Fund Raising Is Friend Raising

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By Lucky Brian Wamboka

Fund Raising Is Friend RaisingWhen searching for funds, just as when making friends the foremost goal is to draw in people from the larger cosmos to the periphery of one’s interest group. It also requires bringing those at the outer levels of your circle closer to the centre where a greater level of participation and commitment- financial and non-financial- can be expected. Fund raising as with friend-raising emphasises the development and nurturing of relationship both within and outside the immediate spheres of influence.

This time round, the FRA Secretariat started the New Year with a residential training on resource mobilisation for BOD members and Secretariat staff. Facilitated by Mr. Chris Charles Oyua a consulting expert in organizational Development and programme Management, the training equipped the BOD and staff with requisite knowledge and skills in raising and managing financial and non-financial resources to enhance organizational sustainability.

The training was made possible by the financial support from the US Alliance to End Hunger under the NAPP project. The NAPPis a unique project that enhances FRA’s institutional, financial and organizational capacity through a great number of initiatives. It also targets to strengthen the organization’s membership and its capacity to undertake programmatic work.

At the start of the retreat, one key expectation of the participants was to understand principles of resource management and learn the winning skills in resource mobilisation.As such, it was key for both staff and BOD to understand the conceptual framework of fundraising and resource mobilization and have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively and sustainably manage financial and non-financial resources towards FRA’s desired goals.

One of the foremost and most crucial phases of resource mobilization is determining whether a prospective individual or organization would make a good donor and to do this, these 3Cs need to be checked; Connection, Capability and Concern.

Let’s start with Connection. Even before approaching the donor one needs to establish whatkind of relationship the prospective donorhas with the organization or an individual working with the organization. The organization needs to send out someone who is most likely to be received warmly by the prospect. A member of the BOD or the management team; or even a staff with an acquaintance with the prospective donor might have a higher chance of “friend-raising” than the fund raising department.

Secondly is the Capability. The organization needs to establish the ability of the prospective donorto fund the organization’s cause. At times the donor in mind might not have the financial capacity to fund the cause but they could support the organization in identifying and securing funds from another source.

And thirdly is Concern. It is essential to know what your prospective donor’s values and interests are. The organization needs to assess if these values and interests are aligned with those of the organization. It also needs to weigh the donor’s willingness to genuinely care about the welfare of the organization and its beneficiaries.

To end with, for successful “friend-raising”an organization has to build an appealing brand. Its vision and values are key aspects to consider while branding the organization. Branding involves creating a unique name and image in the mind of key stakeholders and the public mainly through providing consistent quality in whatever it does. Aim to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market and your organization will attract and retain loyal resource holders and stakeholders; and also enable the organization to stand out from other organisations with similar causes. IT IS NOT THE PROJECT IDEA ALONE BUT ALSO FRIEND RAISING.