Fundraising ideas

This free online course (comprising of 3 chapters namely Easy steps to grassroots action, Fundraising ideas and Media relations) are excerpted from Bible of Organizingwith some modifications, and are part of the Diploma in Organizational Management and Planning course, conducted by the** Human Development Institute.

Money isn't everything, but you can't do without it, too. Kautilya in his arthashastra (economics)

For continuity of the grassroots action, flow of funds is inevitable. Grab any event you organize as an opportunity to raise funds. Use every occasion to encourage people to make donation or self-taxation.

People commiserate the issues that your are advocating for common good because their children, if not themselves, could be a part of the dilemma that you are trying to avoid through collective efforts. Some fundraising tips are mentioned below:

  1. Coordinate a group or coalition in your community/region to take part in the Movement Millennium via community organizing.

  2. Develop a short proposal of what you would like to do, which groups are participating, how your group will contribute to the humanitarian objectives of Movement Millennium, why it is important that your community or institution be a part of the campaign.

  3. Develop a budget to accompany your proposal. Create items in the proposal that funders could support separately even if they are unable to fund the entire budget. Meaning, break out budgets under several sub-themes.

  4. Think about the many areas of interest covered by Movement Millennium as agendas for action : organ donations, tree plantation, safe drinking water, water conservation, literacy and numeracy, care of senior citizens, child labor and soldiery, violence against women, promotion of peace education, population planning and aids education etc. Look for groups with a special interest within these categories that may fund you : hospitals, universities, business houses, women's groups, etc.

  5. Try to raise funds from within the group or community itself for self-reliance and independence to avoid undue pressure from outside.

    • Encourage donations or self-taxation like contributing certain portion of your monthly income to support activities under the Movement Millennium. Involve schools or classrooms, and ask them to come up with ideas for action.

    • Find alternatives to foundation support. This initiative is for the benefit of your entire community, so don't be shy about asking local businesses, community groups and even neighbors to help support your efforts.

    Call a meeting and explain what you would like to do. Be sure to involve everyone in the process and share the sentiments and outcomes of the activities you're carrying out.

    • Organize fundraising events like new year party (this year, call it Millennium Party), food tastings, concerts, raffles, music and songs, rummage sales, book shows, baby contests, picnics, dine-with-a-celebrity and ask visitors to make a voluntary donation at the entrance. Sell souvenirs at events you hold, perhaps including handicrafts made by elderly people and women groups.

    • Ask local businesses to help by giving you money or a specific item. Remind them of the good publicity they will receive if they support your event in any form.

    • Involve local celebrities to attract more people to your events. People are more likely to attend and more willing to pay for a ticket if they are likely to meet a famous person.

    • Don't try risky ventures. Try to raise more money than you spend. Make it entertaining and fun.

  6. In case you need external funding, go to embassies and international humanitarian aid agencies in your region with your proposal. They should be reminded that Movement Millennium is a conscious, collective and organized universal movement at the people's level, toiling for the elevation of the human, environmental, economical, emotional and spiritual health worldwide.

  7. Organize an “Adopt-a-Program” project where stores, groups, unions, clubs and individuals contribute to help carry out any one among the seven areas of action under the Movement Millennium.

  8. Contact religious groups in your community for funds or in-kind support. Approach several different religious groups to help raise money for your efforts. Form an Interfaith Peace Service in your community and update them with information and achievements of the activities you've carried out. Just working together to fundraise will ignite the spirit of Movement Millennium in your community.

  9. Go to private foundations that have offices in your community, state or country. Remember that many foundations like Ford, Soros, Rotary etc. have deadlines and limited budgets. You may ask them to “match” the amount you can fundraise from other sources.

  10. Go on-line (of course, over the Internet) and start searching for related organizations or corporations that have an interest in your region and the agendas of the Movement Millennium. Find the name of head of the institutions and contact them directly; fax or e-mail a letter explaining what your are doing and include your budget. Follow up with a phone call if needed.