Topic 3 Searching for donor

After determining the initial point from which the idea arrives, one is to begin “mapping” the donors along with the detailed elaboration of its realisation.

Project, event, or programme is created in accordance with the donors’ demands, therefore it is precursory to find out which and what kind of projects does the donor support, what does it demand and expect, as well as what are the conditions. If we never had the opportunity to meet with some of the donors, it is good to make connections with people that already had previous experiences with them and try to find out some key information, as well as to arrange a meeting with the donors and ask about everything unfamiliar to us. The area of our operation is an important starting point for the donors. Although donors have their own application forms and instructions that guide us into what and how they are allocating their funds, if we are not sure about something, we need to ask. Our interest for their grants, as well as asking key questions, raises our level of credibility for the donors.

Now we come to the questions of how to recognise them, where to search, and how to map them? First, we need to determine, as it is explained at the beginning of this chapter, the type of the project and its purpose, explore donors and sponsors (whether belonging to the public or private sector), and then regional and world foundations. The internal list of all contacts ranging from municipalities, ministries, foundations, associations, embassies, corporations, etc., as well as their contacts, represents the basis for establishing the personal base of potential donors. Once this list has been made, it remains as the checklist until the project is submitted. The usage of Google’s search engine can significantly help by typing keywords for donors from our field of interest.

Creating interest groups on social networks can significantly help us in obtaining information on project funding. In the project management literature, there is a phrase “donor mapping” which serves for donor monitoring. It represents the process of designing, mapping, establishing interaction with donors, and monitoring grants and terms.

Every donor, whether we are talking about small grants or large foundations, has its demands and criteria for evaluation. The most frequent initial mistakes occur when people are poorly informed in regards to applying to the available funds and being unprofessional when using them. Unprofessionalism is most frequently reflected in the failure to satisfy application form conditions, omitting necessary documentation, failure to meet the deadline, unrealistic goals, budget design, etc.

Credibility is very important. When we acquire it in the donors’ eyes, it helps us open the doors of fundraising every time. It is achieved by seriousness, awareness, devotedness, being able to respond on time and within the deadline, as well as exhibiting interest for donors and their grant.

Communicating the project idea is an aspect of the “cultural behavior” of project management. The way we dress while talking to donors, the way we present our idea or information, and the way we respect time and space devoted to the conversation that belongs to the area of a communication pattern in fundraising is imperative. It should be pointed out that our approach has an important role when we are “face to face” with potential donors or sponsors, as well as when we are trying to find out key information from them on funding conditions and convince them why we are the ones that should get their money.

(Radjo & Mujkic, 2018)