What are the benefits of fundraising?

The obvious answer to this question would be money, which is hugely important, but that only tells you a little about how fundraising helps build your organisation. Some of the many other benefits of fundraising are;

Survival

Money is, of course, the number one reason for fundraising. Every organisation needs income to keep going from one year to the next, to meet their project costs and develop programmes for the future, to pay wages and overheads, to pay rent, to keep their equipment in a good state of repair and to ensure continued existence to be able to meet the needs of your beneficiaries.

Strategy and planning

A good reliable fundraising plan helps the organisation to achieve its wider purpose. Without fundraising, no organisation can strategise and plan their work effectively. Additionally, a coherent, thought out fundraising strategy will reduce financial risk and the pursuing of fruitless exercises that cost time and money but don’t bring in income.

Expansion and development

Given the scale of the world’s problems, most charities reach a fraction of the beneficiaries they need to and would like to expand. To do more of the work for which you exist, do you need to expand into new areas of seafarers’ welfare, reach different sections of society, do more research, branch into campaigning/advocacy or just buy more basic equipment? Whatever your future needs, you can only grow to meet them through successful fundraising.

Reducing dependence

Many organisations are funded by only a handful of donors and this can put them into a state of dependency. If one grant is withdrawn or one area falls short, this can put the organisation at risk. It may also be difficult to follow your own agenda if you are having to adapt to the priorities of a few key donors.  Broadening your fundraising base can reduce this dependency.

Building a constituency/awareness in community

Outside of the financial benefits, your organisation needs a volume of supporters. Each is important to you and may help in other ways, such as volunteering or by raising awareness in the community. Financially, they may give and be persuaded to give again. Overall, your supporter numbers tell you something about your reach and the importance of the issue to the wider public.

Given this, some thought is needed about the sorts of people that you would like to mobilise or who might be most likely to lend support. Do you have links to a particular groups, students, women, families etc?

Creating a viable and sustainable organisation

Looking to the longer-term, fundraising can help create a viable and strong organisation able to sustain itself into the future. Building an active donor base and bringing in long-term and ongoing support will itself generate more funding opportunities and build the organisation. Crisis fundraising and continually fighting deficits are time consuming and affect morale. Always keep an eye on the future and plan to develop both in the short and long term.

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