This post originally appeared on Blackbaud Pacific.
Is the quest for funding getting tougher?
It certainly seems that way right now. It seems that a charities number 1 challenge right now is rising competition. And that’s no surprise, given that there is now 1 charity for every 422 people.
But despite how hard things may seem right now, the philanthropic world is actually pretty healthy. Funding has been growing at about 8% per year for the last two decades*.
Yet it appears the best is still to come.
According to JB Were, who presented their Cause Report at this year’s Philanthropy Australia Conference, a whole new stream of funding is about to erupt… and it’s there for the taking, for those that are ready.
So what’s going on?
Philanthropy has gradually become more mainstream among high net worth individuals, causing Private & Public Ancillary Funds to grow. With the ATO’s support and growing confidence in these funds, the Philanthropic pot is set to grow to 20 times its current size!
What’s the Secret to harnessing the Philanthropic dollar?
Philanthropic funding is a different beast to government funding and it’s getting more sophisticated.
We’ve moved from simple Transactional Philanthropy e.g ‘that sounds like a worthy cause – here have some money’ to Strategic Philanthropy e.g. ‘how does your work align with our strategic objectives? Can you show me the difference our funding has made?’
Check out these 5 Steps to Strategic Philanthropy:
- Do your research and find the fund that aligns perfectly with your work. This is no time for the scattergun approach. Think quality over quantity.
- Understand your audience…& get to know their ‘Why’. Why was the fund set up in the first place? What are they trying to achieve? Who do they need to impress?
- Build relationships. Many of these funds won’t be advertised and will rely on the strength of your network (learn more about the power of relationships in Philanthropy Australia’s Chris Wootton’s article Funding & The Search for Atlantis)
- STOP TALKING OUTPUTS! Private funders don’t care about how good you are, or how many projects you delivered or how long you’ve been around. In fact, they don’t care about you at all. What’s they do really care about is the impact their money has made and the lives it has changed.
- Measure what matters. In funders eyes, if you didn’t measure it, it didn’t happen. Track your work. Invest in a system that keeps all your records, client history, contacts, milestones and reports in the one place. This will give you the ammunition to provide funders with hard-hitting facts about the true value of your work and the insight to keep on innovating.