Secrets on How to Ask for Money
9 July 2013 at 9:51 am
Australian Not for Profits need to convince funders that they are a good investment opportunity according to a visiting New Zealand fundraiser who has shared his secrets on asking for money at the recent Better Boards Conference.
Ron Scott is a trustee for Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust- an energy trust company in Zealand that gives away millions of dollars to community and environmental groups each year.
He is also CEO of trustee and director training education organisation Stellaris and has recently authored a book, The New Director.
Scott held a workshop at the Better Boards Conference in Melbourne which looked at the criteria funders use to assess the quality of governance in an organisation before they give them any money. He shared his insights, as a funder, on the action points and tools needed for an organisation to evaluate how well they appeal to funders.
Scott said it was important for each organisation to convince funders that they are a good investment opportunity. He said funders want to give money away, but only if it is going to be worthwhile.
Scott has developed a strategy to assist organisations in apply for funding.
The three Ps: Purpose, Process and People
“Have a reason for existing and ask for the right thing that is in line with your purpose,” Scott said.
If an organisation needs a new roof in order to continue changing the lives of aged care residents with its successfully proven programs, tell funders about the programs- not the roof,” he said.
“Use your budget to pay for the roof and apply for funding to continue your programs”, he said.
The three Vs: Vision, Values, Vitality
“The three Vs gives the grantmaker confidence in the organisation,” Scott said.
“Your vision is something different from your purpose [and] it has to be obvious in your application.
“That vision has got to be absolutely expressed- make your applications have an obvious vision.
“It has got to be something that inspires.”
Scott said it was effective for organisations to apply for funding with a funder that had similarities with the organisation.
“Have values that align with the funder, then you are giving them something of value when you are asking for money,” he said.
“The purpose, values and vision have got to have something in common.”
Scott said it was crucial for an organisation to have vitality when applying for funding.
“If [your organisation] is boring, give up,” he said.
“It means your vision is no good. It means your values aren’t working for some reason.
“You have got to be excited about what you do.
“If you are bored in job and bored about describing what you do then you don’t deserve to have any money. “
Scott said good governance was essential for any organisation as it not only helped it to do good in the future, but showed funders that the organisation was united and there to stay.
“Stewardship is about the longevity of the organisation,” he said.
“Look after your people- you want to make sure you are looking after the ‘assets’ that need looking after.
Scott said an example of a strong, united organisation would be that the CEO and Chair both have input into the application- even a co-signed letter makes a difference, he said.
“Governance is a relationship with management. It is not a hierarchy. We look for a relationship when we are making grants that says governance and management are working together.
“Prove to us that you guys are working together, that you are both on the same team.
“There is no point in me giving money to someone who is going to waste it.
“I have got a duty to look after that money and make sure it is going to do the job it is supposed to do.”
The Better Boards Conference was held in Melbourne with more than 400 delegates from across Australia.