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Fund-raising and Financial Stability.
Fund-raising is a process of collection of assets that are used both for realization of socially significant programs and for organizational support of international non-commercial organizations.
    I. Where to seek money.

Nowadays the sources of a significant part of means of many ecological non-commercial organizations are various foreign funds, which present grants on realization of socially significant projects.
A grant is a non-repayable special subsidy given on a competitive basis to an organization, initiative group or person for execution However, financial help from the West is reduced every year. It makes non-commercial organizations develop local "market" of resources more actively. There are a lot of organizations, which names contain the word "fund", but, as a rule, they are not the real funds to apply for help at all. And it seems that nobody has heard of any private funds in the CIS that are similar to foreign ones financing ecological programs of non-commercial organizations. There are the next ways to receive financing:


  • Membership fee. It is not a new way but in the present economic situation due cannot be big, that is why it will not give sufficient financing.

  • Realization of charitable actions. It may be concerts and marathons, lotteries, sale of goods or attributes (badges, posters, labels, vests and other) with symbolism of the non-commercial organization, if it is well-known in the given district, etc.

  • Earning of means. For this purpose an ecologically oriented manufacture may be developed (though it is still only prospect basically); it is possible to cultivate ecologically pure agricultural production or medicinal plants, to render various kinds of paid services (providing of information, realization of training seminars); to perform contractual works (ecological audit, inspection of environment and premises, realization of independent ecological examinations, etc.).

Fund-raising (by the example of the ecological field of activity)
  • Grants of foreign funds. It's not easy to receive a grant, as the competition is very strong. Lately funds have often practised financing of joint projects of our and foreign non-commercial organizations, and in this case chances of organizations that have partners abroad are higher.

  • Means out of the local budget. This difficult way of fund-raising cannot be regular yet, but sometimes it warrants itself. More often it occurs, when the administration (or another state structure, for example, the committee on education) is interested itself in the action realized by your organization. But even if you are lucky enough to get in "line of financing", it is not a fact that there will be money in the budget. In that case it is more real to receive means "in kind" (for example, as offset of cost of power supply or telecommunication of office, allotment of transport for service of action, etc.) on account of reciprocal reckoning between your organization and enterprises-debtors of the budget.

  • Means of ecological or other funds. Such funds may be off-budget and included in the budget, they operate at different levels and are managed by different structures: committees of wildlife protection, administrations of regions or board of fund. Here it is easier to receive financing, than from the budget, as money of fund are target means. So, there may occur accessible means for the program of ecological upbringing and education, edition of methodical literature, some practical actions.

  • Participation in the state (or regional) target programs. For example, the program on support of youth may finance realization of ecological training of schoolboys or actions of nature protection character, in which the youth will take part; ecologically oriented manufacture or agriculture may "be entered" in the program on support of small-scale business. Such programs are managed by corresponding departments, and special funds are established at the local level. Data on them can be received from local administration.

  • Gathering of donations. It is realized by various ways: with the help of address appeal (both to private persons and organizations), during special actions, at own office ("coin box" for fund-raising with the information placed on it concerning the way the money will be spent), etc.

II. Fund-raising

If you decided to engage in fund-raising, get ready to learn to convince people of importance of your activity. The better the fund-raising campaign will be prepared, the better appeal for help will be considered, the higher chances to get this help. Such campaigns require planning just as all the activity of non-commercial organizations. And of course, there is no "magic formula" of successful fund-raising and no way is guaranteed to get money in reply to the request. However, if you are persistent in your desire to find means, if your organization is known for its reliability and open for people, if you prepare an application to potential sponsors correctly and can prove that it is better to give their money to your organization instead of any other non-commercial organization, then most likely you will receive this money. But it is necessary to note the following:

  • First: never rely on the only source of means, whatever reliable it would seem.

  • Second: probability to receive money will increase, if you ask them not for support of your organization, but for execution of any concrete project that is obvious benefit to the society. And only a small part of the received means may be directed on development of the non-commercial organization itself.

  • Third: often it is much more difficult for ecological non-commercial organizations to find means for programs, than, for example, for organizations that look after lonely and aged people. The rason is that helping concrete people is a purely social work, and this non-commercial organization works instead of the State. Besides the result of such work is obvious and clear to everyone. Ecological non-commercial organizations are engaged in such evidently useful work only partly; another part of their activity is of pronounced remedial character: protection of the population or natural territory, including protection against the State itself. Well, what state fund will finance, say, the action against construction of an atomic power station?

Therefore, while developing a strategy of fund-raising there is the necessity of realistic estimation what sources of financing is to address in this or that case and how to present the project in the most adequate form for a concrete investor. And the last, to make the process of fund-raising useful it is necessary to work not only with the most various sources of means but to be engaged in fund-raising constantly.

III. Application to funds

Participation in competitions on grant reception has its specificity. Choose a fund, which directions of financing and conditions both your organization and your project correspond to the maximum. Pay attention whether this fund works with your region. Thoroughly examine all demands made for applicants and their applications.
Sometimes to start it is required to send a letter to the fund with very brief description of the project and its executor. But in most cases an application made in strict conformity with requirements of the fund is presented at once. It is examined all over by the expert, who gives his judgment to your project. And depending on whether your application is written clearly for the expert or not (who is not always related to your field of activity), in many respects the final decision depends.

Drawing up of a typical application.

  1. The title page.

    • Name of a project (it is rather a name by which a project is recognized; necessary decoding can be given in brackets in the line below).

    • Data on an organization (name; address, phone, fax, e-mail; status and registration essential elements from the registration certificate; sometimes second name, first name, patronymic name of Head of an organization, and also information on an bank account).

    • Head of a project (Second name, first name, patronymic name; the post; contact information).

    • Dates of start and termination of a project.

    • Geography of a project (where it is executed; in some cases the administrative belonging of territory is indicated).

    • Cost of a project (total cost; share of budget required at the fund; investment of a organization, including the means attracted out of other sources).

  2. Annotation of an application.
    The summary of a project - 1-2 sentences. It is an exact and clear summarized copy of the application containing all the important for understanding of a project information. The annotation is usually written at the end, when the application is ready and it is easy to make a summary of all basic sections.

  3. Description of an organization
    Your purpose is to win the investor's trust having described your organization: kind of activity, purposes and tasks, achievement and uniqueness, reputation and competence, sources of financing, resources and scope, that is to answer the question "Why you?"

  4. Problem setting.
    It is the summarized and clear characteristic of the situation, which demands change, that is a problem, which can be solved by performance of your project. Do not confuse an external problem, which have public value, and problems of your organization; the task of the fund is to promote change of the political, social or public situation. Do not confuse a problem with methods of its solution, with the purposes and tasks of your project.
    Do not aim at solution of global, universal problems. Limit yourself to that concrete problem, which can be solved in the given terms and for money, which you are going to attract within the framework of the project. Explain the need of concrete group of people for the solution of a problem (as a matter of fact, in your project), urgency and actuality of your actions. Give quantitative and qualitative indicators; if it is possible, give the reference to statistics, research and authorities.
    Find out whether anyone was engaged in the solution of the given or similar problem, and if yes, what the result was. Will you be able to do it better? Do not use expression of the type: "As everyone knows..." or "It is not necessary to prove that..."

  5. The purposes and tasks of a project.
    The purposes and tasks of your project are to solve the given problem. The purpose must be achievable theoretically and in the terms designated by you and at those expenses, which you have assumed.
    The purpose of a project.
    It lies in achievement of expected changes of the situation in the society (in environment and so forth) as a result of project execution. There is the Noun that is used while formulating the purposes (establishing a reserve in some place, realization of the seminar "Modern techniques of ecological upbringing and education" for teachers of city schools, etc.).
    The tasks of a project.
    They are concrete actions, without realization of which the purpose of a project will not be achieved. These are the steps for achievement of the purpose, and the results, which are achieved as a matter of fact, are the means of its achievement. The tasks must be realistic and be formulated extreme precisely, in order that after execution of a last project it was possible to estimate achievements.
    They must be:

    • concrete (What must be made?)
    • subject to calculation (How many?)
    • determining target groups and places of their stay (Where? For whom?)
    • indicating time of execution (When?)
    It is wrong to formulate a task using words denoting process, as, for example, "improvement" of something... Use verbs of the perfective aspect: "to have executed, to have made, to have reduced" (but not "to execute", etc.). In your description there must be confidence that the work will be done. Do not confuse the purpose with tasks and with methods of their execution.

  6. Methods and steps of project execution.
    Methods can be determined while answering the question "how will be the tasks executed?"
    For example, one of the tasks within the framework of your project is to realize a seminar on the problem of influence of your city environmental conditions on health of the inhabitants. It is clear that it is you, who will organize the seminar. But who will conduct it: you? or invited experts from a scientific and research institute? or "stars from the capital"? And whom will you invite as listeners: administration, journalists, physicians, ecologists, just inhabitants or representatives of all these circles? How many days will this seminar last? Where will it be realized? Will any thematic films be shown? What else resources will be involved? And so on.
    Explain how effective and contemporary these methods are; if you (or someone else) have used them earlier, what the results are. Describe the steps of project execution as they follow one another (steps are a sequence of actions and not of measures). For example: any preparatory phase includes... research phase... basic phase (activity on solution of main tasks of a project), evaluative phase (summarizing, analysis of results, development of future plans, drawing up of reports). Compile (better as a table) a planned schedule of realization of actions with their brief description and terms of realization, when what happens. The planned schedule can be given as the appendix to the application.

  7. Monitoring of a project.
    It is a constant process of information gathering according to certain aspects of the executed project for analysis of changes of the situation and emerging problems, observance of the schedule of works and revision of the plan (if necessary). Specify parameters, according to which you will conduct monitoring. Save all records, it will help you to make a report.

  8. Expected results and the criteria of their estimation.
    It's a very important section. Here is a description of those expected changes in the society, in environment or in any concrete situation that will emerge as a result of your project execution. Results may be expressed: in measurable quantities and/or in more general categories (for example, condition of vegetation in the territory you look after). Nevertheless, the facts are to be proved. It is necessary to show how it will be possible to estimate efficiency of your project after execution and what criteria of success to base on.
    To the quantitative indicators belong: circulation of editions issued by you, quantity of hours (days) of seminars, number of trained people and other figures and facts. To qualitative indicators and criteria of their estimation belong: characteristics, according to which you see that the situation has really improved; how stable and viable these changes are; in what measure needs of target group will be satisfied, etc.
    Results for the society: whether the project will bring in something new to public life; whether it is possible to realize your methods somewhere else, by efforts of another team; whether during project execution any research will be carried out and there will be gathered data that are of certain public value, and if yes, how you plan to provide access of representatives of interested groups to these materials. Usually funds are interested whether your work on this project will be continued, and if yes, from what resources you expect money to continue the work (sponsors, state, incomes of paid services, funds) and what these expectations are based on.

  9. The budget
    Better to show the budget as a table with article-to-article interpretation of the content, the budget should correspond to volume of work, which will be done.
    The budget is compiled in detail (for example, calculation of remuneration of labour: 200 $ * 2 men * 3 months * 50 % = 600 $; taxes to wage fund: 600 $ * 40 % = 240 $ and each item of expenses in that way); the budget contains exact information on cost of any step, of acquired goods and so forth. For substantiation in the appendix you may insert price-lists from shops or x-copies of price-lists of goods and services from advertising magazines. In the budget you show what contribution the applicant makes: money, premises, equipment, value of labour of volunteers, etc., but everything must be indicated in money terms.
    Standard item of the budget: personnel (salary); employees, experts, consultants; social payments (taxes, insurance); rent of premises (office, for realization of actions) and municipal services; transport and business trip expenses (fare and daily allowance); equipment (purchase and/or rent) and materials (office supplies, consumables, paper); communication (mail, phone, fax, e-mail and so forth); publications (with indication of number of pages and circulation), manufacturing of video production and so forth; administrative charges (usually no more than 5-15 % from the total cost of a project). There may be other items of expenses concerning realization of planned actions. Inflation, especially if a project is designed for long term, may be included too.
    It is necessary to examine items of competition more carefully, as not all funds finance any items of expenses. At the end of the budget is counted up the following: total cost of a project, contribution of a non-commercial organization, including means from other sources, and a sum wanted from the fund.
    In the explanation of the budget there is given an interpretation of everything, so what the expert could understand any item of expenses: description of official duties of employees and/or their brief biography with indication of qualification; prices; other investors, etc.

  10. Appendix.
    It includes x-copies of registration documents; letters of support from local authorities, from authoritative figures and/or organizations, from funds or sponsors, who have already dealt with you; contracts on partnership if it is supposed; publications about your non-commercial organizations; samples of production made by it (newspapers, books and so forth), if their release is supposed.
    The main rule is that the appendix must not be more volumetric, than the application itself.

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