Thursday, February 19, 2009

The needs of donors: helping a Tanzanian CBO understand how to market to funders

When I was in Tanzania, I did a stakeholder needs exercise with MAdeA, the local CBO I was working with.  I asked them to create a list of what they thought potential funders wanted to see in an organization they would give money to this.  They admitted they had never really thought about this in this manner.  As we delved into it, they began to understand why it was important.  None of their fundraising processes were geared to meet these needs.  They started to understand why they weren't having much success, and many of the tasks that we'd set about helping them do (website, re-writing their pitch, summarizing projects and track record started to make sense, etc.)

The best part was that the realization was really self-generated.  After some faciliation from me, these are the lists they came up with on their own for the needs of two potential donor groups, a Tanzanian business person and an international well-wisher.  

Tanzanian Business Person Needs

1) Influence

2) Credibility – Organization

3) Publicity

4) Need to be persuaded

5) People like to provide basic needs

6) Attention

7) Like to fund work that runs parallel to their interest

8) Profit

9) Gain trust in the community

10) Get linked to the government

11) Personal beliefs

12) Feel good about themselves

13)  A face, a specific person they give to

14) Good match – needs to be a cause they need to be interested in

15) Easy to give – if not cash, then goods that they have easy access to.

16) Track record of success

International Well-wishers

1) Have to explain the real situation of what is happening on the ground

2) Make people understand QUICKLY what you are saying and doing

3) Better understanding of organization QUICKLY

4) Truthfulness and accountability – need to trust you

5) Be specific on what you are doing

6) Know the culture of your funders

7) Get in touch with other international organizations – increases credibility and awareness

8) People like to contribute that are visible

9) Make them feel connected at all times even when you’re not asking them for money

10) Most international donors have specific interests.

11) Illustrate that your dollar goes a long way compared to the US!

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