During the process we describe here, we followed the lines of the folder Guide to Fundraising, which both of us helped to write. For any fundraiser, downloading and studying the guide is the first step.
One of the Networklearning Group is Mrs Fadumo Alin, who runs an NGO in Somaliland – Doses of Hope. The country is post-civil war so has a lot of landmines. The Foundation runs a micro-finance project (see her Case Study), a Braille school for blind children and young people - and a rehabilitation centre for people who need protheses, physiotherapy, wheelchairs etc. Fadumo has successfully raised money to run these programmes for the medium-term. Long-term is more difficult.
A small group of boys and young men are now seeking help because they have lost their eyesight and their hands through landmines. So we started looking for funds for this small group. With a lot of discussion with the field office we wrote a project proposal – and this took time and effort.
Then we wrote a half-page email for each possible funding source; this explained the problem, made clear that the organisation was already running projects effectively, and asked if the funding agency could seriously consider the proposal if we sent it to them. The funding agencies were found through a Google search of the web, using keywords such as "multiple disability" and "landmines". We then looked at the websites of each to see if they worked in Somaliland – many do not. We found about thirty possible funders to whom we sent the email.
Most did not reply. Some said they were not able to consider our proposal for various reasons. Two expressed interest and we sent them the proposal. So far we have not heard whether we are successful or not.
Meanwhile we are exploring other ways to raise money. These include
- whether items could be manufactured in Somaliland and shipped to Europe for sale. We have identified a possible sales outlet for specific leather goods.
- sponsorship of individual boys. We have so far found one definite sponsor and will be putting fliers up in the local Mosques in the hope of finding more.
- ways of using the web to raise funds from expatriate Somali Communities.
This process has taken about eight months so far. It is frustrating and energy-consuming for everyone involved. But on the other hand, Fadumo went through the same thing several times, found the money for her existing projects and is helping her community every day.
So – we wish you lots of energy, determination and good luck!