New Economy Organisers Network

Neon‘s Campaign Fundraising workshop notes.

Fundraising through philanthropic foundations application process cycle based on a funder and fundraisers presentations:

  • What you want to do? How far can you get without finding? Plan with a team, people are assets not just beneficiaries. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
  • Find some one who wants to do it. Collect a database of potential funders, look at successful bids. Funders want to hope for a better world, they have an agenda and targets for giving.
  • Be able to give a 3 minute pitch then phone ahead of applying to test the water so not to waste everyone’s time on inappropriate applications. Bate the funder to ask questions. Don’t just talk about your self, ask questions about the funder, are you a right fit?
  • Request feedback and tweak plans.
  • Write the bid, if possible share it with the funder for feedback before submitting. Tips:
    1. Clarity – application needs 1 sentence explanation. Funders wont spend more than 5 minutes reading an application. Be aware explaining the need is easy but explaining the strategy is more important. I.E. the living wage spent a while shaming employers into committing to the it, this had limited effect. By commissioning research to show that it benefited the business as well as they employees they responded to the positive reputation benefit more than the shame.
    2. Why will your strategy work? What is your theory of change?
    3. Every campaign is a series of mile stones i.e. make an alliance of interested groups, work out who your audience is… Where are you in the journey? Why now? What opportunities are arising?
    4. Why hasn’t your campaign worked yet? Or Why has it? e.g. shifting attitudes, what audience/message. Commission research and evaluate plans. What are your indicators of success?
    5. Understand your adaptability.
    6. Why now?
    7. Niche is sometime easier because there is little competition, if you are working in a crowded field, how are you working with other campaigns? What is your team? Who are you and what legitimacy do you have around this issue?
    8. Targets – audience can’t be too broad. What particular group? i.e. 5 MP’s and 2 particular special advisor?
    9. How much will it cost? Value for money is important. Do not ask for more than 13% – 19% core costs, ask for campaign costs.
    10. What happens afterwards? What follow through? For example how will you get more resources for policy to become practise i.e. will police/councils enforce policy?
  • Make sure you have a bank account.
  • SAY THANK YOU. Treat them like a friend, listen, be honest & upfront. Be able to say no to funding and make sure you don’t change your plan to fit funders, do what you WANT.
  • Evaluate your campaign, get evidence.
  • Send feedback from evaluation.
  • Back to the start with what you want to do NEXT.
 We were also introduced to the Edge Fund which is a community led funding model which promotes rights not charity. They have a great guide which covers different types of grant funding including their own. Edge Fund DRAFT Fundraising For Grassroots Social Justice Groups Guide