Ready to ‘Go International’?
What about your brand?
We all know how central your brand is to success in the modern world, but moving into new countries brings a whole new set of challenges — not the least of which is will your brand “fit” a new culture? Some charities have developed subbrands for their international expansions simply to help people understand who they are and what they stand for. Once on board, donors usually are pleased to hear of the main brand/organisation, which then lends credibility to the relationship.
You also need to consider how you will control and protect your brand, especially if it has to be lodged with a new, independent charity in the country you are entering.
There are many more factors that need to be worked through to assess readiness, including such things as policies, structure, governance, ethics, etc. In general terms, remember the mantra of a carpenter: “Measure twice, cut once!”
With some of the groundwork done, you can begin the process of identifying markets that might match your objectives, cause and resources. Start by plotting out a global map of fundraising markets using data to assess where each one is in its lifecycle of professional fundraising opportunity. Systematically assess each emerging market against criteria for market development, and then overlay your own criteria. All of this should limit the globe to a few key markets that might match your needs.
Choose markets where you are not necessarily following everyone else. Prioritise these markets, and then begin to use more detailed research to compare their suitability and opportunities against a well thought-out matrix of factors. With the right level of investment, this work should provide you with one to three key prospects. Ideally, these should be narrowed further; to reach the next stage, you really need to visit the short-listed countries to engage with the not-for-profit sector, suppliers, non-competing causes and, ideally, funders.