Do you have an innovative idea to support Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and/or mitigate the effects of land degradation and drought in your community? Do you have an idea for a project that can help people to overcome poverty through healthy soils and ecosystems in the dry lands? This guide provides you insights on how you can raise the needed funds to realize your project.
This guide outlines in a structured way the various steps you may follow to plan an effective fund raising strategy, and how you could use the “crowdfunding and donations” section of the Capacity Building Marketplace to support that.
Funding and realizing your project is never easy. It requires the involvement of organizations and individuals supporting you in the implementation, and the involvement, support and understanding of organizations and individuals providing you with the necessary funds. Following the steps below can help you address this in a structured way.
Plan your project carefully and provide clear and sufficient information about your project to your potential grant makers and/or donors.
While designing your overall project think about providing your potential donors enough and clear information on why your project needs to be done, what is its impact in society, who are the target groups, and how you plan to get it done. Your project needs to answer questions like: What is the main issue your organization deals with? What is the main problem you are trying to solve? What are your needs in order to successfully implement your project? And who will benefit from your project? You probably also want to explain the expected “outcomes” of your project clearly, so that the donor/grant maker can easily identify and verify your achievements.
While designing your project make sure you provide information on the financial resources you need to carry out your project and all relevant activities that you plan to organize to ensure a successful project. Come up with an estimation of your project’s Budget and expected financial returns, and explain in detail for which activities the collected funds will be used.
A key element to always keep in mind is transparency. Donors, be they organizations or individuals, provide funds to organizations and projects that offer a transparent management of the financial resources. Being transparent in the intended outcomes of your project shows your commitment to the community. Therefore, explain what you expect to happen as a result of your project and the donation, and think about how you can provide relevant evidence on the impact your project has in the community and on the environment.
Design a strategy to collect the required funds to implement your project.
Once you have a clear outline of what you want to do and how you plan to do it, it is time to promote your ideas using all available channels. For instance by setting up your organization’s website to provide potential donors with sufficient information on the project.
Designing your fund raising strategy includes which methods of fund raising you will utilize, how you will provide adequate information to all organizations and individuals involved, and how you will manage your raised funds. Outline your fundraising objective, strategy and plan to achieve that goal.
Organizations can choose from a wide range of fund raising options available in the market, and select the one that best fits their fund raising objectives and strategy. For instance you can apply for grants or loans through grant-making, use crowdfunding to collect funds, or organize fundraising events to promote your organization and your projects to collect donations.
When applying for grants for your project, make sure that you:
- Understand what the grant makers will be looking for, what is their mission and vision, and what are their institutional priorities;
- Plan your project carefully;
- Write your application for funding, which explains to the grant maker what you are planning to do and how your project fits in with the grant makers goals;
And finally, no matter what the outcome of your application, keep up the relationship with the grant maker, enhancing your chances of success in the future.
Including crowdfunding in your fund raising strategy
Many organizations are discovering crowdfunding as an alternative to generate funds to implement their projects. For instance, organizations are using Internet crowdfunding platforms to pool the needed funds from individuals and organizations that donate or provide a loan to support projects. Crowdfunding has its origins in the concept of crowdsourcing, which is the broader concept of an individual reaching a goal by receiving and leveraging small contributions from many parties. There are many crowdfunding internet platforms available on the web that can be used by environmental and development non-profit organizations. The critical factor for successful crowdsourcing is to make sure you reach enough people.
To get started, you need to find a crowdfunding platform that suits your project. Then you proceed to present your project and organization in a way that appeals to potential donors or lenders. Typically, in crowdfunding websites you pitch to potential donors and lenders by being concise and clear since your project will be ‘competing’ for attention with other projects. Gaining peoples’ trust is also a critically important factor for success of crowdsourcing through the internet. So make sure your organization is personable, approachable and transparent, so donors and lenders can easily see who is behind it.
Be creative in finding ways to collect enough funds for your projects. Besides the mechanisms of collecting funds above mentioned, you can use many alternative ways of raising funds, such as organizing events, selling/renting goods and services and others. The “donation” section on the UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace provides you with a platform to share fund raising ideas and experiences. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts and experience with us on the marketplace so that all stakeholders can benefit from it.
Use the “donation” page on the UNCCD capacity building Marketplace.
The “Donation” page on the Marketplace is designed as a platform to facilitate the exchange of information regarding donation and fund raising for organizations that work within the framework of combating desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). The page brings donors and non-profit organizations in one place to facilitate easy access to opportunities for funding and sharing ideas and exchange of expertise and experience. When using the “donation” page on the Marketplace please give due consideration to:
- The principles of use of the UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace as stated on the Marketplace homepage;
- The “donation” section, like the other sections on the Marketplace, is operated and maintained as a service to UNCCD Parties and all who have an interest in the efficacious implementation of the Convention and its Strategy;
- It is preferred that your projects demonstrate the following points:
- Innovative and new ways to deal with desertification, land degradation and drought challenge,
- Present outstanding sustainable land management practices,
- Support capacity building efforts, use information and knowledge sharing mechanisms,
- The contributions from your organization can be easily verified.
In order to add the information about your project on the “donation” section provide information in a way that potential donors can easily evaluate your project so that they can get engaged. Additionally, update the information available on your website and include up-to-date and relevant information.
Submit your organizations’ information to us so we can place it on the “donation” section of the Marketplace, using the application form supplied.
After receiving donations, do not forget to acknowledge your donors appropriately and provide them with information on how the given donations have been put to use.
Transparency is a key element to gain and maintain the trust of individuals and organizations providing donations. Providing reports on the progress and outcomes of the implementation of your projects is always a good idea. Even when the progress you made is not what you expected or hoped for, donors will appreciate an update.
When someone decided to support you with a donation, they committed themselves to the same goals you are committed to. Get your story out there; share your experiences with your donors and the world. There is always someone out there who might be able to help and assist you.
Finally, provide us your feedback no matter what funding method you chose to use. We can learn from your stories, and through the Marketplace others can learn from your experiences too.
With your help we can make the “donation” section of the Marketplace reach much more organizations worldwide in need of capacity and funds to generate a positive impact in society!