Funding 101

Finding funds for your project, organisation, study or travel can require a bit of a planning.  

Do Your Homework

Start by doing some research into what funding options are out there.  You will find useful background information on our Community Resources pages.   Consider the different types of funders and how they might fit with your objectives.  You then need to develop a resourcing strategy to plan how you will achieve your funding goals. 

Engage Your Supporters

Once you have worked out what funds you need and who might be willing to get behind your project, cause or study, its time to get creative about how you can connect with those people and maintain their interest for the duration. 

Identify your network

Whatever your fundraising method, the best place to start is with your existing networks.  Write down a list of your biggest fans, the people most likely to get behind you no matter what and the people you know who carry a lot of weight in the circles in which they travel. 

Create something tangible for people to connect with

Draw a picture, make a video, write a plan, pick out your best piece of artwork, or set up a Facebook page specifically to describe, share and promote what you do.  Make a time with each of your people on your supporter list - whether in person, Skype or phone, and share your vision with them.  Be passionate, descriptive and show them the outcome you want to achieve.  

Be Specific

Once you've grabbed their attention, be specific about what you are asking them to contribute, what outcome you will achieve with their support, and what they will receive in return.  At the very least, supporters should receive regular communication about your progress and successes.    

Create a Communication Strategy

Never under estimate how important communication is to your fundraising strategy.  A supporter should feel part of your team, critical to your success and have a connection to your desired outcome.  Sort your supporters into levels of importance so you can tailor your communication to suit each group.  Spend more time communicating with your biggest fans (eg your Mum and Dad) and those who are providing you with the most moral and/or financial support (eg mentors, sponsors, crowd funding supporters).  Choose whatever medium is appropriate (Facebook, newsletter, email, phone calls or letters) depending on:

    • the geographical spread of the group
    • how well you know the individuals 
    • what type of information they might want to know
    • what format they would like to receive information in.

Communicate your progress regularly and finish off your project, activity or study by sending a final communication that has a bit of impact eg includes a personal thank you note, shares what their support means to you, includes small gift, advertises a sponsor, includes a picture of what you have achieved.

 Useful Links and Resources

How to Start a Movement - a TED talk by Derek Sivers about shifting the balance from being 'one person with a crazy idea' to creating a crowd of followers by engaging the 'first follower'.

Why Your Mother Is The Most Important Person To Your Crowd Funding Campaign - a PledgMe blog about the importance of Mothers to your funding strategy. 

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