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2012 Fundraising Workshop (Bangkok)

Bangkok March 2012 

The Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program (APDPP) and the Asia-Pacific Greens Network (APGN) delivered a fundraising and party building training workshop for key members of Greens parties in the Asia-Pacific region.  The training was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 24 – 26 March 2012.

The training’s goal was to enhance democratic processes in the Asia-Pacific region by building capacity in key leaders of Greens parties of the APGN to be more effective and influential in the electoral opportunities of their countries.  

Training Objectives:

(a)  To enable delegates to further develop their skills in selected aspects of organising, managing and strengthening a Greens party.

(b)  To enable delegates to develop their skills in fundraising for election campaigns and other party needs.

(c)  To build delegates’ skills in participatory and experiential training methods to enable them to disseminate their learned knowledge and skills back home to party members in their own countries.

(d)  To deepen collaboration among Greens parties across the Asia-Pacific region by exchanging information and problem-solving together on a topic of their own choosing.

(e)  To enhance and further develop the vision of delegates about the role of a Greens party in their own country and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Anticipated Outcomes

As a result of the training, the APGNCC expects delegates to:

  • Develop a better understanding of what facilitates and hinders party building and fundraising including knowledge of methods to enhance the development of their party.
  • Gain skills to assist their parties in strategies and activities for future party development and fundraising. 

Background

The Asia-Pacific Greens Network (APGN) is a regional political body which serves as a medium for the cultivation of green perspectives.  It was formally launched at a Congress in Kyoto, Japan in February 2005.  The broader conference was attended by over four hundred people, including fifty two delegates representing twenty seven Greens parties and organisations based in twenty three countries across the region, all of whom were initially granted provisional membership of the APGN pending submission of formal membership applications.

An interim structure for the network was established, and later formalised at a second conference in Taipei, Taiwan in May 2010.  Among the groups represented at Taipei were nineteen of the twenty-two organisations from fifteen countries that had gone through the process of applying for and being accepted as Members, Associates or Friends of the APGN.

Currently, there are eleven full Members of the APGN (from eight Asia-Pacific countries), seven Associate Members (from six countries) and four Friends of the APGN.  The network is coordinated by a regional coordinating committee, the Asia-Pacific Greens Coordinating Committee (APGNCC).

The APGN includes member organisations from developed countries such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea, as well as the state of Hong Kong and other organisations from developing countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Nepal, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Indonesia and China.  This training workshop is the first step in a long-term program to assist these parties, particularly those from developing countries, to expand their vision and capability to play an active and productive role in the democratic processes within their countries.

There is a vast disparity among the different countries in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of the maturity, strength and capability of their Greens political parties: some Greens parties have well established parliamentary representation within their countries, others have contested elections without success, and others have high aspirations but few resources to develop an effective role within the restrictive political structures in their countries.

Workshop Program

Overview

The following 1 & 1/2 day Introduction to Fundraising training workshop outlines a program to impart knowledge and skills necessary to ensure stronger financial viability for attendees from the Asia Pacific Greens Network.

Training Overview and Aims 

Day 1 aims to provide an introduction to fundraising including a greater understanding of the psychology of fundraising, donor relations and management and financial resilience. It also aims to understand the best fundraising options for participants from the wide cross section of countries represented. It includes an evening session.

Day 2 provides an overview on fundraising strategic planning including donor research, information recording, and the identification of funding sources and monitoring and evaluation and also looks at the role of members in the party. A creative resourcing brainstorming session will help develop sharing and broadening of horizons with participants.

DAY 1 

Introductions (25 mins)

Round circle brief words about what participants hope to receive from this training. Five minute personal and professional history from Trainer.

Personal Inspirations (25 mins)

Group sharing on what inspires us and our aspirations for the Asia Pacific Greens. The importance of passion for the vision!

Introduction to Fundraising (2 hours)

What is fundraising and what are some of the main ways to do it? This includes a brief overview of programs such as major donors, events, direct mail, grant writing, merchandise, membership and community outreach. Include a case study presentation from one of the participants (get information for this from the pre-training survey and Skype chats with each participant).

The Psychology of Fundraising & Donor Relations (1 hour)

Who are your donors and what inspires them to give? What do donors expect in return? The importance of good donor relations. For parties who do not yet have donors include some time to plan who their donors could be.

Financial Resilience (2 hours 30 mins)

Outlines the critical nature of having a healthy and credible organisation and the importance of accountability and clarity of mission and purpose. Covers the organizational identity and set up including management structures, databases, fundraising ethics and policy, track record and ability to achieve, credibility fact file, planning, reporting and financial health. Includes activities.

Asia-Pacific Greens Fundraising Options Assessment (1 hour)

What fundraising options are available to you in your region? What fundraising do participants enact and what has been the success rate? Clarify what works and what doesn’t work? Why (e.g. specific laws against membership in Indonesia)? Case study session.

SWOT Exercise (1 hour to prep)

Small group work with individual presentations in the morning.

 

DAY 2 

SWOT analysis & legal-socio-economic issues (1 hour)

What are the best fundraising options for you in your country / region? More detailed analysis based on individual participants and SWOT analysis exercise.

Fundraising Basics in getting starting on Strategic Planning (10 mins)

Why do you need a strategic plan? The following are simple steps to get you started toward a successful fundraising plan.

1. Develop your fundraising goals. (20 mins)

You should have goals for the amount of money you need to raise, plus what the money will be used for. Will you use it for overhead expenses? To fund an ongoing or new program? To build a new facility, database or improve IT/ website capacity? 

You will likely have a number of goals. If so, develop a fundraising plan for each one. Goals should be developed with all staff and your board of directors, and have the board's sign off. 

2. Write down your fundraising plan. (20 mins)

It is important to have a focused and achievable fundraising plan. Develop a written plan that states how much you need to raise, from what sources, and how you will do it. Don't worry, the plan can be revised as you proceed. Not all of your ideas will work out, or you may find new sources along the way. 

Start with your current programs and current funding. Is that amount of money covered or is there a gap? Do you want to do more but lack the funds? This preliminary financial accounting will help you arrive at what your monetary goal should be for your fundraising. 

3. Estimate how much your fundraising program will cost and the importance of quality fundraising materials (30 mins) 

Include costs such as fundraising materials, postage, creating your website, running special events, the cost of staff dedicated to fundraising, and the staff costs of managing the volunteers who will help you raise funds. 

The importance of quality fundraising materials will be addressed here including annual reports, program overviews, DVDs and all promotional materials.

Be realistic when estimating costs, but plan to use cost-efficient methods so that costs don't eat up all your fundraising proceeds. Fundraising and overall administrative costs should not exceed 20% of your overall operating budget. In other words, four-fifths of your expenses should be spent on doing what you were founded to do. 

4. Develop a timeline for your fundraising plan (20 mins)

Fill in a year's calendar with specific activities, and identify who will be the lead for each of those projects. Go further by developing timelines for each fundraising activity, such as grant writing, donor meetings or events. 

The timeline will surely change during the year, but having one to start with will ensure that you get something accomplished.

5. Identify funding sources and donor research (1hour)

Can current sources be leveraged to produce more income? Are there audiences you are not tapping? Have you considered government or foundation grants? Civic groups, churches or universities? How about product sales or other ways of achieving earned income? Do you have the capacity to solicit funds online?

Creative Resourcing Brainstorm & Sharing (30 mins)

Ideas for other fundraising strategies. Follow up discussion on ideas and what are the most realistic to work and raise funds? 

6. Evaluate your fundraising plan during the year. (15 mins)

Evaluation will improve your results. Plan to evaluate what you are doing every few months. Develop what criteria you will use, such as amount raised, number of new donors, how many contacts you've made with foundations, improvement in donor cultivation activities. What accounted for the biggest successes? What were the biggest challenges? What should you change, drop, or add? Do you have a database to manage your supporters and why is this so valuable?

Once your organization gets more experience in raising funds for a year's operation, you might wish to move on to multi-year plans, higher goals, more sophisticated strategies, and newer techniques. 

Membership (2 hours)

What can you do on this? Talk about why have members? How to find members? Why people become members? How to keep them, involve them, communicate with them? How to keep records? Other stuff? Include discussion of how parties established their members and how often and how they communicate with them. Do members ever criticize the party and what to do?

Conclusions and Evaluation (30 mins)

Feedback circle and finish. 

*1) What Is a Mission and Case Statement? 

Every fundraising campaign has the Mission and Case Statement at its center. It is the core document that sits at the center of your plan and strategy. They explain to your potential donors what you need the money for, and what the benefits will be if the donor gives to your cause. 

Who Is the Case Statement/ Summary of Proposal for?

Your case statement should appeal to a wide range of your supporters, or stakeholders. It should be directed at both external and internal stakeholders. The Case should be as understandable to your organization's receptionist as it is to your wealthiest prospective donor. 

Research your donor to make sure you understand who your donor is, what they expect from you and why. Create a table to summarise research finding on possible donor agencies that could be applied to for funds, what on and when due.

Contact them for any extra information as this also shows them your keen interest which can only be a good thing. Make sure your read and reread and reread the funding guidelines until you fully understand.

What Should the Fundraising Proposal Accomplish? 

Many foreign aid or grant/ foundation funding proposals have their own structure or framework to be addressed in full and must be adhered to. Failure to fully understand and address all aspects of the funding framework will usually mean a lack of success.

A good proposal needs to answer several key questions such as: 

  1. What is the need? Specify precisely what the need is, and who exactly will benefit when that need is met? 
  2. What evidence is there that this is urgent? Make it clear that the need is NOW. Include surveys, expert opinions, or statements from the beneficiaries. Always include quality images which speak louder than words! 
  3. How is your organization uniquely qualified to tackle this need? While there may be several organizations that could tackle this issue, what is special about you? Is it your track record, the newness of your approach? 
  4. What will be the benefits of your action? If you take action now, what will be the positive consequences, both major and minor? What can be guaranteed, and what is possible? 
  5. What are the negative consequences if you fail? Sometimes this is the strongest motivator for donors, so lay out clearly the major and minor negative consequences if you do not act.
  6. What is the methodology required for successful implementation?
  7. What is the logistical framework and timeline?
  8. Who will be responsible for implementing the program and what are their skills? 
  9. What is the “Exit Strategy”? How is this program sustainable?
  10. What is the budget?

What to Avoid 

Some of the biggest problems with fundraising proposals is that they are repetitive, are too long, do not provide adequate analysis or technical/ scientific backing.

Write your case for your donors and supporters, not your internal organization. Understand that the person reading it probably has little or no idea of your NGO or programs. Although cases will be reiterated in various forms and formats, make sure that the "nut" of your case is simple and easy to express. 

Identify prior to training a funding proposal that needs to be written for the NGO and spend most of day 3 writing it together with groups divided in afternoon to draft aspects of proposal.

Open Space Meeting Outcomes:

Open Space Principles: 

  • Passion and responsibility
  • bumble bee and butterfly roles
  • Whoever comes is the right people
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • When it’s over, it’s over
  1. Topic: How to be a good Green Campaigner
    1. Convener: Susi
    2. Participants: Azlan, Rita, Errol, Susi
    3. Insights:
      1. ***** Public speaking skills
      2. ** Speech writing Skills
      3. ** Media Relations
      4. ** Understanding Issues
      5. * Lead by Example
      6. * International Network
  2. Topic: International Politics and Greens
    1. Convener: Raghu
    2. Participants: Hemanta, Errol, Tika, and Roshan
    3. Insights: The present international situation, ie. flobal financial recession, fall of traditional regimes, etc. presents a very god opportunity for greens to be revelant in these countries.
    4. The MNCs and TNCs are sponsoring regimes and governments ior causing the downfall of uncooperative regimes are the new threats that the greens should confront.
  3. Topic: How Can I support my political party when I am in the Parliament?
    1. Convenor Rita
    2. Participants: Rita, Lyn John, Susi
    3. Insights:
      1. PNG National Parliamentarians are given funds: Uncon funds, membership allowances and other income to build PNG Greens to fundraise and Employ Staff, operate administration, etc.  Important to have transparent governance.
  4. Topic: How to gain votes eventhough it’s obvious we won’t get any seats this time
    1. Convener: Fai
    2. Insights:
      1. Communicate realistically with voters that the votes are a political manifestation of green causes.
      2. ** set clear agenda for campaign - present a sense of urgency.
      3. mainstream the green agenda.
      4. Gather advocates and supporters.
      5. Use existing networks to get members & voters, such as:
        1. * Environmental NGOs
        2. * Students
        3. ** Farmer groups
      6. * Message and media: needs to fit target audiences: theatre plays and documentaries.
      7. Message: urgency of environmental crisis, present a strong alternative green economic policies, avoid extremes.
  5. Topic: 
    1. Convener: Tika
    2. Participants:Tika, Azlan, Roshan, Errol, naraa
    3. Insights: 
      1. Green “Washing” is mis-interpretation and mis-information.
      2. Greens therefore need to develop a strong educational campaign.
      3. **Awareness based on current burning issues
      4. Generate global awareness
      5. ensure copyright protection of information.
      6. **Teach people how they can support green parties.
      7. Attract migrant workers.
      8. Develop a Green certification system.
  6. Topic: How to have an Eco-friendly lifestyle
    1. Convener: Naranbaatar
    2. Participants: Hemanta, Hsin Hui Chiu, Darimaa, Raghu, Akhtar
    3. Insights:
      1. *organic local farming
      2. **eco-buildings
      3. yert/Gers made of wool or wood.
      4. *Traditional technologies
      5. **Tree planting.
      6. *Fuel cell technology: methanol and hydro-electricity can replace coal use.
      7. ** Hybrid vehicles
      8. * bio gas/compost
      9. *solar energy
      10. ** Wind Power
      11. * Micro hydropower
  7. **Topic: Financing the Global Greens
    1. Convener: John
    2. Insights:
      1. **** Youth Empowerment
      2. Awareness in the Globe
      3. Media advertisements
  8. Topic: How to use the opponents/traditional parties in Fundraising?
    1. Participants: Lyn, Rita, Susi, John
    2. Insights:
      1. Opportunity: Adoption vs. Party loyalty
      2. Engage with parties with similar agenda (sister parties)
      3. Raise funds for enemies of opponents/ major parties.

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