It Takes a Village to Raise the Funding

We all know that the best leaders find insight and inspiration from their peers, so why do so many of us feel like our problems, organizations, and funding models are unique so we resist this principle?  We really don’t have to create a whiz-bang, unique, one-of-a-kind funding model.  This might present an entertaining challenge but is certainly difficult and untested.

You might find a peer organization that is similar in your programming and services and revenue size.  However, you must consider your goals and what you aspire to be.  You might find it more useful to examine the funding models used by your target size, and those larger organizations are likely more successful at fundraising.   Your first efforts at identifying a peer group will provide similar and familiar organizations, but look past those for some fresh ideas.  Find those groups that have some similarities but significant differences such as different services but similar types of funding, or serve a similar geography.

Take a look at their funding models and specifically examine the overall funding mix; discern how many discrete sources fund the organization, what those sources are, and how they were cultivated.  Also look at the differing capabilities they use in the programmatic, financial, and governance differences.

As you adopt a new funding model you will need to make internal changes to accommodate them.  You will not follow in your peers’ successful footsteps if you don’t have the infrastructure to actually take those steps.  Carefully consider their organizational structure, age and brand recognition, magnitude of development resources, use of outcome data to demonstrate results, and the size and prominence of the board.  Find those things you can implement now, and those you would like to incorporate later as you grow and build infrastructure.

We will continue our look at peer funding model characteristics with our next blog.


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