My Hopes Are Not Always Realized, but I Always Hope – Ovid
One cannot hope when it comes to establishing a new funding model, weighing costs and benefits is essential. We have been examining peer-funding models and looking for a new source of revenue for your organization using Kim, Perreault, & Foster’s work in Stanford Social Innovation Review. To conduct this cost-benefit analysis we must determine that the revenue you can reasonably expect to access through a funding model will be sufficient to warrant the program, staff, and systems investments required to develop it. While you are assessing the revenue potential of the peer models you have chosen, you must consider their leading types of funding: the priority of funding sources, the total revenue awarded annually from those sources, and the level of competition for those funds.
For example, USAID might fund several of your peer organizations. If you take a look at the USAID web site you will find a detailed outline of how much funding has been given to international conservation over the past few years. Contacts at peer organizations funded by USAID, and within USAID itself could give you a better idea of how much funding you might reasonably expect to access and if that might achieve your growth goals.
Or, you might seek to better understand the wealthy who donate to environmental issues. The Center on Philanthropy at Indian University’s “Million Dollar List” and corresponding peer interviews can identify potential donors shoe have made gifts of more than $1 million. This can help you identify promising pockets of wealthy individuals in your geographic area.
But don’t go blind with the dollar signs. Accessing these funds comes at a cost. When you commit to finding a new funding model, you commit to change and significant investments. In our next blog we will look at four significant investment areas and laying the foundation for your new funding model.