If you have an army of donors and supporters, can you enrich that connection by taking one step ahead? To do this, converting your one-time donors into regular donors can be a low hanging fruit. Sure, it will not be easy but is certainly an opportunity- it has been found that most people do not give regularly because they were never asked. So, this conversion from one-time to regular must be added to your acquisition strategy. This group is already a member of your community, is aware of your … [Read more...] about How to convert one-time donors into regular donors?
When it comes to making the ask for monthly giving to your donors or prospective donors, the most important question becomes- ‘How to ask’ and not ‘what to ask’. How you put together a monthly giving appeal is the most important aspect of your recurring giving program. Making a compelling ask, reaching out to the ‘warm’ prospects or existing donors, and ease of giving- a sure shot recipe for fundraising success. Here are some tips for preparing monthly giving appeals for your donors: … [Read more...] about How to prepare monthly giving appeals for your donors?
Donor engagement is the latest buzzword in fundraising, and rightly so. Engaging your donors means retaining them for long durations, resulting in a connected donor base and higher lifetime value (LTV) of donors. Here are some tips to keep your donors engaged with the cause and your organization: The more they know, the more they care: Engage donors by sharing more information about your work, the cause, the community, stories from the field, impact stories- all in the form of engaging … [Read more...] about What can be some tips to increase donor engagement?
There can be different channels of fundraising- online or offline. When selecting a particular channel for your organization, consider factors like your goals, key expected outcomes, your budget and timelines, and resources available. The various channels can be: Digital channels: Email fundraising, ‘donate’ pages on websites, campaigns on other platforms, social media like Facebook fundraising, crowdfunding, peer-driven fundraiser pages, and so on. Offline channels: … [Read more...] about What can be the different channels of individual fundraising and what is a multichannel fundraising strategy?
Many studies are being done to understand donors’ motivations and reasons for giving. As nonprofit organizations or as fundraisers, it is important to understand the various kinds of donors, their motivations, their reasons for giving; to figure out ways of engaging them and keeping them connected to the cause. To this end, one must assess where a donor lies in the Donor Fundraising Cycle or Donor Cycle. As per Guidestar, the key steps in a Donor Cycle are: Identification, Qualification, … [Read more...] about What is a Donor Cycle and why is it important?
The data-driven approach in fundraising tends to yield better, informed decision making, help in understanding donors’ capacity and affinity to give, identifying the major donor prospects, and gauging the potential engagement of various groups of donors and supporters. Typically, the kind of data to track to drive fundraising and engagement involves: Demographics (Age, gender, profession, address, and so on); Donation and engagement history; Any preferences around modes of … [Read more...] about How to use data for increasing donations for your organization?
Direct mail fundraising is a mode of fundraising in which printed material and appeals are used as the material to appeal for funds. This material is sent to the prospective donors or general public by way of addressed mail or unaddressed mail respectively. It can include inserts like the case for support, specific information about the cause/s or impact, donation forms, or even thank you cards. Using direct mail for fundraising can be a good strategy for specific target prospective donor … [Read more...] about What is ‘Direct Mail’ and how to use it as a fundraising strategy?
Peer-to-peer fundraising, more commonly known as P2P fundraising is a fundraising strategy that leverages the networks of donors or supporters to raise funds for an organization. This strategy works well for many organizations that have an active base of supporters or donors. It essentially involves equipping the existing donors or supporters to raise funds on your behalf from their networks. You would need to provide them with the relevant information, set goals, assist them in making the ask … [Read more...] about What is peer-to-peer fundraising?
A recurring giving program is a donation program wherein your donors can set up an automatic debit of a chosen amount on a fixed frequency- biweekly, monthly, quarterly or annual. A recurring giving program can help you generate a steady revenue stream, less dependence on a few big donors, and build an engaged and connected donor and supporter community. To set up a monthly giving/ recurring giving program for your organization, here is a step by step guide: Define your goal: Be … [Read more...] about How to set up a Recurring Giving Program?
Monthly giving can be a lifeline for a non-profit organization. It means a recurring donation program where donors give a set amount on a monthly basis/ or a set frequency. This usually entails automatic giving systems in place where donors can sign up to automatically donate a predetermined amount on a chosen frequency. These regular giving options can help organizations have an ongoing steady stream of income and depend less on large donors, have more autonomy and financial sustainability. … [Read more...] about What is recurring giving and what are its advantages?
Here are the five key steps of planning an Individual Fundraising strategy for your organization: Goal - Defining a goal- how much do you want to raise, what will you do with the funds raised, what are the funds needed for, or what impact they will bring about? Target audience - Who are you going to reach out to seek funds? Will you follow a targeted approach or a more general appeal? Who will give and why will they give? The case for support/ Cause - What cause or campaign are you … [Read more...] about What should be the steps for planning an Individual Giving strategy?
Certain key aspects to keep in mind before planning Retail Fundraising Strategy: Understand your audience- who are your donors and supporters, identify them and segment them into groups to understand their characteristics, to be able to plan your approach and communication channels, which is a key part of your strategy. Define what types of Retail Fundraising or Individual Fundraising will work best for your organization- e.g. cash gifts, online fundraisers/ digital giving, recurring … [Read more...] about What are the key things to keep in mind before planning Retail Fundraising?
The ability to raise funds from a big number of individuals would take a lot of preparation, planning, and effort in the beginning but it has a lot of advantages. Firstly, this essentially means less dependence on big donors that in turn means sustainable, resilient organizations. Secondly, an increased focus on individual donors can be an opportunity to generate more awareness about your cause and impact, initiate conversations, and also build a deeper connection with your donors and … [Read more...] about What are the advantages of the Retail Fundraising Model or Individual Fundraising?
Retail Fundraising or Individual Fundraising is the term for fundraising from a large number of individuals. This method of fundraising is receiving a lot of attention from charities everywhere as an untapped or lesser utilized opportunity. There can be several types of Individual Giving, including- cash donations, recurrent giving or regular donations (with any frequency- monthly/ biannual/ annual), legacy gifts/ will, payroll giving, and digital giving like online fundraising campaigns. Many … [Read more...] about What is Individual Fundraising/ Retail Fundraising/ Individual Giving?
In order to prepare a successful concept note, adequate and careful planning needs to be done by several teams in an NGO. Ideally, you must involve different team members, including the program team, technical resources, monitoring and evaluation team (M&E), finance team and also others as needed. You may also need to take into account inputs from your key stakeholders and experts working in the field, also the beneficiaries, local communities or the target groups. To manage the concept note … [Read more...] about Which teams must be included in a concept note preparation process?
Many funders and foundations prefer taking the first look at a concept note before asking the NGOs to submit full-fledged proposals to ensure an alignment of objectives, compliances and eligibility of the NGO submitting the concept note, before the proposal stage. This also helps them in eliminating the ones which do not fulfill their selection criteria or are not appealing enough based on the donor priorities. To find out about such opportunities where ‘Calls for Concepts’ or ‘Calls for Concept … [Read more...] about When should I submit a concept note to a funder?
A good concept note must explain the entire project idea, objectives, strategies and plan of action in a clear and concise manner. Here are the key characteristics of a good concept note, and things one should keep in mind: Concise and Coherent: A concept note covers all the key sections of a proposal, but in a concise manner. It has to contain clear language to explain more in fewer words. Many organizations give ready-to-use templates and/ or web forms for submitting concept notes and … [Read more...] about What are some qualities of a good concept note?
Before developing your program idea into a concept note, it is worthwhile to invest time and energy into conducting proper research. Research plays an important role in enriching your concept note and brings depth to your writing too. Typically, you might need to put in some research on the following aspects: Needs assessment: It would mean using primary and secondary research to build the context, to define the problem and to establish the need for the solution that your program is … [Read more...] about How to research ideas before preparing a concept note?
Include a budget in your concept note only if required by the donor at this stage. You will need to conduct detailed background research and in-depth analysis of the inputs and resources required to implement the program activities to gauge the costs. If including a budget as per the donor template or your own, always add the word ‘tentative’ or ‘preliminary’ to the budget at this stage, as many additional costs may come into the picture or many might be modified at the later stages of detailing … [Read more...] about Should I include a project budget in my concept note?
Your concept note must be simple, clear and concise. It must not be overwhelming for the donor with loads of details, but at the same time, it must display clarity and coherence in the idea and all the sections. Use technical language when needed, but avoid using complicated language and jargon. The language must be easily understood by the person reading your concept note. Pay attention to detail as this concept note is going to create your first impression in the donor’s mind. Make sure you … [Read more...] about What should be the writing style of a concept note? Any tips around formatting?
Aside from paying attention to a solid project design, crisp and well-articulated sections and meeting the eligibility and application criteria, some ‘nice to have’ additional detailing and fine-tuning of your concept note ideas can be the cherry on the top. To enrich your concept, you can include the ‘soft’ and long-term aspects of the impact your program can have. Some examples are: gender inclusion, capacity building, inclusion and customizing as per the local context, ensuring a long-term … [Read more...] about What additional elements can make my concept note stand out?
Here is a brief template with section and subsection headings that one can use for preparing a concept note if a template is not already provided by the donor. The outline can vary depending on the type of opportunity, type of format or template, type of the project to be described, and so on, and this is a general outline that may be used as it is or by picking the most relevant points: Title of the project; Project or Program Summary; Organization Profile; Background or Problem … [Read more...] about What are the contents of a concept note?
The various types of concept note submission opportunities for NGOs are: ‘Calls for Concept Notes’ opportunities: Many donor agencies solicit concept notes on a periodic basis which can be semi-annual, annual, etc. Most of them publish the ‘Call for Concept Notes’ on their websites, other web-portals, their regular publications, and sometimes in the print media. These are open to NGOs based on the qualifying criteria. Some examples of such organizations are USAID, European Commission, … [Read more...] about What are the various types of concept note submission opportunities for NGOs?
A concept note must cover the following key elements: It must convince the donor that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Second, it must describe the solution for the problem that you are proposing. Lastly, your concept note needs to demonstrate your ability and credibility as an organization to solve this particular problem by implementing your solution. The structure and templates for a concept note must ensure these three basic elements are covered in it. To this end, in … [Read more...] about What are the key elements of a concept note?
Essentially, a concept note is a summarized version of a project proposal and must include a brief description of the project goal/s, objectives and overall approach or strategies to be followed to achieve the stated goal and objectives. It must display an outline or framework of the development program that you are seeking funds for. It must be kept in mind that your concept note is the first opportunity to make the first impression on a donor. The preparation and submission of a concept … [Read more...] about What is a concept note? and how long should a concept note be?
Some of the prerequisites for applying to USAID for assistance grants are: Your organization’s mission and capabilities must be aligned with USAID’s proposed program and you must go through the eligibility criteria in detail based on the terms of the USAID solicitation. Read the solicitation completely and very closely. Make sure you understand the program description, expected goals, results and objectives, the kind of work and activities that will be or will not be supported, cost … [Read more...] about What are the key aspects of preparing a budget for a USAID proposal?
Here are some of the considerations and tips for preparing your application for USAID funding, or in USAID terms, preparing for a solicitation: First of all, go through the solicitation in-depth and detail: Make sure you go read the solicitation in-depth and detail and make notes of the important points. Some points to be understood well in detail would be the scope of work, evaluation criteria, and eligibility criteria. Understand the evaluation criteria of USAID: Review and … [Read more...] about What are the best practices when applying for a USAID funding opportunity?
USAID encourages a large number of applications and competition to ensure high-quality proposals and solutions. To this end, USAID issues solicitations and asks the organizations to respond to them. After this, the organizations whose response best meets the evaluation criteria outlined in the particular solicitation, get selected. However, this is not the end of the process. The various types of solicitations by USAID to assess your organizational capacities, select potential partners, and get … [Read more...] about How to apply for USAID funding? Or in USAID terms- ‘What process does responding to a solicitation involve?’
Ideally, you must begin the preparation even before the opportunity is released by USAID. To have a good shot at getting shortlisted, the proposal must be of very high quality and stands out from the competition. This can only be ensured by spending time and effort in comprehensively researching, understanding the complete process, onboarding the right staff/ consultants and so on. Many of the organizations vying for USAID grants and partnership opportunities start working at least 8-12 … [Read more...] about How and when should I start proposal preparation for a USAID funding opportunity?
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) releases a wide range of federal grant opportunities for the developing nations with the aim of furthering its objectives of saving lives, reducing poverty, strengthening democratic governance and progress; by means of humanitarian assistance and international development efforts. USAID works in over 100 countries in the areas of - Promoting Global Health, Supporting Global Stability, Providing Humanitarian Assistance, Catalyzing … [Read more...] about What are the areas of USAID funding and how and where can I find the USAID funding opportunities?