Basic tips for fund-raising for small NGOs / civil society in developing countries

Basic tips for fund-raising for small NGOs / civil society in developing countries

How to prepare for fund-raising

Fund-raising for local, often small, non-governmental (NGO) and community-based (CBO) organisations is often difficult precisely because they do not have the resources to undertake this activity over and above their core function. In addition, local groups may find themselves competing for scarce resources and may be seen by donors to lack the infrastructure and accountability to process direct funds. However, direct contact with donors without the necessary groundwork can jeopardise an organisation’s reputation and the possibility of receiving funding.

This toolkit recommends a taking preparatory approach before soliciting funding which includes: 

  • establishing credibility through cross-social networking (with local NGOs/CBOs, faith groups, associations, universities, etc.) and establishing a good public profile through the media and the internet (where possible) 
  • demonstrating a commitment to transparency and accountability with reference to internationally recognised guidelines such as the International Statement of Ethical Principles 
  • ensuring the availability of basic documentation such as budgets and financial reports, references and official registration documents 
  • conducting a donor mapping exercise to find out exactly what/who donors will fund and what their grant-making guidelines are 
  • making the case for how funds will be used with emphasis on good work carried out so far and its beneficial impact on the community 
  • ensure a donor communication plan is in place which includes how to thank donors and giving them regular updates on the impact of their funding

The toolkit also provides online resources including where to find more information about funders while stressing that its advice on preparation should be followed in order not to jeopardise funding opportunities.