Changing approaches to NGO funding
Lack of planning and financial organisation
Limited resources to seek donors
It can be a difficult cycle when an NGO’s lack of resources limit them from seeking and acquiring donors. The old business adage of having to spend money to make money is unfortunately also true for non-profit organisations.
Not having the resources to effectively market and promote your cause can result in a lack of attention from donor organisations. What’s more, a lack of finances can limit an NGO to only reaching out to local donors. Waiting for international donors to approach can be a long and often fruitless process.
Increased dependency on institutional donors
What can NGOs do to address these challenges?
Fundraising for NGOs has been impacted by COVID-19 and the cost of living crises. saw almost three-quarters of British NGOs taking financial hits as a result of these crises, with small and medium organisations the worst affected. Most of the usual methods of fundraising for NGOs have been impacted by the pandemic. 81% of organisations that use public funding, including sponsored events and charity shops, have been seriously affected, compared to only 39% of those who receive government grants.
NGOs should take this time to reflect on how they can pivot their business plan to better align with the changing world. Income diversification, an updated strategic plan, and creating an investment policy are all ways to boost your NGO’s performance. To increase brand recognition, try some new strategies like social media campaigns, online fundraising events, awareness days, and peer-to-peer fundraising. Key considerations include:
- Regular communication (emails) from NGO leaders (e.g. CEO) to donors and stakeholders, keep them up to date with the challenges, steps being taken and so on.
- Use social media. Even in emails, use photographs/ videos and other interesting media instead of emails full of text and boring data.
- Pick up your phone and call donors – if you have an advanced donor data management system and you know your donors. Prepare a script, train your staff (online/ phone) and get going.
- Supporting mental health of communities, distributing protective/preventive gear and so on.
- Organise webinars, social media catch-up events, live social media events and invite the donors and stakeholders to join them.