New Fund Asks Western Fundraisers to Support Colleagues in Developing Countries
News From the Resource Alliance, Sept. 17 (London) — Global, civil society capacity-building organisation the Resource Alliance announces the launch of a major new fundraising initiative — the Fundraisers Fund, which will allow fundraisers in developed countries to give direct financial support the their colleagues in the developing world.
The need for training and development in fundraising is huge. Civil society is expanding rapidly around the world, but voluntary sector organisations are generally poorly resourced. Opportunities to mobilise funds locally from an expanding middle class, from nationals living in developed economies, and from the corporate sector are all there — but few people currently have the skills to tap these resources.
Supporters to the Fundraisers Fund will be able to contribute through the Web site to a pool of money that will be used to provide bursary places to Resource Alliance conferences and workshops. It will also enable the provision of professional development opportunities through other routes, such as local courses and workshops in fundraisers’ home countries.
From Resource Alliance CEO Simon Collings: “The central proposition of the Fundraisers Fund is that the people most likely to understand and support the needs of fundraisers are other fundraisers. And only other fundraisers will see any value in providing the means to develop their skills.
“We’ve all had experiences of being undervalued and misunderstood by our colleagues, mistrusted by the public and attacked by the media. Well, for fundraisers in the Global South, those problems are often magnified by a factor of 10.
“One of the ways they can begin to improve their situations is through developing their professional skills as fundraisers. However, there is a scarcity of good quality training in many parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and what there is is often expensive.
“The Fundraisers Fund aims to redress that balance by subsidising essential training for fundraisers in the developing world.”
Partly developed by creative agency Cascaid, the Fundraisers Fund is similar to the idea behind microfinance Web site Kiva, which allows people to lend money directly to social entrepreneurs in the developing world.
The fund’s Web site will provide examples of the costs of training courses, workshops and conferences — principally but not exclusively those run by the Resource Alliance — and will allow donors to contribute to providing training for fundraisers.
Bursary winners will be encouraged to contribute to the Web site and report on how the training has impacted on their work, opening up the site as a real social network.