Gone are the days you sit at your desk and write an application asking for support from a donor and they immediately give you consideration. Since the economic downturn a few years back, the funding environment has experienced stiff competition for support. Many non-profit organizations have sprung up and competition for the same pot of money is high. Donors are stricter than ever as to where they put their money and how much impact that money can create on the beneficiaries. You have to go out there and market your cause, convince them on why they should support the cause and how their support will be sustainable.

Today, even the very well-known organizations are experiencing funding cuts. For example, the United Nations today is facing serious cuts in funding from its usual bilateral and multi-lateral donors.

So where is the money really going?

Donors today want value for money. They want to see organizations get dirty doing the work and not sitting around in meetings and getting huge overheads. There is so much to be done out there than in meeting rooms. Most donors are beginning to prioritize their interest and want to work directly with local organizations avoiding a third party. By doing this, they avoid a lot of bank transfer charges, organizational overheads and get a better connection with the project they support.

In Africa, many local organizations with good causes still find it difficult to get funding. This can be for various reasons like:

  • Lack of information and knowledge on where to find support
  • The marketing pitch for their cause is not very convincing
  • Lack of capacity and resources to get experts who can help them prepare proposals tailored to donors’ specification.
  • No website to publicize their cause

The evolution of technology today has made things a little easier. Through an organizations website, showcasing the work they do in pictures and videos, donors understand better why the need for support and what exactly their money would do should they eventually decide to support the project.

If you have a cause or project you want to fundraise for as a local organization, all you need is a computer/laptop/smartphone/tablet and internet connection. With these, you can google and get most of the information you need and you can better market your cause for support. Some of this information requires a subscription fee and others are completely for free.

Other ways to see your project through:

  • Partnership with already established organizations
  • Get the local community involved and organize fundraising events to market the cause or project
  • Register the cause or project to an online fundraising scheme

Remember, that however, competitive the fundraising environment is, there is always hope of getting support. If you need extra support to go about this, source experts like ACDEF to help you secure the resource you need, for those causes that you are very passionate about.

For more information on how to mobilize resources for your organization, please visit:, the Resource Mobilization and Capacity Building Programme.

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