‘Think local, act global” is an interesting opportunity. If you’re successful and you know your business well within your own market, why not consider reaching into new markets? Charities based in developed markets are finding it increasingly difficult to grow at reasonable rates, and the cost of acquiring each new donor can only continue to rise. We all know that in domestic markets the keys to future success are well-defined and well-resourced donor development and stewardship programmes; we also appreciate that the future is “donor share” not “market share.” The starting point in our thinking has to be to ask: Why? Perhaps
It’s not just the lure of culture, tapas and vino tinto that is bringing many international NGOs into the Spanish fundraising market, or the Coliseum, pasta and Barolo that draw them to Italy. As the third sector globalises and acts as a counterbalance to the enormous forces of global business, it, too, is moving into new markets as traditional ones become saturated, and new opportunities overseas are on the horizon.
In the last few years, I have conducted sessions on fundraising at about 20 workshops in 14 “developing” countries — in Latin America, Africa and Asia. I’ve met amazing people and come across many examples of successful local-resource mobilization. There’s some very sophisticated fundraising happening in Latin America and Asia. Much of the cutting-edge work is being done by international NGOs like UNICEF and Greenpeace, but there’s also a growing band of indigenous nonprofits that are using professional fundraising techniques.
India is a study of contrasts — a story of three Indias in one. The Global India often is in the news. The famed IT and other manufacturing industries, the global offshore businesses, an economic growth rate of 9 percent, and its emergence as a growing global investor speak volumes of its presence on the world stage. The emergence of billionaires — four Indians in the top 10 in the world — sums it up. India is just amazing.
In talking about international non-governmental organisations, it’s tempting to treat them as a homogenous group. But they differ widely due to their governance structures: headquarters/branch operations, federations, loose networks and various confederations. Therefore, their approaches to global fundraising management can be quite different. So spotting trends among them can be difficult, but let’s see what’s on the INGO agenda.
This month, as we turn our focus to the international face of fundraising, I’m turning over my column and a large part of the editorial planning for the issue to the charismatic, highly regarded Tony Elischer, who very kindly agreed to act as Guest Editor.
It is most encouraging to see how many NGOs nowadays are taking a more thoughtful and strategic view of fundraising in new markets, rather than adopting the follow-the-leader approach that characterised the recent past. Consider, for example, the contrasting approaches taken by one midsized NGO when investing in new fundraising markets in the 1990s and then again in the 2000s.
[Editor’s Note: This article is the first in our yearlong Global Vision Series, meant to educate U.S. fundraisers on the challenges faced and strategies employed by their counterparts across the globe.]
[Jon Duschinsky is the director of Ressources non profit, a fundraising consultancy based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. At the 27th International Fundraising Congress, which took place in the Netherlands last week, he presented a session titled Funky Fundraising Failures, in which fundraisers from around the world talked about their professional non-successes. Here, he shares the top three lessons learned from that session.] 1. Check, then check again. The most common mistakes are the ones we miss through simple lack of checking. At the Funky Fundraising Failures session, fundraisers from around the world shared stories about how a small error, a moment of inattention, had caused
[Chris Carnie is founder of Factary, Europe’s only consultancy focused on strategic funders — major donors, foundations, companies and government. It operates from bases in Spain, Belgium and the U.K. At the 27th International Fundraising Congress, which took place in the Netherlands last week, Chris and colleague Martine Godefroid presented a session titled Major Donors — The Personal View. Here, he presents a synopsis of that session.] It’s hard to start a major-donor program if you don’t know what a major donor looks like. That’s why we invited a philanthropist and an advisor to philanthropic families to give us their personal views at last