Donors may undertake their own research on the campaign. Effective networking, and an attractive campaign website, or presentations of the campaign on the websites of alliance members, can provide visibility even before the official campaign launch. If there are not sufficient resources to start with a full website, a page on the social web (e.g. on Facebook, Ning or Orkut) is a viable alternative.
2. Reviewing potential donors: Potential donors can be identified by looking for:
The latter two categories can be identified by mobilizing the campaigners’ networks, and through rigorous internet search. AWID’s WITM (“Where is the Money for Women’s Rights”) initiative provides regular updates on sources of funding for women’s rights work. Institutional change campaigners may also consult the Human Rights Nexus, which provides information on grants for human rights activities in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Typing appropriate keywords (e.g. the campaign issue, and the words “application” and “grant”) into a standard internet search engine may yield additional information.
3. Assessing donor interest: Donor websites and other publications should be scanned for any relevant work on the campaign issue or related issues, any regional focus, and ways of working. Seek direct contact with likely donors who run a representative office nearby, or with people who run initiatives supported by the donors, so as to gain a fuller understanding of their priorities and ways of working. Knowledge on donor activities should be used when approaching the donor, e.g. by pointing to potential synergy between the planned campaign and specific on-going donor activities.
4. Assessing eligibility: Most donors include eligibility criteria for grantees on their websites. Usually, criteria include formal registration of the applicant organization, a clear governance structure, a proven track record, and the ability to contribute own funding to the activity. Some donors work with calls for proposals and deadlines for application.
5. Before submitting a formal proposal, the potential donor should be approached informally with the campaign pitch to assess interest. A face-to-face meeting with a donor representative is the ideal setting for a conversation on options for funding. If that is not feasible, a combination of telephone contact and written correspondence (sending the campaign pitch) is a viable alternative.
6. Preparing the proposal: Many donors have guidelines as to what information must be contained in the funding proposal, and how it is to be presented. Ideally, the proposal should be precise, focus only on the essential information required. It is advisable to use a sober design, and crisp, clear language without jargon and that explains all acronyms used. The proposal should summarise all aspects of the campaign strategy:
7. Following up on the proposal: Where a good rapport with the potential donor has been established, it should not be problematic to call the donor representative shortly after sending the proposal to confirm whether it has been received, and offer any additional information if needed.
Bear in mind:
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