Is you NGO looking for funding? Have you been – or will you be – sending out emails requesting money? Stop for a moment and consider how you do it.

At Networklearning we get several emails a week that say something like this:

“Dear Sir, We have started an NGO to help the local population with health and education projects and many other activities. Please accept us as a partner and provide funding, yours truly, the Chairman”.

Our reaction is no different from any other funder. We see that you have not looked carefully at our website to find out if we have funds and, if so, how we allocate them. You have not bothered to write to an individual among us and checked whether they are woman or man.

We have no idea if you are just one person and a cat; or perhaps you are a proper organisation. Have you helped many people with good projects or nobody at all? You tell us nothing of the project for which you want funding and the expertise that would make the project work. And you show no passion, no enthusiasm. Even in a very short email (not more than two-thirds of a page) you could have said all this –and have said all you need to say.

We would guess that you have sent exactly the same email to 50 addresses. So it is a little insulting. You did not spend fifteen minutes on our organisation before writing to us. And in six months time, when your skills are more refined and you write a more professional email to us, we will remember this first one.

If any of this seems familiar, download our  folder Guide to Fundraising and read it. And remember the saying – if experts give you advice and you do not take it, then you show yourself to be foolish.

But if you manage to find funding through your own approach, we would love to hear about it!