Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) often find difficulty in receiving grants from donor agencies. Even getting a response is already difficult enough at times. Mostly, NGOs are confused and discouraged because they aren’t always putting their feet in the shoes of donors and donor agencies. Many facts about donor agencies for NGOs aren’t considered when donor agencies are contacted and thus the chances of even getting a response grow even slimmer. To effectively get funds for NGOs, NGOs must consider the following facts about donors.
- Donors have minds of their own
Numerous NGOs find ways to develop various networking skills, forgetting that we are speaking with other human beings. Donors have minds of their own and the best way to catch their attention is to show common interest. Show them how much you value their initiatives and what your NGO plans to do. Instead of going on and on about what donors have to gain, make them believe that you understand their purpose.
- Donors need to trust you
The thing about donors is that they’re not obliged to give anything to anyone. It’s not an optional basis wherein they choose one among many because it isn’t their responsibility. Instead, they give out of their own will due to whatever cause they support. Thus, given that they give out of their liking and not an obligation, the extra effort must come from you for them to be assured. To start out, you can let them know the reasons behind supporting their cause and show them an indication of your capabilities.
- Donors don’t have all day
Apart from your NGO are thousands of other organizations who also aim to be funded for their projects. Hence, it would be a privilege to get a response and no organization should waste that opportunity. Don’t have donors keep asking the same questions over and over. Instead, answer precisely to ease the process. Given the number of organizations seeking for donations, one shouldn’t be complacent. Alternatively, be as cooperative as you can. Try to have all the answers and researches in hand so you can respond immediately.
- Donors have concerns
As much as donors would like to help NGOs like you, they have their own things to consider as well before handing funds over. Things such as tax authority, possible reports to their government, the image they have towards the public, etc. Because of this, they may ask for a ton of requirements. At times, after submitting all documents, they can still deny you of a grant. In such times, just try to be understanding of the situation and find ways to improve, and try to seek answers as to where you went wrong. Donors will be glad to welcome you back especially after you have familiarized yourself enough with the process.
- Donors are partners
There is this misconception that donors exist as NGO funding agencies. However, instead of contacting them only when needed, consider them as partners who you would like to continually seek partnerships with whether they provide funds or not. In that regard, be transparent with your donors. Send them updates on a regular basis. They will appreciate it if your updates are not filtered to how you want them to view you. In case you experience challenges and setbacks, inform your donors about them too, but make sure to have contingency plans to present as well.
- Donors can do more
Given the amount of power they have from being able to grant funds to numerous organizations, donors are also very well-connected to those who can benefit your NGO. At times, if they are unable to give you a grant, they can offer other services such as leading you to partners and giving you access to events where you can gain such opportunities. Instead of limiting yourself in seeing them as grant funding agencies, seeking other options from time to time can be beneficial.
- Donors want evident results
Many NGO employees and the public alike are usually in awe or inspired by the organization’s mission and vision. However, for donor agencies, they will expect results. It won’t be enough that your organization has the will and drive to succeed, they need evidence that the funds they share will not go to waste. Thus, when contacting them, instead of going about how you desire to help, back up your claims with examples and first-hand knowledge.
- Donors appreciate feedback
Although they expect full support to be handed over to beneficiaries of a project, your donors will greatly appreciate it if you thank them. A simple email or social media post will delight them in knowing you haven’t forgotten the help they provided. Also, inviting them to attend some of the important events within your organization is necessary for building a lasting relationship.