IFC 2011: Determining Where to Expand Fundraising Efforts

This session, Pack Your Bags, was led by Paula Guillet de Monthoux (a Swede living in Denmark) and Chris Washington-Sare.

Have you ever wondered if you should start raising money in a different country? Sometimes in the US we seem to look only within our own boundaries. A few years ago I worked with a US-based international association that was faced with this decision. We started moving forward with people who were already involved with the cause, but I wish we had this information available then!

The speakers proposed a five-step process in deciding if and where to expand fundraising operations:

  1. Map. This includes meeting the locals, including donors and decision makers as well as seeing what the giving requirements and limitations might be in that country. As an example, money raised in India must stay in India. Some references are included below. Most often, there is no easy answer. The speakers recommended developing a list of criteria that makes sense for your organization, rank each of the countries you are considering for each of the criteria and use that as a decision making tool.
  2. Reliable Tools. Have you spent time (lately) identifying your core competence? For companies, this is at the intersection of your passion, what brings in money, and what you’re best in the world at.
  3. Guide. It always helps to have a guide who has been through the process already – perhaps someone with another organization who is willing to help you along, or perhaps a consultant who has helped others through the process.
  4. Travel Insurance. While it’s impossible to identify everything that could go wrong, it is good to identify risks and determine how to address them ahead of time.

Here is some research that was referenced that you may find helpful:

  • 2010 BCG Annual Global Wealth Report
  • OECD – The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries (by 2020, Asia will host more than 50% of the world’s middle class, PDF)
  • CAF – The World Giving Index (interesting note, there seems to be a correlation between those who respond positively to the question “are you happy with your life?” and propensity to give.
So what country are you off too?

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IFC 2011: Determining Where to Expand Fundraising Efforts — 1 Comment

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