There are around 40,000 NGOs operating internationally, across state borders, and many millions more operating domestically. The majority of them focus primarily on health, education, economics, industry, energy, the environment, human rights, justice and other social policy and governance issues. But how does an NGO succeed in getting feet on the ground? We’ve alredy covered Collaboration, and Listening & Learning from the desired recipients —
Now comes an important step in the Modern NGO – Market Yourself, and Raise Funds at the same time.
PART 3: Raising Money, and Awareness
Throwing money at a problem will not make it go away — but teaching others about the problem and getting them to help in the mission, through action or financial means, will help.
Originally, I was going to approach the two items of marketing & Fundraising as separate things, but really, the are part of the same machine. So, which first? Let’s start cheap and basic:
Build a Website & Internet Presence
There is no easier way to get the message out than through the Internet– Keep it simple, to the point, and don’t forget to offer ways to help, like a “Donate” Button. Often a Website is the first place someone will look when speaking to an NGO rep on the phone. Having an e-mail address that matches the site is a big plus. Your NGO isn’t really helped by a fantastic intro email that must be responded to at ScoobyDooFan1138@gmail.com — Note that this is a battle still being fought with CEO’s at all levels of the NGO and Corporate world.
- A great guide for the web strategy for NGO’s can be found at the website
- Promote Your Accomplishments on the site. Investors want to know that they are not throwing their money away, and case studies, testimonials, and overviews can help.
- Offer photo essays, to illustrate the people being helped.
- Promote through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and message boards related to your cause.
Asking for Money
On your site, and in your writings about your NGO, asking for money is often the most difficult part, and least fun part of the NGO business. But its importance cannot be undervalued. NGO Media has some thoughts as well, especially when it comes to describing costs:
Be honest about core costs
We all know asking for money to pay postage, lighting bills and transport isn’t a great sell. While you shouldn’t try to hide the fact you need to pay for core costs, you can weave them creatively into your fundraising asks. Write the truth – that these costs are core to making projects successful – rather than an optional add-on you’d rather not talk about
Create Corporate Partnerships
This goes back to Part 1: Collboration. But a corporate partnership can have many different facets, as covered over at the Sustainable Brands Website >>
In their 10 Tips for Creating Successful NGO-Brand Partnerships article, finding the right mach can be fruitful or frustrating for both parties:
Climate change, environmental destruction, endangered species, toxins and pollution are not new issues, but more than ever they are part of boardroom conversations and customer considerations. Navigating day-to-day business challenges can be difficult enough, so when crossing an intersection of environmental change, calling on NGO experts who understand your industry and the complexities of the issue can position your company ahead of the curve.
Other ideas can be found at NGOPulse.org, such as :
Get Media Savvy
This is critical and an article in itself, but in a survey of UK journalists by the Charity Media Monitor (March 2009) the following came up as being the key ways to treat journos:
Case studies – this is the best way for a paper to tell the story, without it being a shameless advertorial.
Don’t just target the news desk – target all sections of the newspaper from features, travel and business through to recruitment
Build relationships with journalists at different papers, know what they need and target them appropriately.
Be available – make sure that you have people on call and can respond to queries at all hours. Don’t become institutionalized and bland in your messages with stock phrases or the infuriating No Comment.
Don’t forget your local press.
Spend time on the intro of your press releases and make sure you engage the reader. The golden rule is to e-mail press releases, but phone through exclusives.
This is the third in a Five Part Series on NGO Success by John Gallagher of iFormBuilder. To learn more about how iFormBuilder can help your NGO or other organiztion, Visit our Overview Page, and get started with Mobile Data Collection, online or offline >>
Take advantage of iFormBuilder, the Best Mobile Data Collection Apps for Android and iOS, used by NGOs around the world!