Branch action plan

16. Ideas for Fundraising

Presently, YALDA does not offer any funding to its branches, but does offer fundraising assistance. YALDA also offers prizes and monetary awards for exceptional YALDA branches, through our International YALDA Competitions.

Though some of you might be new to fundraising or not familiar with how it is done, we hope that with the resources we offer, you will soon be fairly acquainted with it—and that it will not seem like a monumental task. The most important issue is determining how you are going to market your product (the reason you are raising the money). The YALDA International Financial Manager is here to help edit your budgets and proposals to make them sure winners; use him/her only when necessary.

APPROACHING THE FUNDRAISING TASK

Fundraising should be about making money for the club in the most cost-effective way. That will involve thinking of creative strategies, and having the patience and time to research more established sources of funding. Here are some ideas for you to get started:

  1. Identify why you want the money:
    • YALDA T-shirts and Paraphernalia
    • YALDA stationery, office furniture and other items
    • Attending the YALDA Conferences (Conference Planning Committee budget?)
    • YALDA project (have the Project and Action Committee sent you a proposal?)
    • YALDA on-campus or outside events (have the Events and Planning Committee sent you a proposal?)
    • Any other items you need to raise funds for.
  2. Clearly understand the proposals that you have been given by your committees, or write your own proposal and have it edited, etc.
  3. Create a schedule and timeline (with firm deadlines) of what you are going to do and by when, and how much you intend to raise:
    • Are you going to approach companies?
    • Are you going to apply for grants?
    • Are you going to look for funding from the government or from other (more established) nonprofit organizations operating in your country?
    • Are you going to do a cheap fundraiser?

“CHEAP” STRATEGIES

Here are some ideas that you might find useful for raising funds in a quick and very cost-effective manner:

  • Collect dues from all the members by a firm DEADLINE. Those who do not pay their dues are NOT YALDA members. After the deadline, charge dues plus a late penalty fee.
  • Introduce small fines for missing meetings, using a phone during meetings etc.
  • Introduce a YALDA court of injustice once a semester, for fun, for example fining for wearing jeans, being happy, being charged for being extraordinary or being good.
  • Charge fees for participation in some of the events and projects that you will organize, for example a dinner dance, a YALDA braai/bbq on campus (get donations from local companies—tell them they can advertise for free at the event if they give you the food etc)….think like business people…..sell the braai/bbq meats and food, cakes, drinks, etc.
  • YALDA-sponsored walk from your university to the airport or some other popular location.
  • YALDA food and drink stand at national stadium or other big events (make sure you get permission if you need it).
  • YALDA raffle—ask a company to sponsor a prize, maybe a dinner for two at a local restaurant, software, electronics or furniture. Who knows: ANYTHING!
  • Develop YALDA paraphernalia (T-Shirts, pens, files, bags, water-bottles, caps, etc with the YALDA logo) and sell them for profit.
  • Participate in “bob-a-job” that is car-washing, cleaning yards etc., for reasonable fees.
  • Food competitions on campus sponsored by a catering company and competition participants register for a fee.
  • Fairs and exhibitions where exhibitioners pay to participate and the audiences also pay an entrance fee. For example, having local fashion designers showcase their latest items to the young people, have the designers pay to participate and charge entrance fees for attendees or make it free.
  • Setting up a small YALDA business center on campus, selling small snacks, having a payphone, selling airtime, and the YALDA paraphernalia.
  • Get a company to sponsor a YALDA essay or project competition and open it up to the general public who pay a small participation fee.
  • Ask companies for in-kind donations for example, ask a computer company for computers instead of cash, ask a catering company for food, or an accounting firm to audit your accounts for free.
  • Write letters to wealthy, prominent individuals in your country, and solicit donations from them directly.
  • Create a public fundraising campaign through flyers, posters, tables, street or community canvassing and crowdsourcing websites (i.e. Indiegogo) to ask for pledges and small donations.
  • Contact the Rotary Club, Skillshare Africa, Oxfam, other international/local organizations and embassies for ideas and more help in fundraising.

If you come up with more ideas please also swing them by us (contact@yaldafrica.org) because they might be very useful for other YALDA branches out there.

LONG-TERM STRATEGIES

Try to get a guidebook that explains the process. Good books are: Foundation Fundamentals, and Guide to Proposal Writing, both by the Foundation Center (www.fdncenter.org). At this same website, you can sign up for an online search that allows you to search through thousands of donors and grants. Or you can look for The Foundation Directory in your local library or American Embassy. Get as many trusted Advisors as you can (professionals with connections) to give you advice about fundraising in the long term. YALDA also does research to find grants that are more promising for YALDA branches, and you can find the lists on our website. Remember to look for sources of funding both locally and abroad:

  • Are you going to apply for grants from foundations etc?
  • Are you going to look for funding from the government or from other (more established) nonprofit organizations operating in your country?
  • Are you looking for company sponsorships and donations? Companies are going to want know how THEY will benefit by giving you funds or sponsorship.
  • Do you have non-profit/NGO status in your country which is required by most companies to give you large gifts and also required by foundations and government grant givers?
  • Are you going to invest in shares/bonds as part of your financial strategy?
  1. For more information on resources and researching funding sources see Appendix G (i).
  2. For more tips on Getting Sponsorships consult Appendix G (ii).
  3. For more tips on Writing Grants consult Appendix G (iii).

AN EXAMPLE OF A LONG-TERM FUNDRAISING STRATEGY

Following is an example of a fundraising strategy that was part of the Fundraising Agenda used by one of our branches. This is just an example of how you can get your committee organized.

Note: This is not the branch’s full Fundraising Agenda, it is only part of it (and does not include their timeline).

  1. Sponsorship: X members of the committee shall be given a list of companies grouped together by industry that they are to contact. Steps to asking for sponsorship:
    • Research on the company; find out whether it has a philanthropy department and who to contact for funding. We suggest not only using the internet, but also your connections. Visit them and use the PHONE!!!!!
    • Prepare a sample proposal - that we will help you sharpen and edit (be advised that you will be recycling this proposal A LOT).
    • Mail the fine-tuned proposal to the company or email it (whichever way they suggest is the best). Be sure to email or call your contact to inform them your proposal is on its way.
    • Make sure to ask your contact if it would be possible to be interviewed for the funding.
    • A week after you send in your proposal, get in touch with your contact to find out whether or not the proposal has been received, and what its status is. We encourage you to ask them when you should email or call back again, but if they do not give you a definite time we suggest you try them again the following week.
      **follow this criteria for EVERY company you contact**
  2. Grants: X members of the committee shall be given and asked to find a list of foundations and other grant institutions which they must apply to for grants for our daily operations and projects. Steps for seeking grants:
    • Research on the institution or foundation to find out whether or not as a YALDA branch you are eligible for funding. Prepare a report on what you found, be it negative or positive. Please consult Appendix G (iv) (Grant Research Report Sample) for details on how to do this.
    • Prepare a sample letter of inquiry and a good sample proposal –that we will help you sharpen and edit (be advised that you will also be recycling these two documents A LOT). Please see Tips on Grant Writing (Appendix G (iii)).
    • Mail or email the fine-tuned letter of inquiry to the institution or foundation (whichever way they suggest is best). Be sure to email or call your contact to inform them your letter of inquiry is on its way.
    • A week after you send in your letter of inquiry, get in touch with your contact to find out whether they received it and what its status is. We encourage you to ask them when you should email or call back again, but if they do not give you a definite time, we suggest you try them again the following week. We also suggest you ask them if you should start filling out their grant application forms and preparing your proposal.
    • Once you get the go-ahead, complete any required material for the grant applications and review or revise your proposal.
    • Mail or email the completed application to the institution or foundation (whichever way they suggest is best). Be sure to email or call your contact to inform them that the grant application is on its way.
    • A week after you send in your grant application, get in touch with your contact to find out whether they received it and what its status is. We encourage you to ask them when you should email or call back again, but if they do not give you a definite time we suggest you try them again the following week.