of fundraising provides. Often, online fundraising is combined with other types of off-line, live activities, such as events.
• Crowdfunding through social media and/or social networks
Volunteers can play a really important role in an organisation, bringing in extra time and expertise at far lower costs than when recruiting a member of staff. At the headquarters, volunteers can be used for general help around the office with their expertise or provide a particular service. Volunteers can also assist in fundraising. Many organisations also mobilise volunteers for (part of) the implementation of their programmes. There are some costs involved in using volunteers though, as volunteers need supervision and compensation for expenses e.g. travel.
• Students from a college help to organise a fundraising event
• A retired bank employee contacts local companies and shops to get prizes donated for a
• A retired teacher visits schools to promote the cause
• A lawyer gives free legal advice
• A website specialist gives a one week consultancy
• A financial expert helps set up a sound financial system
• A karate teacher provides karate lessons to beneficiaries
• A professional counsellor provides free counselling to beneficiaries
6. Donations in Kind
Apart from money, support in kind can be a very good additional way of mobilising resources needed for the organisation and its cause. Many people are more willing to contribute donations in kind than to give money. This applies to individuals as well as companies.
• A lady living in the neighbourhood of the project provides a sack of rice
• The local Rotary Club organises a collection of clothes for the beneficiaries
• Students provide note books and pencils for the children in the project
• A computer company donates computers for computer literacy lessons
• A local shopkeeper provides afternoon snacks
• A local company or community building provides a meeting room or office space
7. Raising Money From Young People And In Schools
Raising resources from young people and in schools goes hand in hand and should always be connected with the objective to get them to understand the work of the organisation. Children are likely to have time rather than money, but they also have access to the support of their family. Fundraising with young people will foremost involve young people in the cause and lay an important base for future support.
• A school organising a sponsor run in which parents, family and friends sponsor the children
• A musical performance of school children in which they ask a small entrance fee that will be
donated to your cause
• Collecting and recycling waste materials, the profits going to your cause
• Young people distributing invitations to your event in the neighbourhood
8. Periodic Donation Through Adoption Of A Project
Recruiting regular donors is a proven method to keep donors involved for a long period of time. This approach links the donation to the support of an individual beneficiary or a specific piece of work. It encourages people to give on a monthly or yearly basis. Donors continue to give for a long time when they feel due to an emotional connection and when their involvement is nurtured in a good way. This way of giving works best with existing donors. Periodic donations are the most durable and stable source of income: the most effective way to run an organisation!
• Sponsor the education of a child
• Sponsor a meal for a homeless person
• A ‘become a friend of ….’ program in which a donor gives money every month or annually
Collections can be a successful strategy to raise funds when you can mobilise enough people who want to do the collecting. There are different kind of collections:
• Collections in churches and amongst the local community
• House-to-House collections, where a person visits homes and asks for support
• Street collections, where collectors ask people on the streets to donate
• Collection boxes in shops, companies or at public places
• Collection boxes at the homes of supporters of an organisation
The strength of a collection is that over time one can reach a very large audience. Apart from raising funds a collection can also have an impact in terms of awareness creation and publicity for a cause
• A collection box in local shops in the community
• A collection box in a hotel close to the organisation
• A collection box in a shop or hotel in a big city, owned by someone originating from the area
where the organisation works
10. Product Sales
This involves the sales of products from which a (preferably large) share of profits goes to the organisation. You can think of products made by the organisation itself, by the beneficiaries of the organisation, by the community, or those produced ‘in license’ and sold through commercial channels. Product sales have the advantage that the buyers receive something tangible in return for their money and that they are reminded of the organisation when they use the product. On the other hand it can be a financially risky enterprise that requires a very different skillset from an organisation. Thorough research, knowledgeable partners and starting small-scale are therefore advisable
• Selling of greeting cards or other products that are made by the beneficiaries of the
• A small market sale with homemade food such as cakes, cookies, breads, etc.
• Sale of products donated by various sponsors
11. Corporate Partnerships
Establishing corporate partnerships can be a major source of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. With so many organizations emphasizing social responsibility, you may find that companies are willing to sponsor or underwrite your organization’s programs or events, especially if your group’s efforts align with the company’s mission or values. Corporate partnerships also often include matching gift arrangements, with the company matching any dollars donated by their employees with an equivalent donation. Corporations that partner with nonprofits also sometimes lend their employees or executives to nonprofits to help raise money or serve as volunteers.
If you’re looking for a way to raise money fast, using a crowdfunding platform like Social For Action can be a good option. This option allows you to put out a call for donations that can quickly and easily attract donors who may be able to make gifts of all sizes. This option has viral potential and can be used to raise money for a certain project or to quickly bring in money for an unforeseen need that requires a quick response, such as bringing in contributions to help people affected by a sudden tragedy or unexpected repairs to the facility where your organization provides services to the community.
Read Further: Crowdfunding for NGOs Everything You Should Know!
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