Lecture 1. Decide what you want and what is realistic
In these sessions we are going to explore how to find new international donors with whom you have had no prior contact.

This process will bring your organization great benefits in the long run – but be aware this process is about your INVESTMENT of time, money and effort. There is no professional way to get everything that your organization wants immediately.

The first problem is that there is a universe of international donors.

And it is difficult to know where to begin.  This problem leaves many organisations talking about where to start.

The key to avoiding inaction is to break the process down into simple steps.

So start with what you know best – your own organization. 

First: Decide what it is that you want to achieve?

Then ask yourself and friends in the sector if your vision is realistic?

We live in a world where donors like to see gradual, step-by-step progress in their relationship with the organisations that they fund.  This reduces their risk in working with you, but gradual progress also helps to develop trust between partners. Don’t forget the relationship is also two-way. If they are forcing you to do something that you feel uncomfortable with – then explain this to them.

Some donors will not fund a project if the budget is over 40% of your turnover last year.

So be realistic.

A good project will cover about 5%-10% of your running costs, staff time and organizational focus.

Therefore think about how your organization would like to expand by that amount.

Do you want to expand in terms of staff, of topics, of products, donors, or audience, for example?

Let’s say you decide to increase the number countries that support you. And that more specifically you want to work with one new donor from a new country within the next 12 months.  This goal is now strategic, measurable, achievable (hopefully resourced) and timebound. Then you have a SMART plan, with a deadline and a precise number. This is realistic and focused. Once you have agreed this stay focused, and assign people in your organization with various tasks related to achieving this single goal.

This could range from asking all colleagues if they have any contacts in the arts in that country; asking your website editor to produce materials in the language of that country and asking an intern to starting research on government funds, sponsors, religious funds, crowdsourcing and private foundations in that country.

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