Tips for Funding Your Program
- Find opportunities to connect your program with other programs and initiatives your Nation or organization is implementing. Find opportunities for sharing and leveraging resources, in-kind contributions, etc.
- Think creatively about how to fill your funding basket – you may need to develop a mix of funding sources from internal streams, government, foundations, charitable orgs, research partnerships, etc.
- Have a program “elevator speech” – a one or two-page document that describes your vision, program focus areas, activities, key projects, etc. You can easily modify this for different audiences as needed.
- Reach out to potential funders and partners early on in program development. Provide them with information about what you want to do and ask for their feedback to help you craft a proposal they can support.
- Reflect the language and priorities of your funders back to them in your proposal while staying true to your own project goals.
- Build up potential and existing funders’ interest in what you are doing. Share program information, success stories, updates, etc. The more they know and see, the better.
- Maximize opportunities to make contact with funders and make the most of those opportunities to strengthen their interest and commitment.
- Depending on the funder, invite them to come to your community to learn more about your vision and priorities. For certain funders (especially private philanthropists), engaging them on an emotional level may be key.
- Fundraising is more an art than a science – consider the balance between the time and effort to write a proposal and report on the funding versus the amount of funding that is available.
- Coordinate your fundraising efforts with other programs or organizations to avoid competing for the same pool of funds. Consider opportunities to build joint proposals with neighbouring communities.