This is our Achilles heel. It’s very important to understand how much work goes into getting funds. In Africa we can sometimes feel entitled to other people’s money, because we are poor. When I meet with other NGOs we feel we deserve to be helped. Sometimes we don’t realise that donors in rich countries are making sacrifices in order to send money to us. Often it is European school children giving up something in order to send money to children in Africa, and then our own leaders spend it on fancy cars. We need to understand what goes into finding resources so we can be professional both in creating the project and ensuring we can deliver it.Youth Work Leader, Kenya
Finding income or resources is an essential part of every youth organisation. Nothing is free. Whether you are just paying for paper and pencils, or have to fund rent and salaries, we are limited by our income.
What do you need?
When you start thinking about funding and income (including gifts that are not monetary, for example, for Chidi the kitchen is lent for free) for your group or organisation you need to ask three main questions.
- What do we need funds for? (Think about your budget for your current projects and your planned projects)
- Who is available to get involved in fundraising? (And take responsibility for it)
- How much time have we got to spend on it?
Money doesn’t grow on trees
We usually get money from the following:
- Gifts and donations from people and businesses.
- Grants and contracts (Usually from NGOs or government-related agencies).
- Income – being paid for the services you offer (e.g. Chidi could ask the girls to pay to attend the club, or people could pay for the club girls to bake cakes for their events).
It’s important that your fundraising is well-planned and considers:
- The time your organisation has to invest in this
- What skills are needed to engage with different types of fundraising
- The expectations that different types of funders and donors will have
- Trying to make sure that you are not reliant on only one source of income