How to Approach Potential Funders

Whether you are asking for donations or organizing events, remember to emphasize how your participation in the event will help you to better serve and contribute to your community. You can do this by:

  • Letting donors know that the forum is a wonderful skills and capacity building opportunity, a chance to network with key organizations, and an opportunity to have the issues facing your community heard about in an international arena.
  • Explaining the expertise and contacts you will bring back to your organization after the forum.

How to Approach Potential Funders:

  • Besides sending letters, why not ask in person? It is easy for a potential donor to throw away an unsolicited letter. A personal appeal commands immediate attention.
  • Articulate your cause clearly and concisely. If you are asking for money, what is it for? How much do you need and how much are you requesting from this potential donor? Have a one-page description of the AWID forum and a financial breakdown ready to give to the people you meet.
  • Speak about why you personally are involved and committed to your program and what benefit you think your program will get from your participation in the AWID Forum. Be open, friendly, and honest.
  • Demonstrate accountability and responsibility, as donors will want to know that you are able to manage your money well.
  • Be prepared to contribute, however little, to supporting your own participation in the Forum if you truly believe it will be useful and want to demonstrate credibility.
  • Try to include your donors in your cause: give them as many details as possible, share your vision and get them involved.
  • Now is a great time to start thinking about your plan to bring all of the information that you’ll gain from the forum back to your own community. Research local organizations and community groups to see if they would be willing to sponsor you in exchange for volunteer hours or a presentation for their staff on what you learned from the forum. Even if these organizations are not able to support you financially, they can serve as valuable resources for you after the forum, when you are ready to turn your vision for a better world into a reality.