According to a report by a leading Indian newspaper, India has possibly the largest number of active not-for-profit organizations in the world. But at the same time, a large number of NGOs in India shut down every year due to lack of funding and insufficient staffing levels. This is because good intentions and motivation are not enough to run an NGO. To ensure the smooth running of the NGO and to achieve desired results one needs funds from various sources.
The question that arises is how one can generate funds to ensure the smooth functioning of NGOs. Types of funding can be broadly divided into four categories:
Individual Donation: Most of the non-profit organizations depend upon the generosity of donors for some or all of their funding. In this type of funding, people can donate independently to an NGO. According to a survey, most of the funds come from individual donors.
State Funding: In a bid to promote welfare, ensure social justice for and empower disadvantaged and marginalized sections of society the Government provides financial aid to NGOs. Any monetary help granted by the Government to NGOs is called State funding. One needs to submit a project proposal against a call for proposal or schemes. You will receive funds from the Government if your project is approved.
Corporate Funding: The financial aid provided by a company, generally to a non-profit organization, to contribute to development is known as corporate funds. Corporate Funding is relatively a new concept in India.
Foreign Funding: In order to get financial help from foreign sources, NGO needs approval from the Indian government or they have to register under FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act).
Non-profit organizations can raise funds with the help of some basic ideas and methods.
Before talking to donors for raising funds, one must have a clear understanding of the institutional aims and objectives. One must know how objectives are to be realized by attracting current projects and shaping future plans. Therefore, it is advisable for fundraisers to be an integral part of the organizations.
It is also advisable to be prepared to provide brochures, leaflets, and presentations for donors, describing the cause for fundraising and how people can be benefited. People give not more than a few seconds to read the information So make sure what you write must grab attention immediately. Keep the message crisp, striking, and clear.
For raising funds from individuals, ‘Direct mails’ have been proved to be an effective and the most dependable method. You can prepare a list of people who always donate to your organization and another list of people who you think can become your donors, for example, social clubs, professional associations, upmarket shops, etc. But before making that list a lot of research works need to be done. Avoid spamming by sending fundraising e-mails to everybody without doing proper research. Always keep your mailing list updated.
Creating a fundraising network with a volunteer can also be very helpful. There are many people, who are generous and dedicated to work for social causes. You can often meet them in directly through your organizational volunteers and explain to them your organizations’ vision. A volunteer who supports your organization can play a major role in creating the donor group and fundraising network.
One can also raise funds and by placing donation boxes in shopping stores, restaurants, bus-stand, railway stations, and community halls. But that would require special permission before placing such donation boxes from the local government authorities. If approved, it will not only help in raising funds but also in spreading awareness about the NGO. These days a terrible disease in the world is the cause of coronavirus and its effect is also more on our India, so we have to take some precautions for COVID relief in India.
Fundraising by selling products by your organization can be very effective. Selling products like a candle, cards, flowers, T-shirts, etc to the public can help in raising funds. Make sure only quality products are delivered to the donor network.
Sharing detailed information on the use of money and resources with donors can be a good idea. Satisfying donors with the outcome of their contributions become extremely important for any nonprofit organization. Maintaining transparency and accountability help an NGO in building healthy relations with donors.
Last but not the least, you can use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to get donations and other community involvement for your nonprofit organization. Creating a profile on these sites can help in staying connected with donors. It can help in attracting potential donors and spread information about the work done by your organization.
Richa Sharma is a development professional who is passionate about causes such as Human Rights, education and gender issues. She received her postgraduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati in Development Studies. She has interned in various organizations such as National Human Rights Commission, Teach for India, Deepalaya etc. Her other interests include theatre, debating, travelling and good food! She is a trained Radio Jockey and an amateur photographer who loves clicking wherever she travels.